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After all the recent talks about the collapse of GM there was one relatively little noticed piece of news which I thought needed some attention. American Car Company Announces 4 door electirc sedan

You see there is an American Automotive company which I feel should be getting the investments that these Detroit dinosaurs are currently getting. That company is Tesla Motors and they have an amazing new Sedan which is 100% green technology and could beginning of the future for electric cars. With the right investment that is.

Why don't we take a huge chunk of those BILLIONS we are throwing at GM et. al. and throw them to a company which is at the forefront of design and technology which could wean us away from foreign oil, and move us in the Green direction?

Lets take a look at Tesla's newest offering:

The Model S

Tell me this is not a sexy car that you wouldn't be proud to own and sport around town? Its range before recharge? 300 miles!

I remember when I was working as an advertising executive for a small yellow pages firm back home, I used to have to travel all over the county meeting clients and making sales pitches. I dont think I EVER drove more than 300 miles in a day.

How long to recharge? 4 hours on a regular 220V plug. If you get a home 480V outlet you can charge this baby up in just 45 minutes.

The current cost? That is the part that would need serious government and private investment to bring down (the former would encourage the latter):
around 50,000 dollars.

If the US Government was serious about "going Green" and building a 21st century transportation infrastructure why not invest in a company which could be scaled UP right now, creating high paying manufacturing jobs and helping the environment in one fell swoop?

For more info on the Model S see here

Here is something the comments that I think everyone should see:

Lead Story In Tomorrow's Times, meanwhile, concerns a new Chinese govt. initiative to corner the electric car market.

China Vies to Be World’s Leader in Electric Cars

By KEITH BRADSHER
Published: April 1, 2009

TIANJIN, China — Chinese leaders have adopted a plan aimed at turning the country into one of the leading producers of hybrid and all-electric vehicles within three years, and making it the world leader in electric cars and buses after that.

The goal, which radiates from the very top of the Chinese government, suggests that Detroit’s Big Three, already struggling to stay alive, will face even stiffer foreign competition on the next field of automotive technology than they do today.

“China is well positioned to lead in this,” said David Tulauskas, director of China government policy at General Motors."

Please give a thanks and a rec to Mogolori for finding this new piece. We will keep falling behind if we don't invest NOW!

Update: Wow! Rec list! My first time. Thank you so much!

Originally posted to ProgressiveTokyo on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 07:44 PM PDT.

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  •  Tips (374+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Serephin, RichM, cdreid, ljb, suresh, chuck utzman, Donna Z, exsimo2, vicki, Yosef 52, Chi, Odysseus, apsmith, Liberal Thinking, abarefootboy, Hlinko, Nina Katarina, BigOkie, patriot spear, TechBob, LynChi, OLinda, eeff, Mnemosyne, elfling, acuppajo, frisco, theran, AustinCynic, Norwegian Chef, grndrush, MarkInSanFran, mataliandy, strengthANDwisdom, eyeswideopen, bronte17, Zinman, SamSinister, prius04, MD patriot, eddieb061345, Ian S, highacidity, Mlle Orignalmale, Glic, buckhorn okie, sgilman, luku, ornerydad, ClickerMel, PeteZerria, oceanview, nitetalker, minorityusa, oldjohnbrown, DeadB0y, businessdem, pat bunny, JimWilson, Batfish, defluxion10, TX Scotia, MmeVoltaire, Catte Nappe, hazzcon, RebeccaG, MeToo, Oaktown Girl, zett, tomjones, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, jcrit, rambler american, Pozzo, rmx2630, Marc in KS, sebastianguy99, weelzup, rapala, bloomer 101, Bluesee, Simian, saodl, radarlady, Tinfoil Hat, el dorado gal, LarisaW, baccaruda, CTPatriot, socks, arnott, PBen, Superpole, Omir the Storyteller, basquebob, kldave, Rudykip, Blissing, SideshowRahim, jimreyn, GreyHawk, Barcelona, nevyn, The Raven, shiobhan, FightTheFuture, playtonjr, Flippant, empathy, Erevann, Alan Arizona, Land of Enchantment, begone, SSMir, martini, Showman, Hirodog, sierrartist, Pinko Elephant, sherlyle, ferallike, BlueInARedState, tobendaro, Ky DEM, duckhunter, koNko, buhdydharma, Loonesta, mrobinson, ccmask, deha, Im with Rosey, Happygirl, kck, Farradin, tecampbell, MJ via Chicago, aepm, global citizen, nonnie9999, nilocjin, Crashing Vor, Bush Bites, Data Pimp, Zwoof, Potus2020, Dinclusin, llbear, Turbonerd, IL clb, rage, profh, doingbusinessas, buckeye blue, Dreaming of Better Days, zorthron, kurt, revgerry, airmarc, ms badger, sasher, Aaa T Tudeattack, pippintook, GoldnI, pat of butter in a sea of grits, ladypockt, One Pissed Off Liberal, marykk, YoyogiBear, high coup haiku, ColoTim, momoaizo, offgrid, cfaller96, Stwriley, 0wn, Wino, Kodiak54, yowsta, HeartlandLiberal, gustynpip, SJLeonidas, Jimdotz, LamontCranston, ilex, deepeco, rkelley25, Unbozo, davehouck, bnasley, gatorbot, malharden, BrandonM, Rex Manning, letsgetreal, BaritoneWoman, Newzie, Moderation, NorthlandLiberal, ImpeachKingBushII, keikekaze, stony, craiger, Terra Mystica, rmonroe, Mighty Ike, trivium, sand805, MKinTN, Michael91, rogerdaddy, Shane Hensinger, JeffW, swampus, flowerfarmer, ShadowSD, wyvern, oolali, Phil N DeBlanc, bodymind, scooter in brooklyn, fake consultant, bill warnick, elwior, Rick Winrod, wagdog, mikeconwell, fnord warrior, Happy Days, Lujane, pamelabrown, TH Seed, geomoo, DailyKingFish, carver, MsWings, Jeff Y, tamasher, mofembot, pikkel, rich1107, BadRabbit, blue dot, Troubadour, mary13L, DixieDishrag, Blueslide, A Man Called Gloom, dont think, Nona D Above, Guadalupe59, In her own Voice, HoosierDeb, Aidos, cactusflinthead, SolarMom, maggiejean, SciMathGuy, 1BQ, Bule Betawi, multilee, pileta, DontTaseMeBro, BennyToothpick, Texanomaly, WSComn, Rick Aucoin, ARS, litoralis, Unseen majority, rcnewton, imisa, Dopeman, Moonwood, Carol in San Antonio, Mislead, notrouble, flecktones, mkor7, CamillesDad1, WobegonGal, Mercuriousss, John Shade, worldly1, hoodsen, MySobriquet, Alise, kevinpdx, Shelley99, synductive99, Losty, realwischeese, Lava20, notksanymore, Green Karma, mdmslle, ArthurPoet, fernan47, reesespcs, strangedemocracy, Bene Gesserit1, Maori, TenthMuse, unfinished60sbusiness, Just Bob, ppl can fly, cocomas, marabout40, kcandm, pyegar, sovery, elijah311, ArtSchmart, LaughingPlanet, RethinkEverything, robertacker13, BP in NJ, SmartAleq, iBlue, Big Danny, citizen31, Aramis Wyler, Giles Goat Boy, RJP9999, polar bear, puffmeister, Eddie L, melpomene1, Bmeis, Dingodude, elginblt, DrFitz, Egalitare, NYWheeler, sharonsz, asm121, JRandomPoster, Johnny Q, nirbama, Unenergy, CA Physics Grad, nampa45, Wilsonv, gobears2000, Colorado is the Shiznit, CornSyrupAwareness, kerflooey, RepTracker, Wisewood, penny8611, Jazzenterprises, Rachel Q, sowsearsoup, Ricola, SoCaliana, tresgatos, cdub24, John Rose, molunkusmol, burana, Element 61, Go Kid Hugo, Muskegon Critic, eppa, JWK, MarketFarces, BlackBandFedora, illegal smile, The Rational Hatter, JJEagleHawk, zapus, MinistryOfTruth, TrahmalG, memorybabe

    For electric vehicles and green technology!

    •  i'd like to see both get some money, (46+ / 0-)

      any company that can produce a very efficient hybrid (for now) and then an electric, should get to sell a bunch of cars to the govt., plus we should get a tax credit (big one) when buying.  

      •  And (34+ / 0-)

        recharging stations would be a great way to invest in green energy.

        There are four boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order. Ed Howdershelt

        by Lava20 on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:56:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  either that or... (14+ / 0-)

          ... or rapid battery change centers that swap out your battery for another in a semi automatic process that takes 30 seconds.

          •  Maybe someday, (6+ / 0-)

            but the batteries for electric cars weigh hundreds of pounds and take up a lot of space.  Were not talking about the little 12 volt that starts a regular car.
            It's possible to charge new electric car batteries most of the way in a fairly short time now.  

            Why can't I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold cold heart. ~ H. Williams

            by Andhakari on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 11:07:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Typical battery pack (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MeToo, esquimaux, llbear, MooseHB, Jane Lew

              At least on conversion projects I've looked at, use either 6, 8 or 12 volt lead-acid batteries. Many of those projects use a 120 volt system that can be recharged off a household outlet, so you're looking at a pack of anywhere from 10-20 batteries. Overall this isn't too bad, especially for a conversion project rather than a production car like a Tesla, but compact it is not.

              For grins, I priced putting together a battery pack from Lithium ion batteries. A stack of 40 Li batteries, at 3 volts each, would cost $10,000 total. The price will have to come down and the batteries will have to get a little bigger so that you don't have to use so many of them.

              Bail out Studebaker.

              by AustinCynic on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 05:47:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's not the number of batteries... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ProgressiveTokyo, MooseHB

                How many watt-hours?  And are you buying in bulk or as an individual?  Traditional "laptop cells" are currently about $0.35/Wh in bulk, while "automotive" cells are about $0.50/Wh in bulk.  But if you don't buy in bulk, expect to pay a lot more.

          •  There is a company doing this NOW for San Francis (6+ / 0-)

            co and one other city in the USA that I forget.

            The batteries are to be loaners, switched in and out at changing stations all over the city.

            The company that got this job in SF is very forward thinking.

            Apparently they wish they could do this on Hawaii which is a perfect testing environment as it is contained.

            We will restore science to its rightful place....We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil .... All this we can do. And all this we will do.

            by puffmeister on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 03:11:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There's your gas station / charging solution (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mataliandy

              done done and done.

              •  and dont worry about the size (5+ / 0-)

                a "station attendent" with the correct assisting machinery makes it nomuss no fuss, and we welcome back the "would you like a fillup " "oh thank you! here's a tip" dynamic :)

                everyone wins!

                •  Exactly... (8+ / 0-)

                  And with proper robotic software and machinery, the battery could weigh 1000 lbs and still get changed in 30 seconds.  

                  Put a small door on the side of the car, add location sensors...

                  As for the costs, before the model T, all cars were WAY outside the reach of 99.9% of the population....

                  Also, lets not forget the R&D spent in the ICE.  (Internal combustion engine) since inception nearly 120 years ago.  Ya think that total R&D spent is less than a more than a billion?  Approaching a trillion?  Think about it, carburetor research, fuel injection research, catalytic converter research, distributer research, piston research, piston coatings research, etc etc etc etc.

                  I daresay all this R&D is closer to the trillion than a billion.  Especially when controlled for inflation.  

                  Can you imagine if the costs of the Iraq war went into a permanent non-fossil fuel replacement for oil?  Imagine if oil became a semi worthless commodity?  Saudi Arabians would have to get real jobs and go to real schools and not spend all their time in Maddrassa schools learning to hate the west.

                  Now wouldn't that be a strategic improvement over where we are today?

          •  There's a recharge breakthough on the horizon (11+ / 0-)
            The ability to charge batteries in seconds.... Of course the current required would be huge, so this wouldn't be something you could do at home... but imagine instead of filling stations with gas pumps, you pull up to a high current electrical outlet and plug in for 30 seconds to get a 'recharge' off the smart grid.

            http://arstechnica.com/...

            Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof - Carl Sagan

            by zipn on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 04:41:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There's not "a" recharging breakthrough (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              prius04, jsmagid, dotcommodity

              There's dozens

              Most people have no clue how fast li-ion tech is advancing.  Or what a lot of cells already on the market are capable.  Phosphates and stabilized spinels can take 15 minute charges, while titanate packs have been charged in as little as 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, the latest generation of H2 vehicles take almost half an hour to fill.

              There are some huge problems with battery pack swapping.  Namely, you need to stock huge objects.  That'd be bad enough on its own, except that there's really no way to standardize.  Different vehicles have different battery requirements, and if that wasn't bad enough, battery chemistry is a rapidly moving target.  It's just not a long-term solution.  The only reasonable long-term solution is rapid charge.

          •  IIRC, there was something about that (0+ / 0-)

            battery swapping idea - I thought it was Tesla that was looking at that for the future, but I am not quite sure where I read it.

            Feingold did not vote to convict Clinton. Kucinich did not bankrupt Cleveland.

            by zett on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 03:03:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  or put enough solar on folks' homes (17+ / 0-)

          they can recharge their cars themselves.

          I want a tesla.

          •  and wind units -- should be standard on... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MeToo, CharlieHipHop

            ...any new home.

          •  I'd like one, too. (7+ / 0-)

            I don't have $50,000 to buy one, but I would if I could. Of course I've wanted one since I first heard of Tesla a few years back when they were building their first car.

            "You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do." Anne Lamott

            by MsWings on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 03:34:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Exactly! (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Texanomaly, SoCaliana, Crider

              How many of us have an extra $50,000 sitting around to buy a new car?

              Not many, I'll venture.

              •  and I don't know if (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sychotic1, Jane Lew, SoCaliana

                I could get financing for 50K.  Tax credit would not necessarily help in that instance.  
                I wish and hope this stuff becomes more accessible.

                Proud to be part of The Obama Generation.

                by Texanomaly on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:09:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I know for certain that (0+ / 0-)

                  I could not get financing for $50K and, even if I could, it's not something I would do. But in 5 or 10 years, I could afford one on the resale market if the product and the company are successful. That's what I would hope for.

                  "You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do." Anne Lamott

                  by MsWings on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:02:56 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  One thing to consider is that when you factor in (0+ / 0-)

                    the cost to run this, A $50,000 EV is more of a $35,000 gas car.

                    Tesla Motors, Inc. started taking orders last week for its Model S, an all-electric family sedan that seats seven and can travel 300 miles per charge. The company currently sells the Tesla Roadster, a hot two-seat electric "supercar," which starts at a base price of more than $100,000. Unlike the Roadster sports car, the Model S falls more in the luxury sedan category and is available at about half the cost: $57,400. But being battery-powered, all Tesla vehicles qualify for a federal tax credit of $7,500.

                    The company points out that if gasoline prices return to $4 per gallon, the Tesla Model S will save enough money to place it on par with a gasoline-fueled sedan priced at $35,000.

                    Tesla is currently accepting refundable deposits of $5,000 for the Model S and plans to start production in late 2011, with vehicle deliveries starting in 2012. However, the company is hoping to finance the construction of the Model S assembly plant using a $350 million federal loan from DOE's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program (we can't comment on whether that will happen or not). If the loan does go through, the Model S will be available with a variety of battery packs, yielding a range of 160, 230, or 300 miles. It can be recharged using a standard 120-volt outlet or a 240-volt outlet (the type used for electric dryers), but it can be recharged in only 45 minutes if the owner has access to a 480-volt outlet. The floor-mounted battery pack is also designed to be changed out in only a few minutes, allowing for battery-swap services like those proposed by Better Place. (See the article from this newsletter on Better Place's plans for California and Hawaii.)

                    Cooling our planet one building at a time in the Bay Area.

                    by dotcommodity on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 06:00:55 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  It would have to be at least 1/2 that price. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SoCaliana

                  for me to give it a look.

                  It would also have to be a more versatile vehicle than it is, so it could be my only vehicle.  

                  I presently drive a minivan. I wish they would make a hybrid minivan.
                  .  

                •  One point... (0+ / 0-)

                  Accounting for maintenance costs its total cost is more like that of a $35,000 car.  

                  Remember, no oil, no oil filter, no air filter, no coolant, no radiator, few if any belts, single speed transmission, no automatic transmission fluid, no spark plugs, few if any hoses, no electronic fuel injection, no fuel filter...  Basically, think of all the parts in a car that wear out or require regular maintenance and they just don't exist on an electric car.

                  What that means is standard maintenance is fill up the wiper fluid and rotate tires.  Maybe brakes, but regenerative braking can have a tendency to make the brakes last a long time.

                  And $5 of electricity per 300 miles.  Even my Prius at $2/gallon is more like $12-15 per 300 miles.

                  Also, look at the size and seating and hauling and luxury.  I think there it is strongly positioned to compete with those who use SUVs as family haulers, and get the more upscale SUVs for that purpose. Which makes the economics even more compelling for that market.

                  •  The cost to maintain must factor in (0+ / 0-)

                    the amount we drive. I haven't filled my car in three weeks.

                    Another significant cost of having an ordinary car is the cost to have another vehicle to do the things I do. The hybrid vehicles that are available just do not meet my needs.

                    Last week I picked up a 4x8 piece of plywood to do a household project. With a minivan that is not a problem. I have been insulating my house. All I have to do is load it up.

                    When my kids and their spouses visit, we use my minivan.

                    For a lot of folks $35,000 is a lot of money. I have never paid anything like that amount for a vehicle, nor am I likely to. We  buy a vehicle with cash, keep it up, and drive it until it dies.

                    •  It is not targeted at you... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      highacidity, Quantumlogic

                      Upscale suburban family and pet haulers, who currenty get upper-mid end SUVs or Volvos for that purpose because of status or whatever. I knew quite a few of these growing up.

                      They are clearly targeting a particular niche in order to sell enough to prove the technology and finance the next design at the next price point down.  I would expect around the time of first delivery of the model S they will announce a more modest sedan at a lower price point for delivery a year or two later.

                      •  You do not know me any more than I know you. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        SoCaliana

                        You could not be more wrong about me.

                        I do not own, nor would I own an SUV. I detest them.

                        I have never owned a Volvo nor would I.

                        I do not have dogs or cats, or other animals.

                        I plead guilty to having children, but then LOL most "families" have them.

                        I do not live in a suburban community, nor would I.

                        I live in a small town in a rural area of the country away from a city.

                        A vehicle for me is a tool that I use. I would not use a hammer, if I needed a wrench. I do not need a sedan. It is not the tool I need.

                        A vehicle is not an item of fashion that I replace based upon the latest trend. I drive a car until it dies. A minivan is déclassé, and I like it that way.  

                        There is no one size fits all.

                        When the auto industry makes a versatile hybrid vehicle at a price I can afford, I will buy it.

                        Until then, I will stick with what I have.

                        •  Wait, did you make my point?!? (0+ / 0-)

                          I apologize... I believe I was unclear due to poor punctuation because you confirmed my impression.  Let me try again.

                          It is not targeted at you.

                          Because you are not a:

                          Upscale suburban family and pet haulers, who currenty get upper-mid end SUVs or Volvos for that purpose because of status or whatever. I knew quite a few of these growing up.

                          Which I think is the point you made.  Tesla is not ready to make a car that fits you I suspect for a variety of reasons.

                          Tesla's approach appears to be:

                          1. It will cost $90,000 to make an electric car in 2008-2009, and it will be small.  So, we will make a $90,000 electric sports car because that is the market that will pay $90,000 for a small, fast car.
                          1. The next model is going to need to be priced at $50,000, but we can make it bigger with the same or better range.  So, we will make a $50,000 high end sedan/wagon and market it at the Volvo, Audi,... crowd.

                          Future speculation:

                          1. The next model can be built for $30,000.  We will develop a ????? that will compete with Camry, Prius, Accord,....
                          1. If you can do the above minivans start to be possible.

                          At that point they are starting to get into the auto market sweet spot especially if relative maintenance costs are accounted for.

                      •  You have this right... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        BobTrips

                        They are clearly targeting a particular niche in order to sell enough to prove the technology and finance the next design at the next price point down.  I would expect around the time of first delivery of the model S they will announce a more modest sedan at a lower price point for delivery a year or two later.

                        But a lot of people here don't see this. I think it is smart to put the bulk of the R&D cost "onto" the higher-priced autos...

                        Tesla had this plan from the beginning. First the roadster, then the luxury sedan, then the more affordable model.

                        Unfortunately the development is taking longer than anticipated... but doesn't it always?

                        By the time I'm ready to replace my Civic, I hope to have alternatives from several different manufacturers... which, from past experience will be a while, since I've been able to drive my simple base-model Hondas for many, many miles ;-)

                        They just work.

                •  I want the gov't to back my car loan, like they (0+ / 0-)

                  bailed out the big guys.

                  They owe me that much.

                  Listen to Ray Taliaferro on KGOradio.com, 1 a.m.-5 a.m. Pacific time, M-F

                  by SoCaliana on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:32:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  $5000 for 10 years does not sound too bad (0+ / 0-)

                I replace my Subaru-s every 4 years at almost 30k a piece.

                Electric cars need fewer repairs and when a repair is done it is like new.

                Ever have an automatic transmission rebuilt - never quite the same as new

                If there was an ON-Going Tax Break - 2k per year - that would do it for me.

                Dean "Chance.. favors the Prepared Mind"

                by SkiBumLee on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 11:33:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  It's not really $50k. This diary is misleading. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JayBat

              This diary talks about a $50k car that goes 300 miles.  That's not what's being talked about.  It's a $57,400 ($49,900 after the tax credit) car that goes 160 miles, and which you can pay extra for a 300 mile pack.  And knowing Tesla, and what they've done with the Roadster, the base model is going to come with almost nothing; many options are going to be pretty much essentials.  

              Also, they're still using laptop cells, which have to be babied to get any sort of reasonable lifespan out of them.  It was conceivable that they'd get 5 years life out of a Roadster pack.  But then they changed it to 7.  And now they're changing it to 10 years, and claiming they'll get it on a vehicle with only 160 miles range (the smaller the range, the fewer cells, and thus the higher the power draw per cells, and thus the more wear and tear they get).  This is straining credibility from my point of view, as is the claim that a replacement pack will only cost $5k (laptop cells are current $0.35/Wh, and are mostly limited by the price of cobalt, so there's not a lot of room to drop; $0.35/Wh * 200Wh/mi * 160mi = $11,200, plus the assembly, casing, control, etc costs).

              Not to rain on everyone's parade too much, of course.  It's an impressive car and I suspect they'll have a hit on their hands when all is said and done.

          •  Yes, and those excercise bicycles (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ksh01, Rasthedoctor

            could be hooked up to generate electricity to help recharge the cars as well . . .

            . . . .like some say, every little bit helps.

        •  Recharging stations are going to be the key. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          esquimaux, ProgressiveTokyo

          300 miles sounds like a lot, but I live in the boonies and would end up stranded quite a lot if there's not somewhere to recharge.  If it wasn't for that, I'd be looking at this car very seriously right now.  This is the first time I've seen a picture of the sedan - and love it!

      •  Yeah, but we have the technology to jump (10+ / 0-)

        to full electric right away. If the govt could subsidize electric cars like you suggest, in the way they subsidize big farms and oil and things of this nature.

        I never forget a face, but I'll make an exception in your case. -Groucho Marx

        by Big Danny on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:41:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  you do (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        swampus, geomoo, hillgiant

        but gotta do it before 12/31/09 ...

        http://www.energy.gov/...

      •  Tesla is already in very serious negotiations (13+ / 0-)

        with the White House regarding funding. It should be happening soon.

        My idea of an agreeable person is a person who agrees with me. Benjamin Disraeli

        by pvmuse on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 03:05:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  linky? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fnord warrior

          Once in awhile you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

          by Glic on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 03:51:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There's a brief mention on their website (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sychotic1

            Tesla expects to start Model S production in late 2011. The company believes it is close to receiving $350 million in federal loans to build the Model S assembly plant in California from the Dept of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program.

            http://www.teslamotors.com/...

            Nae king! Nae quin! Nae laird! Nae master! We willnae be fooled again! -Battle cry of the Nac Mac Feegle (via Terry Pratchett)

            by fnord warrior on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:56:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I GM was smart... (16+ / 0-)

          ...they'd sell Saturn to Telsa and convert the relatively new Saturn plant outside of Nashville into making Telsa cars! A motivated work force in TN, a marketing and dealership network is already in place. The quicker that they're in mass production, the lower to costs.

          I'm sure Tesla could get the Saturn plant for a bargain right now.

          I'd love to see that happen.

          Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof - Carl Sagan

          by zipn on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 04:44:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The sad thing is... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zipn

          that Tesla almost certainly will get loans.  But the only US company producing a highway-speed EV that's affordable to the masses, and one that uses just half as much power per mile as Tesla's cars do -- Aptera -- may well not.  Simply because it has three wheels -- even though it's engineered to meet normal car safety standards (and exceeds many by huge margins, such as over double the requirement on roof and door strength).

          The same applies on almost everything.  They can't get federal loans readily.  For a while, there was going to be no tax credit at all for buying one, but now it's going to be a whopping $2500 credit (vs. $7500 for the Volt and Teslas).  They're not covered in the Cash-For-Clunkers bill.  And on and on down the line, all because they have three wheels.

          Why three wheels?  Well, for one, it's easier to bring a new three wheeler to market.  But more importantly, it's a far more efficient shape, and efficiency means lower battery pack costs and faster recharge times.  The optimal shape is a horizontal teardrop.  A "tadpole" three wheeler (two wheels at the front, one at the rear -- a design that Road and Track found is just as stable as four-wheeled vehicles) is in that shape.  Three wheels also means less weight, which means less rolling resistance.  And it means less purchase price and less maintenance.  The 2e has the braking distance of a Mustang GT, the cornering radius of a Porsche Boxter, one of the best crush strengths on the road today, a very long crumple zone designed with the same software BMW uses, a full complement of airbags, and a composite shell that, unlike a steel frame, can't pin you in (composites either bounce back or break; there's no permanent deformation).  But never mind all that -- they have three wheels, so they're a motorcycle, so they get almost nothing.

          Kinda makes me mad.  :P  Okay, more than "kinda".

    •  Erm..... (4+ / 0-)

      ....'regular 240v plug?'

      Wall current in the US is 110v.  240 has to be specifically wired.

      •  If you have an electric stove or dryer... (34+ / 0-)

        you prolly already have a 220 outlet.  Still, I suppose you're not going to be pulling your car into the kitchen each night.  It's not all that difficult or expensive to install, though.

        •  Correction... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sychotic1, Turbonerd

          As has been hashed out in the comments below, you may have a bit more than 220 volts at your disposal.

          •  99.9% of US homes have 240 Volts AC (13+ / 0-)

            That's the common feed from the utility.  Then it is split to 120V, with a common connection in your fuse box.  If you need 240V for a project and don't have a dryer, you can actually get 240V by connecting two 120V circuits from opposite sides of the main breaker box (warning- don't try this at home!)

            But any dryer or electric oven/stove, Hot water heater, central AC/heat pump unit uses 240 Volts.

            Even most modern off the grid Solar/battery electric systems are often configured with 240 volts, higher voltage lowers the copper losses on long runs for things like a submersible well pump.

            "I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." - Barack Obama, 3-24-09

            by MD patriot on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 06:54:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're just bad. :-) (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MD patriot, Sychotic1

              I was feeling guilty for telling people to move an outlet using an existing breaker and here you come with this:

              That's the common feed from the utility.  Then it is split to 120V, with a common connection in your fuse box.  If you need 240V for a project and don't have a dryer, you can actually get 240V by connecting two 120V circuits from opposite sides of the main breaker box (warning- don't try this at home!)

              You're absolutely correct, of course, but since when does "don't try this at home" ever work?  I hear that phrase every time MythBusters comes on, but that didn't stop me from sending high voltage electricity through a water gun a couple of week ago.  Unlike their version, I added salt to my water in order that it would carry even MORE electricity.  Mine worked better!

              Hopefully, I am the only idiot here today.  :-)

              •  Now THAT is dangerous! (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DeadB0y, Sychotic1, swampus

                I was actually using the 240V to power a UK made electronic device.  I have gone over to the safe side and installed a 20A, 240V outlet in my electronics lab.  So now I have a cord that connects this 240V to a standard 120 V NEMA 5-15 socket, with major warnings written on the socket- this could fry a 120V circuit quickly.

                My garage is wired with a 30A, 240V outlet, I put that in in case I wanted to run a small welder- it will be perfect for charging a plug-hybrid type car.

                Google has some Prius plug-hybrids and they park them under a roof covered with solar panels for recharging during the day.  Just waiting for the 2010 Prius here, I may get the model with the solar panels on the roof if they don't charge too much for it, although I've read that it will just be used to run a solar powered fan to cool the car.

                "I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." - Barack Obama, 3-24-09

                by MD patriot on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:57:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Strange... (0+ / 0-)

                  It seems like you could do more than just power a fan with the amount solar real estate on the roof.  So, when the car is parked, the panel does nothing?  Not even tied into the main battery for a maintenance charge?

                  Hmmm.  Curious.  Off to find out more.

                  •  No, it really can't (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Sychotic1

                    Solar energy density isn't that high, solar panels aren't all that efficient, and car roofs aren't that big. And any sort of shadow, even if it just hits the corner of the panel, drops the output dramatically.

                    Really, you should try this stuff yourself and see. I helped my son built a solar recharging kiosk for his school, and we found that the single panel we used, which would roughly the same as what you could fit on a car roof, was able to keep up with the demands of a couple of laptops and cell phones and not much beyond that.

                    You also underestimate the effectiveness of the fan. The idea is to run the fan when the car is parked in the sun and keep the inside temperature close to ambient. That way the A/C has much less work to do when you start the car.

                    •  Fan is good use of the solar power (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      swampus

                      And the fan will run faster when the sun is stronger, so that the amount of cooling is somewhat matched to the solar heat gain.

                      I have not seen the pricing for the 2010 Prius options yet, but I plan to trade my 2004 Prius for the new model when they arrive.  We will also try to talk my wife out of getting another black car that roasts in the sun!

                      "I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." - Barack Obama, 3-24-09

                      by MD patriot on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 11:48:35 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  I will... (0+ / 0-)

                      I will try this stuff myself.  

                      Kudos to you for getting your son involved in solar projects.

                      There is a frustrating amount of conflicting information about the solar paneled Prius, but my impression is that MD patriot is correct that the rooftop panel will be used for nothing more than powering a fan.  This strikes me as being more about image than anything else.

                      To be sure, it's a small roof, but I think you should be able to get at least 200 watts out of that space using monocrystalline PV cells.  

                      •  Project details (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        swampus

                        FWIW, the Kyocera panel we used came from www.solardepot.com. The charge controller and inverter came from www.allelectronics.com. We got the deep discharge AGM battery locally.

                        I think 200 watts worth of panel is probably more than will fit on a car roof, but the real issue is that in practice you aren't going to get anything close to that wattage from it a lot of the time. This is especially true if there's any sort of shadow - it's really quite remarkable how much the shadow from just part of your hand drops the output of the entire panel.

            •  Making 240V from 120 (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              swampus

              Actually, it's not that tough.  There's the "homemade way" and the "commercial way".  But first, a little background.

              240V in the US is split-phase, unlike in Europe where it's single phase.  Split phase 240V means that you have two 120V circuits that are out of phase with each other, so while one is at +120V, the other is at 120V... i.e., 240V difference.  Single phase 240V is where you have a wire that oscillates between +240V and 240V with respect to a neutral.  In split phase, the neutral only carries the random noise**.  On the downside, split phase requires an extra wire.  On the upside, you can also take only 120V out of it if you want.  As noted by the **, however, if you do that, the neutral will then start carrying more than just noise.

              Anyway, on with the show.

              Homemade: Take a 240V power strip with a split-phase hookup.  Wire to one end of the hookup (with wire clamps, not solder!) a 120V plug on one live and another 120V plug to the other live.  Wire the neutral into both plug's neutrals, and the ground to both plug's grounds.  Plug the 120V cords into two 120V sockets.  If they're same phase, nothing will happen.  If they're opposite phase, your power strip will light up and is ready to use.  So, if it doesn't line up, just keep trying; eventually you'll hit sockets on opposite phase.  Note that this won't work on GFCI sockets; they'll trip when you try to draw power (ground fault is detected when you're not getting enough power flowing through the neutral; in an ideal split-phase setup, no power flows through the neutral).

              Commercial: Guess what?  Companies already make devices like the above commercially.  I can dig up a link if you want.  :)

              Oh, and while we're at it: here's a couple common places in the US to find 240V split phase.

              1. Home: Washers and dryers (30A)
              1. Home: Ovens and ranges (50A)
              1. RV parks (50A)
              1. Garages and metal shops (varying amp ratings, but often high)
              1. Anywhere with a tanning bed (they're often 240V)
              1. Fire departments (usually have washers/dryers, and sometimes other eq)
              1. Many large buildings for heavy cleaning equipment.  For example, my hospital has them in the halls in many places.

              See where Chris Trexler found charging spots during his EV1 "Charge Across America" here.

              Of course, the whole point is that we create a network of charging stations so we can just get our 240V (or higher) there.

        •  Or a dedicated air conditioner outlet. nt (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          swampus, hillgiant
      •  WRONG. Every house has 240V, (31+ / 0-)

        but it is typically split, so that one half of your house runs on phase 1, and the other half on phase 2. You'll never notice it without checking the wiring schematics.

        Heavy duty items like washers and dryers typically run on 240V to reduce the current in the wires (and to be able to use smaller wires safely).

        I'm writing in Lizard People on my next ballot.

        by George Hier on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:06:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Volt will be regular plug in, i think. nt (5+ / 0-)
          •  Volt is pretty much DOA (15+ / 0-)

            The cost is projected to be ~$50K and scale of production (assuming GM survives) relatively small.

            It's not a bad first generation design, but not really the type of ground-up design required to make a viable, mass-produced/mass-market EV.

            I'd just like to add EVs will be only one solution to the transportation/CO2 quagmire the US is in and it would be far wiser to to focus more attention and investment on mass transit.

            OK, that said, you may now HR me for spouting heritcal commie propaganda.

            Cheers !

            Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

            by koNko on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:54:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  okay, you heretic you, i hope we can have both:) (5+ / 0-)

              esp. b/c it is apparently hard enough for everyone to give up their gas guzzlers, much less imagine traveling with the whole world(!).

              i read somewhere that small cars are not selling now that gas is cheap again.  i can only say that i hope it is because NO cars are selling, not because peeps aren't buying small cars.  But on the evening news i saw this local story about how happy this dude was to get a brand new big pick up truck at such a low price!!! OMG!!! i can still buy a gas guzzling soldier killing piece of junk for $25,000 instead of $40,000!  

              i don't really know how much they cost, but i just coudn't believe that 1.  the guy was so happy, and 2. that the news thought it made a good story.

              •  why are peeps so gullible? n/t (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                malharden, polar bear
              •  I'm not against it. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                polar bear

                I'm just dobutful it has much market potential at that price for what most Americans would consider a small vehicle.

                I consider it has to compete with some hybrids costing less and being a bit more flexible, so people will usually take the path of least resistance.

                Sure, lots of people will (at least last year) plunk down $50k or more for a cowboy Caddalac or crazy shit like a Hummer, but that give them a bit more of a testosterone boost than an EV.

                Perhaps GM should morh it into a mini 4WD with lot's of chrome, nano-HummerTM?

                Really, I would like to see them survive and make something of Volt, GM actually got an early start in EVs, just doubt the current package is commerically viable.  Needs work.

                Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

                by koNko on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 01:07:11 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It can seat 7 with the removable seat in (6+ / 0-)

                  place. Here's an excerpt from this article:

                  Three different power configurations will be available, Mr. Musk said, "160-mile, 230-mile and 300-mile battery packs." The 160-mile pack comes standard on the $57,400 base model (a federal tax credit can shave $7,500 from the price). He declined to provide pricing for the longer-range battery packs, but said they could be rented or leased "if you wanted to go on a long trip, or something."

                  snip ...

                  the Model S would weigh "about 4,000 pounds" and have a top speed of more than 130 miles an hour, Mr. Musk said. It is said to accelerate from a standing start to 60 miles an hour in less than six seconds.

                  snip ...

                  "It has side-facing seats in the rear, like some station wagons once had," Mr. von Holzhausen said. "You can also fit a 50-inch plasma TV in there, a surfboard and other large objects — although not at the same time seven people are sitting in it. It’s one or the other."

                  Political Correctness Police: may your puckered, disapproving lips forever cover your donuts. Donuts don't hide inability to articulate.

                  by FeloniousMonk on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 04:56:58 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Rented or leased == painfully expensive (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    koNko, polar bear, FeloniousMonk

                    which is the nut in the electric drivetrain that nobody has cracked yet.

                    Tesla should absolutely get the funding, and I wish them the best in developing this car and continuing to refine it, but until someone makes a real breakthrough in battery technology EVs are going to be out of reach of most people.

                    In the meantime, I hope Obama is dead serious about funding public mass transit. That needs billions more in attention than Tesla and GM combined.

                    [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

                    by oldjohnbrown on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:07:56 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  There's science beginning to break about these (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      koNko

                      batteries. They are so expensive because of the materials they use (as in rare metals).

                      I'm reading, almost daily, of new science that can produce better results with common materials. "Better results" means, faster charges, more charges before replacement and more efficient delivery of power ... none of which is ready for prime time, but in the works. Personally, I'd like to see a good bit of money going there.

                      Keep an eye on Physorg.com.

                      Political Correctness Police: may your puckered, disapproving lips forever cover your donuts. Donuts don't hide inability to articulate.

                      by FeloniousMonk on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 12:00:18 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  EVs don't use rare metals. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        koNko

                        You're thinking of fuel cells, which is why fuel cell stacks cost six figures, versus the five figures of a large EV battery pack.  But even still, batteries have their cost limits.  The "traditional" li-ion cells (which Tesla uses) are limited by the price of cobalt, while the new, "automotive" li-ion cells (phosphates, spinels, titanates, etc) are limited by capital costs (random example: in the case of phosphates, the cathode components of lithium salts, phosphoric acid, iron powder, and sugar are all dirt cheap).  The interesting aspects, then, are twofold: one, the rash of several dozen new anode and cathode technologies, each of which could 1.5x to 10x the energy density of their respective electrode (i.e., if you increase the Wh without increasing the cost, your cost per Wh goes down); and two, the technologies to drastically reduce capital costs (other than mass production, which alone will significantly reduce capital costs).  A good example of the latter is Google-funded Actacell's new microwave technique for depositing phosphate cathodes in a matter of minutes, rather than the hours it currently takes.

                        •  Hunh ... we must be reading different journals (0+ / 0-)

                          You say:

                          The "traditional" li-ion cells (which Tesla uses) are limited by the price of cobalt,

                          Can you tell me how that contradicts my statement that the cost of rare metals has something to do with the batteries involved? Cobalt is relatively expensive, right?

                          I think you missed my point. I am not talking about fuel cells. I am talking about batteries, the very same ones you state use cobalt.

                          I'm sure you're very knowledgeable. But, please, try to accept the possibility that better tech is in the wings. You may even be an expert in your field, but, try to consider that material technology is advancing at speeds never before seen in history.

                          I'm sure you can give me the chemical formulae of every chemical to electricity reaction you know of. Do you know of ALL the possibilities, given that materials technology is advancing at such a rapid rate?

                          Political Correctness Police: may your puckered, disapproving lips forever cover your donuts. Donuts don't hide inability to articulate.

                          by FeloniousMonk on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 01:09:05 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't consider cobalt a "rare metal" (0+ / 0-)

                            Rare metals are things like gold, platinum, etc.  It's nowhere near them in terms of rarity or price.  Elemental cobalt (which isn't really required, but it's one of the more expensive forms, so let's go with it for sake of argument) is about $200/kg.  That's a lot when it comes to batteries, but not when it comes to metals.  Platinum, which is used in fuel cells, is about $40,000/kg.  And cobalt isn't even used in the type of cells that most EV manufacturers are looking at.

                            You may even be an expert in your field, but, try to consider that material technology is advancing at speeds never before seen in history.

                            Where have I said otherwise?  I just said pretty much the same thing.  I was simply correcting your statement that rare metals are involved.

                          •  Ok, if "it's a lot when it comes to batteries", (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            koNko

                            and it's batteries we're discussing, you can see why I say it's expensive.

                            There are now materials coming up through various materials science programs that look as if they can be mass produced using mass nano-processes with common (carbon, iron, etc.) materials.

                            As I said earlier, check out physorg.com ...

                            I'm sure you're an expert. I'm not. Maybe you'll get the time to look at some of the information in the reference I cite.

                            Have a nice day.

                            Political Correctness Police: may your puckered, disapproving lips forever cover your donuts. Donuts don't hide inability to articulate.

                            by FeloniousMonk on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 04:27:56 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  FYI (0+ / 0-)

                            Cnf have great basic experimental results but the problem is how to scale-up to production, including the need to contain fibers which, in the size range presently required, are about as dangerous as asbestos (EU presently drafting some restrictions).

                            There are a lot of researchers working on this technology so it will come along, but it's not going to be very near-term. The cells presently reported are actually just proof-of-concept devices, needs a bit more development time.

                            Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

                            by koNko on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:00:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Shall we use the term "Rare Earth"? (0+ / 0-)

                            Which has a well established definition verses "Rare Metal" which is vague?

                            Indeed, cobalt is relatively expensive, so the question is, how much is required?

                            In most cases it's used as a thin film coating, doping agent or alloy in small fraction so the unit cost might not be so high.

                            But in any bulk process, it would be very expensive and in short supply.

                            Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

                            by koNko on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:54:17 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Actually, several compeating technologies (0+ / 0-)

                        But they won't be quite ready to commericalize in the near term so I would expect the cost and weight penalty to persist for awhile. I personally think the best current candiate is Cnf but this is also pretty much at the back of the pack in terms of development timeline.

                        BTW, another site you may want to track is physicsforumsDOTcom. I work in materials science/microelectronics so track this technology closely and this is a great blog.

                        Fundamentally, the challanges are charge density and charge/discharge rate vs heat dissipation (joule heating).

                        Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

                        by koNko on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:47:51 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  How often would you use the space? (0+ / 0-)

                    If it's not very often, a smaller, lighter, cheaper car would be better, particularly for the environment (4,000lb is a lot of weight to drive around with 1.2 passengers).

                    Certianly there is some market for this car and I'd rather see sports car buyers chose this than something like a corvette. No question.

                    But my point is this; the market for sports cars is limited and while some small companies have succeeded in that market, I question the risk and return to taxpayers to pour in billions as the diarist suggests. This is the domain of VCs and IPOs.

                    To be frank, Tesla does not have the technology or resources to to design or manufacture cars for a mass-market. It is a small, start-up engineering company not an auto manufacturer; the distance between those points is very great and the world doesn't need new auto companies, it needs fewer and better ones. The industry is poised for another round of serious consolidation (already happening).

                    If they could succeed as a niche player, that's great.

                    Do they have compelling EV technology that has advantages over what others have/are developing?  I don't know about that but feel free to elaborate.

                    Lacking a significant and promising technology portfolio, how do we justify big investment?

                    I'm an R+D Director. More experiments fail than succeed. Some great ideas have poor timing. Once you get to the edge of a marketable technology or product, a day of reckoning ("commercial motive") comes and it is a very importiant part of the process that constitutes responsible, due dilligence. For that reason, as I fight for funding to support the process and promising ideas, I'm always thinking:

                    A. What is this?
                    B. What can we do with it?
                    C. What is good/bad when/where/how?
                    D. What proof do we have?
                    E. How do I justify it's existance?

                    That avoids a lot of hardship for everyone by not going too far or in the wrong direction.

                    Tesla has already run through a lot of VC and pretty much developed the end product. So what justifies public spending?  And is there another company with better ideas? Maybe both?

                    I think the basic questions are what is their technology, how good is it and how can it be used for a product line of EVs?

                    Because, they are not an auto manufacturer, they are an engineering shop.

                    Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

                    by koNko on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:27:37 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Lexus sells a lot of IS. BMW sells lotsa 3series. (10+ / 0-)

                  I think that sometimes folks here err in thinking that the Volt and the Tesla 4-door are targeted at them.

                  In order to break into the market these cars (more tesla than chevy) need to be sold at a price point (read: profit margin) that allows the companies to keep putting money into better R&D.

                  I think these cars are INTENTIONALLY built and prices to compete with BMW 3-Series, Lexus IS, Audi A4 and maybe even Mercedes C-Class.

                  No, it might not be targeted at the average american household just yet. But this does still constitute progress.

                  "Humor is a rubber sword -- it allows you to make a point without drawing blood." -- Mary Hirsch

                  by malharden on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 05:16:07 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I would buy this car right now (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    koNko

                    If it was available instead any of the above foreign vehicles. It's even got a 17" screen with wireless to boot. At $50k-$60k this car would compete with the A6/E-Series/5-series/ES set.

                  •  To Clarify. (0+ / 0-)

                    My viewpoint is not well elaborated in the comment above but is elsewhere. We can reduce it to this:

                    A. There is a market for these cars, but I think it will be relatively small. If Tesla can become a profitable company within that market, great.
                    B. The failure rate for such companies is very high and scaling up business beyond a certian point is a significant challange. The only possibiloity I see is they would get bought by a larger auto company since they woulodn't have the capital or credit line to do otherwise.
                    C. Tesla is not an auto manufacturer, it's an enginering company. The distance between these points is great, and suffice it to say we don't need more auto companines we need less (and better).
                    D. They have a working, marketable, handmade product that will attract some buyers. Where does that lead? In other words, what is/how good is their technology?  Not the bits bought from others, the technology they own. I suppose a Patent search could answer that.

                    "D" is the critcal question. This, and this alone would justify large-scale public investment or not. This needs due dillegence from qualified practitioners.

                    Often public money get's thrown at someone's hot idea. If there's nothing there, the cash dissapears into the void.

                    Tesla has burned through a lot of VC. If their technology is very compelling, I don't understand why they wouldn't attract more.

                    I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade. I really do wish them success, they have worked pretty hard at it.

                    But in the context of this Diary subject, I have to ask question D.

                    DEBATE!

                    Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

                    by koNko on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:15:41 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  I just need a car that (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  polar bear

                  sits higher off the ground.  I live in the sticks where most of the roads outside the little town center are still gravel and dirt.  Road grading is a hit or miss proposition, so bottoming out is a regular occurrence.  I still haven't repaired the AC guts where a rock punched a hole through it.

                  Cost is a major factor as well.  The starting price for these vehicles is not much less than what I paid for my house.  But the car companies don't give you 30 years to pay it off.

                  The apocalypse will require substantial revision of all zoning ordinances. - Zashvill Political compass -7.88 -7.03.

                  by Heiuan on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 05:45:31 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Ironically, the Hummer is so big (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  polar bear, cdub24

                  that it could be crammed with loads of batteries and become a impressive hybrid or all electric platform. But I am firmly convinced that part of the "draw" of the Hummer was the obscenely low fuel efficiency.

                  Single Payer...NOW!!!

                  by Egalitare on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:12:08 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Gullible or not............... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                polar bear

                ......... buying the dinosours will probably turn into a resale nightmare.

                Unless, of course some bright spark invents a conversion pack, which the larger sedan or pick up might be able to accommodate. Possibly even combine the ev and gas/flex fuel conversion for the combustion engine side. Or Diesel/biofuel + ev conversions.

                Just an idea for the change over times. Most of us are not flush with cash, to start making any changes. Never mind $50,000 type changes.

                NY State Comptroller says employee compensation............. 1. Auto Industry = 10% 2. Financial sector =60%

                by socks on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 05:55:25 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  luntz wanted 20K (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              polar bear

              slid to 30 and is fighting for 40k

              George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

              by nathguy on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:38:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Since when is it projected to be $50K? (0+ / 0-)

              The price range has been fluctuating wildly, mostly from $35k to $45k.  And that's pre-tax-credit, unlike the Model S's $50k post-tax-credit price.

              But honestly, I prefer Aptera.  The Aptera 2e's pre-tax-credit-price starts at $25k (and goes up to $40k, depending on options).  Two seats (but very roomy), huge cargo area, 100-120 miles depending on driving style, 0-60 in "under 10 seconds" (the current model is just under 8), the braking distance of a Mustang GT, the cornering radius of a Porsche Boxter, a composite shell that can easily take sledgehammer blows from a grown man without damage, and is so incredibly streamlined (drag under half that of the Prius) that it uses a little over half as much power per mile as competitors like the Volt, the Roadster, or the Model S.  And less power per mile means faster charging times on a given amount of power input, and also that you can power your car with far fewer solar panels on your roof.  :)

              I can't wait until my number comes up.  I'm going to try to get my father, who is the CEO of a major oil refiner, to drive it to work one day   ;)

          •  correct (8+ / 0-)

            it will get 120+mpg when using gas.

            Now for a quick lesion in what a plug in is.

            rather than current hybrids which switch from batter/electric mode to tradition mode with a combustion engine.

            it will be a pure electric, but have a small gas engine to recharge the batter for trips beyond the range of the car.

            So the Volt would have a 40-80 mile range, enough to get someone to or from work/school in a normal day, example my home in Canton Michigan is about 24 miles from GM World HQ in downtown Detroit, A Volt driver from Canton would likely not need any gas at all to reach the city center and get back unless they had a few trips on the side and then they would be going at 120+mpg which means they could make that round trip 2.5 times per gallon of gas.

            Pure electric cars like that from Tesla, have no Gas back up and fall under the same restrictions at the electric cars of the later 1890s and early 1900s, that of range. Lets say i want to take a road trip from Detroit to Chicago about 300 mileish so i'd get there but where would i recharge?

            -Gabe

            •  That's like worrying if there will be gas (12+ / 0-)

              for sale when you get to Detroit.

              Lets say i want to take a road trip from Detroit to Chicago about 300 mileish so i'd get there but where would i recharge?

              Here in Norway, there are already hotels with facilities for charging electric cars -- which ride the roads tax and toll free.

              Why can't I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold cold heart. ~ H. Williams

              by Andhakari on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 11:19:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's what the OP meant... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Eddie L

                I believe.  This technology will be truly viable in America only when the recharging facilities are easily accessible across the country.  Right now, Detroit has gas stations, but no recharging stations.  Let's get the recharging stations built at the same time in the areas where the cars are to be introduced.  

                The apocalypse will require substantial revision of all zoning ordinances. - Zashvill Political compass -7.88 -7.03.

                by Heiuan on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 05:52:59 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I doubt if anyone built a gas station (3+ / 0-)

                  before there were cars on the road.  That would have been a lonely job.  I suppose mechanics and blacksmiths started keeping some gas in the garage or barn for the well-off client who went out and got an horseless carriage to supplement the traditional variety.
                  In any event, it will be incremental on both sides.  Rome wasn't built in a day, and the auto/petroleum industries didn't destroy public transportation and the inner city overnight either.

                  Why can't I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold cold heart. ~ H. Williams

                  by Andhakari on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:07:17 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Well, I'd worry about that . . . (0+ / 0-)

                isn't Detroit close to being a Mad Max type free-for-all?

                Not much fuel for sale there for the meek and mild types (like myself), although I suppose some would be able to come by some.

            •  No doubt, as this technology........ (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sychotic1

              ........ takes hold, filling stations, parking garages, hotels, motels, even possibly work sites will set up recharge stations where people park.

              The pioneers might have some close calls, but eventually recharge stations will pop-up all over.......... if the technology takes hold of the market and we are not 1st plunged into 3rd world status, where poverty sustinance is more than 3/4 of the population.

              NY State Comptroller says employee compensation............. 1. Auto Industry = 10% 2. Financial sector =60%

              by socks on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 06:04:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  In other words... (10+ / 0-)

          This is not something special that you have to get from the power company.  It is already delivered to your house.  However, if you do not have an outlet and do not feel comfortable working with electricity, you may need to hire a licensed electrician.

          If you do feel comfortable working with electricity and you have an outlet in your kitchen, for example, that isn't being used (you have a gas stove), it's really pretty easy to simply move the outlet using the existing breaker.  Again, if any of this scares you, hire an electrician.  If you don't know what you are doing, this will fuck you up (200 amps or so).

          Also, in the United States, we are talking 220 (2 x 110), not 240.

        •  Most houses.... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus, buckhorn okie, pgm 01, Lujane

          ...have one 240 volt outlet, two in the case of an electric dryer.  If a house is set up for gas, it's entirely possible that there won't be any 240 volt plugs at all.  This is hardly 'regular.'  

          •  It's regular (0+ / 0-)

            Insofar as you could walk into a hardware store and buy the needed outlet. You can also call any electrician in the phone book and they'd be able to install one for you.  

            It's not exotic technology by any stretch of the imagination.

            Hey guys! There's a word for bad assets, they're called liabilities!

            by mataliandy on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:32:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Only the US and Japan have such crazy system (5+ / 0-)

          Sensible countries have 5 wire delta 380V 2P+N+E

          Oh never mind, Americans hate SI units too, I don't know why I bother.

          Ignore me.

          Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

          by koNko on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:47:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, HUGE ERROR (10+ / 0-)

            Oh Christ, what a F'n embarrassment.

            That should read ...

            "...5 wire delta 380V 3P+N+E ..."

            ... 2P ... heh. Crazy system indeed.

            Hit the button then notice the typo, isn't that the correct procedure?

            Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

            by koNko on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:58:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  To be fair (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              koNko

              We do use SI units for energy.  That isn't the caus of us using a different system for our power grid.  What the actual reason is I don't know but since we use SI units for energy/power/potential ect it isn't because of our insane units, and the Japanese use SI units.

              That said, as a physics student, I'd love it if the US would just switch to the SI system.  It would make life so much simpler in the long run.

              "It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said." "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

              by Quanta on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:13:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Great Username for a Physics Student. (0+ / 0-)

                Materials Science/Surface Science myself.

                Most of the world does use SI units as a official system, often in tandem with traditional measures. For example, here in China everything must be SI but if you buy fish or vegetables in a wet market traditional weight (catty, approx 0.5kg) and traditional tool (bamboo stick scale) are used.

                Lots of countries have some amusing UOMs, like UK/Aus use "stone" which is a relatively large increment on human scale.

                And some industries still seem to use legacy systems, for examole, in microelectronics we measure feature size in um or nm but process 4", 8", 12",16" wafers.

                I found the US is quite odd in the sense that scientific or engineering people generally use or understand SI units but lay people generally don't.

                The US really ought to convert considering the official international meter standard is now a Laser in a cave in Colorado not a Pt stick in a Paris basement.

                Cheers.

                Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

                by koNko on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 01:16:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  We're on the 120V standard... (0+ / 0-)

            because of incandescent light bulbs.  :P  Lighting was initially the primary purpose of electricity, and it's cheaper and easier to make a 120V incandescent one with higher voltage.  :P

        •  Strictly speaking (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oldjohnbrown, Sychotic1

          "normal" US house wiring is single phase with a center tapped transformer. If you measure from the center tap (white neutral wire) to the other wires (red or black usually) you get 120V. Between the read and black wires you get 240V.

          Commercial stuff in the US is usually three phase.

        •  Is this true for a home built around 1920 or b4? (0+ / 0-)

          just wondering

          Listen to Ray Taliaferro on KGOradio.com, 1 a.m.-5 a.m. Pacific time, M-F

          by SoCaliana on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:39:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Just to clarify... (6+ / 0-)

      The current cost? That is the part that would need serious government and private investment to bring down (the former would encourage the latter):
      around 50,000 dollars.

      Are you saying that the price is currently around 50K or that you believe the price can come down to 50K with enough government and private investment?

    •  More Tesla (13+ / 0-)

       title=

      I think Bill in Portland Maine would love this Tesla drop-top.

      Sec. Shinseki deserves our best ideas to re-make the VA. Make them practical, affordable, and effective.

      by llbear on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:21:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope (6+ / 0-)

        Hasn't got a wet bar or a Facebook hot button, and the optional Daughters of the American Revolution Ejector SeatTM costs an addition $50K, I doubt Kos members ould finance that.

        Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

        by koNko on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:02:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Optional wet bar... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          llbear, hillgiant

          Came with a car called the Phantom Corsair. It had sat four passengers in front and two in back because its designer and builder, Rust Heinz (of the Heinz ketchup family) installed a beverage cabinet in the back and needed space for it.

          Only one was ever made, due to WWII--it used aluminum for the body. Now, someone should get the rights to copy the design and put out an electric version of it. It had features in the late '30s that would be fairly cutting edge even now.

          Bail out Studebaker.

          by AustinCynic on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 06:01:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry, Tesla isn't an auto company (21+ / 0-)

      and doesn't merit billions of US government investment any more than GM.

      The money would be far better spent rebuilding and improving mass-transit for high density urban areas and high speed inter-city express, which would actually deliver short and long term value by creating jobs, injecting capital directly into the economy rather than covering the systematic debt and weakness of outmoded companies, providing a foundation for very significant reductions of CO2 emissions, and providing reliable transportation for a majority of Americans.

      Folks, don't even bother argue about people living in low density areas, there is already an inventory of cars and trucks sufficient to stop their complaining for the next hundered years.

      The best outcome for Tesla would be to get bought by Ford who could use their designs to jump-start their EV program while focusing R+D on newer, better technology for the future.

      About my post title: Tesla is an engineering company that builds cars, not a car company with engineers. There is a very great difference.

      Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

      by koNko on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:42:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Imagine Tesla design with GM muscle (11+ / 0-)

        and you would get a great product.  Electric cars aren't new, they are about 100 years old, and they work.  I like to look at total operating costs, and in that context, electric cars glow bright green.  Consider repairs and maintenance for an internal combustion engine versus an electric englne:  there are practically no maintenance costs for an electric engine, while an internal combustion engine will eat you alive.  Think about your fridge or washing machine, and figure out how much you spend on tune-ups, oil changes, and other regular engine maintenance over 10 years - and it's probably zero.  Consider your similar combustion engine car's costs over the same 10 years, and it's way more.

        Now, do you remember the EV-1, the electric car GM built (because they were made to do so).  It was great, people loved it, and then GM killed it.  You know why if you watched the movie "Who killed the electric car?".  They still must have all the engineering plans and designs, so they are ready to go tomorrow.  The Volt may be great, but the EV-1 is ready to go.  Imagine the government telling GM that they need to convert a bunch of assembly lines to producing lots of EV_1 (or should we say EV-2 models) right now as a condition of getting any more money.  

        I could go on, but this is not rocket science.    

        I am a socialist, therefore, I am.

        by Zinman on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:53:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If GM built it (6+ / 0-)

          they'd try to make it into a Firebird or a Monticarlo, weighing an extra 1,000 pounds for "security".
          GM is like the arms industry.  Someone gets a good idea, and everybody jumps on board with their own notions, and pretty soon you can't remember what it was that you were trying to accomplish in the first place.

          Why can't I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold cold heart. ~ H. Williams

          by Andhakari on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 11:31:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I wouldn't wish GM on my worst enemy (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          k9disc, oldjohnbrown

          I don't hate Tesla, really I don't. It's just a little start-up.

          Why I suggest Ford as a better potential partner is they may actually be more interested since they are lagging behind on EV while GM already has it's own technology that would never get killed, and they are in no position to buy anyone.

          Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

          by koNko on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 01:10:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ford (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            steve04, koNko

            Has licensed a bunch of Toyota technology, iirc.

            •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

              Very interesting. That's good news, that's an excellent partneship. Although Ford stumbled badly about 5 years ago, they are actually the most progressive and globally oriented (small than GM but more localized and collaborative) American car company and the one with the best chance of revival.

              It's also interesting in the context of Japanese industrial relationships since Toyota/GM and Mazda/Ford have been historical partnerships with cross-holdings (Ford is the largest sharholder of Mazda) and these lines are not easily crossed. However, given Toyotas current No. 1 position and strength-to-strength trajectory, they might just want a strange bedfellow strategic partnership with an American auto company as a hedge (as Apple, in it's dark days was to Microsoft) and means to stablize supply-chains which are in really terrible shape. "Shall we dance?"

              Actually, my favorite auto compnay, Daihatsu, is part of the Toyota group and plays a key role in the development of micro/mini car lines & technology, including the engine for Prius.

              Daihasu & Suzuki make the best micros/minis, but I got to say Daihatsu has the more interesting products.

              Want a great platform for an EV sports coupé? Forget the heavy iron like Tesla, go for a Daihatsu Copen (JP).

              Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

              by koNko on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 06:57:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I would rather they stay separate (0+ / 0-)

        Anything going into the big 3 will end up crap.

        There are bagels in the fridge

        by Sychotic1 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 11:05:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for the diary. I've been onto Tesla for (7+ / 0-)

      a couple years now. They're going at it the right way. They're starting by making a high-quality car, and then will start reducing the price while maintaining the quality, instead of making a low-quality, inexpensive car, and then trying to improve the quality while maintaining the price.

      I never forget a face, but I'll make an exception in your case. -Groucho Marx

      by Big Danny on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:43:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  GOOD Lookin' Baby! They also need a kid hauler. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heiuan, SciMathGuy

      An eye for and eye makes the whole world blind - Mahatma Gandhi Find me @ politicook.net

      by TX Scotia on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:15:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Um I think i diaried this (6+ / 0-)

      -8.88 -6.77 "Listen, read , think, relax, calm down, SHUT THE FUCK UP!" -Bill Hicks

      by waitingforvizzini on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 01:50:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Looks like a Porsche Panamera (0+ / 0-)

       title=

      But plagiarism is the highest form of flattery, after all.

      "Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. (...) Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." Abraham Lincoln

      by aufklaerer on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 03:04:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  tipped & rec'd but I like compressed air better.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ProgressiveTokyo, Egalitare

      ...too bad France invented it, manufactures it, and holds all the international patents for it, though. Seeing how most Americans never forgave them for opposing Bush's war of aggression against Iraq. It's really a shame, too! Because compressed air is a renewable resource. And it's FREE!
      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

      by ImpeachKingBushII on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 04:29:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd rather see tax breaks for buyers of the car.. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mataliandy, highacidity, Heiuan, nathguy

      ...than direct aid to the company.

      Actually, tax breaks for buyers of all electric cars. That way you're favoring a technology, but not a company.

      •  I'd like the price (0+ / 0-)

        to eventually be low enough that tax breaks aren't needed.  Besides, I'll never get that tax break.  Not enough income.  It's all about me, you see.  :D

        The apocalypse will require substantial revision of all zoning ordinances. - Zashvill Political compass -7.88 -7.03.

        by Heiuan on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 06:00:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you would get a tax credit (0+ / 0-)

          everyone gets those.

          George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

          by nathguy on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:30:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What I meant (0+ / 0-)

            was that the tax break would amount to nothing for me, as I only rarely owe taxes.  Being mostly poor will do that to a person.  I'm the person the rethugs were whining about when they say "some folks don't pay taxes."  It's easy to do, when you only make about $15K a year.

            The apocalypse will require substantial revision of all zoning ordinances. - Zashvill Political compass -7.88 -7.03.

            by Heiuan on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 11:05:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Tips for green technology, yes, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      keikekaze

      no tips for electric vehicles because my electricity comes from coal burning plants that got the coal from mountaintop removal: NOT green. When all electricity comes from wind and solar, then I will rejoice with you about electric cars.

      I woke up this morning, so I must still be alive. - DKos BFSkinner

      by Audri on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 05:37:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is it really green? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mikolo

      Depends on how the electricity is generated, doesn't it?  If it requires building lots of new nuke plants and coal plants, no thanks to electric cars.

      The batteries themselves are pretty nasty, too, from manufacture to disposal.

      How much energy is used in manufacturing a car? If we really wanted to be green, we'd be keeping VW Golfs (50mpg highway), Honda Civics (43 mpg highway) and other existing fuel efficient cars in good working order and not manufacturing any more of the damn things.

      If you want to be green, reduce, reuse, recycle -- in that order.

      •  Even if it were charged (5+ / 0-)

        with electricity from coal plants, the total c02 emissions would be far lower than for an ICE.  Any centralized power plant benefits from economy of scale, and from a single CO2 emission point that can be controlled better via scrubbers and the like.  

        So worst case scenario is that EVs dramatically cut CO2 emissions.  If they are charged with solar, wind, or geothermal generated electricity, their CO2 emissions become negligible.  (except of course the CO2 required to build the car, the electric transmission infrastructure, and the solor panels or whatever).  

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:49:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Tesla makes trophy cars for the elites (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nathguy

      Why should they receive my taxes ?  They have made maybe 200 cars since they were founded.  They have no mass production capacity and no proven track record in reliable quality manufacture.

      If they were smart they'd remain a pioneering design studio and sell these designs to Detroit.  That would help everyone, including the tax payer.

      Government for the people, by the people

      by axel000 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:26:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're assuming "Detroit" would embrace it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theran

        My money is on Tata or one of the Chinese auto "hot houses" to beat them to the punch.

        Single Payer...NOW!!!

        by Egalitare on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:34:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then they'll ask for another bailout (0+ / 0-)

          Rinse and repeat. It might be cheaper to just pay the employees to sit around.

          •  I'm not opposed to that (0+ / 0-)

            The very questionable way in which we calculate and report such things as "unemployment" and "productivity" lead me to not very cynically suggest that many of us don't need to be "gainfully employed" in order to produce the goods and services needed.

            I would gladly embrace a WPA 2.0

            Single Payer...NOW!!!

            by Egalitare on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 12:36:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Not exactly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Egalitare

        They are like "cultured" diamond manufacturers. They make jewel diamonds to finance R&D to make semiconductor quality diamonds.

        Tesla makes a $90,000 roadster to finance development of a $50,000 luxury sedan to finance development of a $30,000? basic sedan. They could decide they are happy just making the other two, but if they have any ambition they are looking to get to the point of selling millions of affordable electric cars.

    •  A-fucking-men. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Civic spirit drowns in a hurricane of mere survivalism - McKenzie Wark

      by cfaller96 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:27:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've been following Tesla for over two years now. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1, rossl

      I wanted their first car, but they raised the price from 80k to over 100k..

      I've been waiting for this sedan for a while and at 50k, i think it's a good starting point but would love to see the goverment help kick start this.

      If this car was around 30k, we can easily win the electric car war.

    •  Sorry but... (0+ / 0-)
      investing a ton of our money in a $50,000 car that virtually no one will be able to afford in the foreseeable future doesn't sound like a plan to me. I don't see that investment of any kind of going to be able to bring the cost down to under $15,000 which is about what it would have to be to have traction in the current economic climate. This is all nice, but it's very pie-in-the-sky.

      Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

      by anastasia p on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:09:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree that with more funding, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1

      the figures they give might come true, BUT I saw a Tesla tested on Top Gear, and the only way it would get 300 miles between charges is if you drove it like the proverbial "grandma that only drove it to church on Sundays." Also, during their testing of it, the one they were testing quit working and they had to continue testing with a backup car. The acceleration and handling were impressive but I was more than a little disappointed with the difficulties they were having with a "production-ready" car.

      Don't get me wrong, I'm with you on funding them. I think with a little more cash and research, the Tesla could be poised to be America's leader in all-electric car technology.

      [-6.25, -5.59] ♪♫ I feel it in my fingertips... It's pulling at my skin...

      by Phil N DeBlanc on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:16:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Or we could install Tesla's management . . . (0+ / 0-)

      . . . at GM, and keep the bailout money in place.  Thus, the brains meet the infrasctructure, and the Detroit autoworkers, who have done nothing wrong, get to keep their jobs.

      "If elections really changed anything, they would be outlawed."--Emma Goldman

      by keikekaze on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 12:43:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  part of the bailout package to Detroit should (25+ / 0-)

    DEMAND green everything, as green as it can get.

    Good job, PorgressiveTokyo!

  •  WOW! (10+ / 0-)

    Nice ride...i'll take one...

    They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. - Andy Warhol

    by reesespcs on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 07:48:45 PM PDT

  •  Actually, they're projecting a price (7+ / 0-)

    of $57,500, with a federal tax rebate brining out of pocket cost down to fifty grand.
    Mark my words though, they'll never deliver this car for that price.

    Smug, virus free, Mac using bastard.

    by jazzmaniac on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 07:48:58 PM PDT

  •  I only want to give them 100K (4+ / 0-)

    But until I have the 100K to give them, I won't be able to buy their 4 door electric.

    Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 07:50:45 PM PDT

    •  And people bitch about the volt! n/t (3+ / 0-)

      Comments that say "GM workers should get retraining" without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come are trollworthy

      by LordMike on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:27:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Tesla's original development plan... (7+ / 0-)

      ... was to begin by developing the technology and process by manufacturing the verrrry pricey roadster, which they've done.

      Next is to go one step further and make a "luxury" sedan, which is what this diary is about.

      Then they will make a much more affordable model. So I guess the knowledge and manufacturing capacity gained at each step will help bring down the price.

      I wish the diarist would add this to the diary, so all the people bitching about Tesla's "elitist" cost could see there is a plan to make a more affordable auto.

      I'm rooting for them, and hopefully when my trusty 2000 base model civic is ready to be replaced, I will have some interesting choices ;-)

      •  It bugs me that many readers expect.... (5+ / 0-)

        ....a startup like Tesla to begin by trying to tackle mass production of an inexpensive consumer car (with low profit margin) right off the bat.

        This is a startup company. They don't have the money to do what some folks seem to be expecting.

        They don't have the money or PPE (property/plant/equipment) to mass-produce a $12k electric economy car TODAY.

        Progress is progress, folks. If we want them to stay in business we have to either give them stimulus bux or allow them to do what they can afford to do, when they can afford to do it.

        Progressives are great, but you can't please 'em. :-)

        "Humor is a rubber sword -- it allows you to make a point without drawing blood." -- Mary Hirsch

        by malharden on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 05:22:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The one thing that Tesla understands (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          highacidity, ProgressiveTokyo

          is that people don't want to drive ugly or weird looking cars. They are trying to make an electric car sexy and succeeding, IMO. They are trying to get more wealthy people to finance the next step down. I think it is a good plan. There is no way I can afford a Tesla - that base model with tax credit still costs 2 years of my take home pay - but I am still rooting for them even if they never make a car in my pauper price range.

          Feingold did not vote to convict Clinton. Kucinich did not bankrupt Cleveland.

          by zett on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 03:47:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Good diary. n/t (7+ / 0-)

    "Go well through life"-Me (As far as I know)

    by MTmofo on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 07:54:06 PM PDT

  •  We could BUY GM and hand it over to Tesla (11+ / 0-)

    for less than we've spent trying to bail it out.

    In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican. - H.L. Mencken

    by Simian on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 07:54:07 PM PDT

    •  To what purpose? (7+ / 0-)

      Saddle it with debt and a huge footprint a small company can't handle?

      Giving stimulus for R&D or to ramp up production for small companies that won't get really big for the next 5--10 years would make more sense.  GM needs to be sorted out on its own right away.

      "Dream for just a second and then do it!" -- Kolmogorov

      by theran on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:31:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It wouldn't be a good idea, I'm just sayin'. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zett

        Point being, the capital value of GM is less than the value of the taxpayer funded loans made.  Just as with the bank bailouts, we could have nationalized GM for a lot less than we've spent propping it up.

        OTOH, if Tesla had the rights to GM's chassis and suspensions, and a few factories, I have no doubt they could turn out a line of GM full-electrics within two or three years.  After all, the Tesla roadster is basically a re-skinned Lotus Elise with an electric powertrain.  Not to say that a radical switch to electrics would "save" GM.  All the car companies are being pummeled right now.  Contrary to the mainstream wisdom that they made unpopular vehicles, GM and Chrysler's real problem is that they were already in weak financial shape when the financial crisis hit.

        In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican. - H.L. Mencken

        by Simian on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 12:47:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That makes about as much sense as buying Tesla (0+ / 0-)

      and handing it over to GM. None, that is.

      Or did I miss something?

  •  Disagree... Let Tesla Succeed (10+ / 0-)

    damn that is a Hot looking car!

    Let Tesla sink or swim on its own.. if there's any
    subsidy it should be a healthy tax break for the car purchaser and subsequent battery purchases if any.

    if there's to be any money invested in the company, let it come from the people with the wealth in the U.S... we keep hearing how they are "investing" in America, let them prove it.

    http://www.betterplace.com/

    "AIG: A bottomless pit masquerading as an insurance company". The Economist.

    by Superpole on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 07:54:16 PM PDT

  •  $50,000?!? (26+ / 0-)

    Wow, the price has to drop substantially for people to be able to afford this.  

    While I love the idea, I fear that most people would never be able to afford this.  We need affordable green technology.  While the car is a great start, but we've got a long way to go.

    Also, we definitely should be giving money to companies that are developing green technology.  I thought that this was part of Obama's stimulus plan, and I'm sad that it's not happening now.  We have car assembly experience in Detroit; can't we marry Detroit's mass production with this car's design?  

  •  Agreed. It is through new technology (9+ / 0-)

    development that new jobs will be created. I would go one further and suggest a teaming up of Tesla with "Better Place" to ensure their battery is compatible with the company which intends building drive up, change over stations.

    This would help change things for the better and there is no reason why the factories which GM are currently mothballing cannot be retrofit to produce something the whole world will want.

    "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." Law of the Iroquois Confederacy

    by Unenergy on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 07:55:56 PM PDT

  •  Have you read about their management? (10+ / 0-)

    It's not pretty, and the VC financier is not helping matters.

    I don't have a link because I read about it in Newsweek.

    •  No, i havent heard (0+ / 0-)

      could you give us any more information that you remember?

      FDR: "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it."

      by Unseen majority on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:12:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is this the NewsWeek article youre talking about? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldjohnbrown, lightfoot, malharden

      The Electric Dream

      This article is from the Oct 29, 2007 issue of NewsWeek.

      The article does give an unflattering picture of one of the decisions made by the main Venture capitalist(at that time) Musk, but it also highlighted another choice he made that could be difficult to argue against.

      Namely, hiring an experienced manager to take the company from 300 employees to 3000 in 3 years. The main difficulty for Tesla though seems to be getting the testing done to have its cars certified street-legal by the federal government. Seems like bringing a car to market typically costs about a billion dollars and Tesla only had about 105 million.

      But this is an old article, and i think its first car, the 100k Roadster, has made it to market already. More googling is required it seems.

      FDR: "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it."

      by Unseen majority on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:39:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Okay but outside of Ben and Jerry's (4+ / 0-)

      Who has "Zen" management? This problem isn't Tesla, it's the ASSHOLES we assume are the best managers because of the way we instruct business education -- or more precisely the people who have historically funded the permanent professorships in most business schools.

      Single Payer...NOW!!!

      by Egalitare on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:57:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How True! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BoxNDox, Egalitare

        In every university in this country we have built temples dedicated to the worship of the false gods of greed and neoliberalism. Business schools teach neither science nor liberal arts, but rather a false religion based on the belief in the Almighty Invisible Hand.

        The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. -FZ

        by lightfoot on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:28:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Give that man a microbrew ! (6+ / 0-)

    Couldn't agree more and they need the money, too.

    I literally got a loan for a new car a few years ago, got disgusted at what little there was to offer me on the market, and wound up not buying a new car at all.  I gave the loan back, and I'm driving my 2000 into the ground until I can purchase something like a Tesla.

    We are living the Republicans' vision. Do you like what you see?

    by thenekkidtruth on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:00:01 PM PDT

  •  Tesla (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nathguy

    curious name for an untested car.  Tesla never did work out that wireless transmission of electricity thing did he?  Do they have a model that actually works?  Memory serves they were supposed to get these out about a year ago.

    No stimulation without regulation.

    by Publius2008 on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:04:11 PM PDT

  •  This company has a good concept too... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldjohnbrown, bnasley, polar bear

    Not sure if they are American...but...

    http://www.flytheroad.com/

  •  GM Once Had a EV (23+ / 0-)

    It was called the EV1 and they LEASED (would never sell it) in California. Then they killed it, and made all the owners give them back.  

    Here is the car they made:
    http://i150.photobucket.com/...
    EV1

    (Couldnt make it fit)

    It is their just desserts that they did that (which pissed off MANY of the owners who loved the EV1) and now Tesla might be the future, while they lay dying.

      •  They said they couldn't sell enough (12+ / 0-)

        to make it profitable, according to the Wiki.

        Maybe that's because they kept it a secret. It's not like they advertised it all over the place.

        But I have precious little sympathy for the shortsighted neanderthal management of the big car companies. They have trashed potential advances and stuck stubbornly to big, profitable, dirty cars for years, when it was plain decades ago that smaller, more efficient automobiles were where the world market was headed.

        I do, however, have much sympathy for the auto workers, who seem to be getting the short straw in this mess.

        Do the best you can in the place where you are, and be kind. -- Scott Nearing

        by Mnemosyne on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:42:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Oy!!! The urban legends abound! (10+ / 0-)

      Stop watching the damn movie and get some more facts.  The creator of the movie regrets it now... he says he was too hard on GM and is planning a sequel praising them...

      Moving past the romanticism... the car was a lemon... the windshield constantly leaked... the batteries overheated, and it suffered at least a dozen major recalls over several years...  Yes, it was different and cool... so was the DeLorean... that doesn't mean it was a good car.

      The reason why they had to take it off the road is 'cos of the liability of having essentially a prototype car that had no access to spare parts... and the batteries had a nasty tendency to explode.  Just what GM needed, and exploding electric car on the highways...

      Production costs for the EV-1 would have made the retail price tag about $90,000... too much, evne in mass production...

      California was moving towards the "hydrogen highway", remember?  So, GM  moved their recsources into hydrogen fuel cells.  GM was the industry leader in fuel cell technology!

      What was that?  Let me repeat...

      GM was the industry leader in fuel cell technology!

      In the 2000's, Governor Schwarzenegger was all about the hydrogen highway... pushing hydrogen as the alternative fuel in California.  GM complied and worked on many hydrogen models.  That initiative died, though...  But, GM tried... something the GM haters purposely forget.

      If you want to be mad at anyone, be mad at Toyota.  They had an all-electric RAV-4, too... better than the EV-1.  They stopped production at the same time, and nothing has been heard from them since...

      Yet, not a peep out of people's mouths about that... oh, 'cos they have a hybrid... big deal... hybrids still burn gas.  The RAV4 was totally clean...

      I'm waiting for the hate for Toyota for killing the electric car!

      ...crickets...

      Comments that say "GM workers should get retraining" without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come are trollworthy

      by LordMike on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:26:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you have any links? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CA Physics Grad

        Im interested in that side of the story which ive never heard before. The movie which i believe you are referencing, had owners who simply raved about the cars. No mention of exploding anything. They also talked about taking the cars in for maintenance and being out the door in fifteen minutes.

        Anyway, heres hoping you respond, because your characterization is different than any ive heard.

        FDR: "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it."

        by Unseen majority on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:10:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The batteries became unsafe after they got old... (3+ / 0-)

          ...which is one of many reasons GM took them off the road...

          This site is a very pro-EV1 site, and yet has facts that support GM's defense (even though the site owners disagree with their defense):

          http://ev1.org/

          My internet is acting up, so I can't find some of the other links...

          I am pro-EV1, too... but, most of the information out there is very one sided... I'm trying to provide some balance...  

          Comments that say "GM workers should get retraining" without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come are trollworthy

          by LordMike on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:36:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No problem :) (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LordMike

            Thats why i asked, i wanted that balance also. I seriously had never heard a bad word about the EV1 at all. The only reason id heard that GM didnt like the EV1 was because they were forced to build it(by either Prez Clinton or California) and CEO's hate to be told they have to do anything, by anyone, so i didnt have much sympathy for them.  

            Thanks for the link.

            FDR: "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it."

            by Unseen majority on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:45:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Great sig line (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LordMike, Chairman Bob

        The only people who are happy with their health insurance plan, haven't used it yet.

        by Hens Teeth on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:10:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's OK... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LordMike, malharden

        ...if they burn a small enough amount IMO.  If every car got 100 mpg, the ecosystem probably wouldn't be in the pickle it's in.  

        The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

        by Panurge on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:29:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No electric was the future until Bush came in (5+ / 0-)

        I was in congress as a staffer, write legislation for my boss in the House to support a tax break for the [all electric, 3 wheeled] Sparrow; and

        don't forget that Toyota Hybrids were already years on the market by 2001.

        Detroit simply did not want to go there. Busgh was subsidizing Hummers for gods sake.

        It was Bush and hiscorporate cronies who were pushing BS hydrogen fuel cells at the expense of electric or hybrid electric cars - knowing that this technology was years and years away while electricity and hybrids were at or close to road-ready

        Why? Detroit and the Bush administration simply did not want to go electric. Follow the money. short term profit for big trucks - and where profit was lacking, Bush subsidized them -

        ergo, the federally subsidized Hummer

        The Bush admins fought alongside Detroit to kill the California electric fleet standards.

        One of the last things that Bush and Co did when propping up Detroit at the end of the last admin [remember the Bush loan to Detroit?] was to ensure that some of the money could be used by Detroit to keep litigating against the California-plus-eleven-state EPA waivers.

        We will restore science to its rightful place....We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil .... All this we can do. And all this we will do.

        by puffmeister on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 03:26:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  They sure do! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ProgressiveTokyo

        So, the ev1 was different from your typical GM product how, exactly?  I keeed, I keeed.  Well, only a little.

        I think the reason you don't hear hate for Toyota is because they didn't kill the electric car--RAV4-EVs were available for sale (not lease), so owners could keep them.  Also, Toyota honored preexisting sales contracts long after the EV mandate expired.

      •  I don't blame GM for recalling the EV1 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lightfoot, cdub24

        I blame them for making the completely crappy EV1 in the first place. The EV1 was a badly engineered disaster. And please don't try and claim they could do no better - I'm an electrical engineer and I think I have a pretty good understanding of the issues involved. And besides, Toyota proved that wasn't the case with the RAV-4 EV.

        I also blame GM for having sold the patent for large format NiMH batteries to Chevron. This more than anything is what halted production of the RAV-4 EV.

        To the extent I blame Toyota for any of this killing the electric car stuff, I blame them for not spreading the word that you could purchase a RAV-4 EV instead of having to lease it. I stayed away from both the EV1 and RAV-4 EV because the only available option was a lease. I'm still kicking myself for not buying a RAV-4 when I could have. A friend of mine bought two and they are both still running great.

  •  Here's an idea (11+ / 0-)

    Subsidy for Tesla to rent out some idle factory space (and workers) in MI.

    •  They woudl be welcomed with open arms... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hens Teeth, elwior

      They'd have to accept the union, though, so fat chance...

      And Michigan just isn't "cool" enough for those guys, unfortunately...

      Comments that say "GM workers should get retraining" without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come are trollworthy

      by LordMike on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:28:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They had a tech center in Rochester (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        k9disc, LordMike, Chairman Bob

        for about a year. They closed it in what can only be described as a dick move:

        http://jalopnik.com/...

        •  They are startup. They have $$$ issues. (0+ / 0-)

          Ever work for a startup? Cash flow issues crop up every single month. And when you are VC-funded, those clowns show up every other month and demand you hop around and produce 50 reports on how the company is doing.

          Running a VC-funded startup actually requires some managerial talent, unlike being the CEO of a public behemoth company that has the market cornered.

          I'm just saying, you might want to cut them a little slack.

          "Humor is a rubber sword -- it allows you to make a point without drawing blood." -- Mary Hirsch

          by malharden on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 05:31:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Union isn't the problem with the big three (0+ / 0-)

        The pension and healthcare obligations they kept off the books (and therefore had no incentive to properly fund) for 30 freaking years is the problem.  Do not blame organized labor.  Blame unorganized management.  Sadly, thought, blame is not enough.  The bastards that made the mess are long long gone.

        One would assume that taking over an old plant would not require taking on these existing obligations.  For the current employees, maybe, but not past.

        Technologically, there are some differences between what the average plant works with and what a Tesla plant would need.  Body construction is (I assume) more composite and aluminum intensive than is currently standard practice.  The battery pack would require a bit different safety requirements, but not too far out of line with what they normally do.  The rest of it is "just a car".

        The "cool" factor is certainly a factor from an HR/management standpoint.  On the one hand, who wants to tell someone to move from San Jose to Flint?  On the other hand, do you have any idea what hell long distance manufacturing on a completely new product can be?

  •  Or joint venture (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, bnasley, polar bear

    Put together a joint venture with GM or Chrysler, gov energy/stimulus funds to get the venture started.

  •  Beautiful car (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, BP in NJ, polar bear

    Love how the windshield wraps over the top.

    that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. - Barack Obama

    by acuppajo on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:43:42 PM PDT

  •  that's silly to ask. That is not the status quo (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    0wn, bnasley, Hens Teeth

    and the Obama administration is in favor of keeping the status quo.

  •  Or could we maybe stop subsidizing cars? (9+ / 0-)

    I mean, I know it sounds crazy and all, but there's a small body of evidence to suggest that maybe mass transit has some advantages in terms of energy usage and costs.

    Guide to my comments: When in doubt, assume sarcasm.

    by Gray on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:45:37 PM PDT

    •  Mass Transit is fine if you live in a city. (13+ / 0-)

      Ever leave the city?   If you haven't it's most likely because that mass transit won't take you out of the city.

      Here in the hinterlands, there is no mass transit.

      McCain * Palin 08 - A Bridge To Nowhere!

      by Beelzebud on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:58:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's the point, isn't it? (10+ / 0-)

        Mass transit shouldn't just be about getting across the city, or getting to the city for work and play.  It should be about providing mobility to the entire population, whether they live in a rural district served by small buses and vans, or in a suburb served by regional transit or rail, or in a city with high speed rail connecting metro areas.  Provide easy connections between these systems, and suddenly it's possible to go car-free even if you live in the smallest town, or no town at all.

        Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some... farcical aquatic ceremony!

        by imatlas on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:13:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's one hell of an infrasturcture... n/t (0+ / 0-)

          Comments that say "GM workers should get retraining" without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come are trollworthy

          by LordMike on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:16:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  With one hell of a return (5+ / 0-)

            Verses the crumbling US highway infrastructure that consumes more tax dollars each year with no return in transportation capacity and with declining average transportation speed. Do a little research on this and you might find some surprising numbers.

            Throwing more money down that bottomless pit is really nonsensible when dollar for dollar, mass transit systems are cheaper to build and more efficient to run.  That's why so many countires are investing more into mass transit, when you haven't got a lot of money to waste, it's the best value.

            And think of all the jobs.

            Anyone can use mass transit. Rich or poor. At higher speed.

            Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

            by koNko on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:55:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Your heart is in the right place (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jxg, Zinman, LordMike, Chairman Bob, kurt, malharden

          ...but rural areas and small towns are too spread out to make it feasible. You can't take the trash to the dump, shop for a weeks worth of groceries, pick up the kids from the school dance, and go to the movies on a bus that would run during the day and only once every few hours. It doesn't work.

          Green cars are the way to do it.

          "It is often pleasant to stone a martyr, no matter how much we admire him"...John Barth

          by Giles Goat Boy on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:31:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So the greatest good .... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jxg, theran, Gray, k9disc

            ... is defined by the lowest population and the greatest distance to civilization?

            You are making a classic obstructionist argugemet based on faulty reasoning.

            Most of the people and most of the CO2 emissions are not in the countryside, they are in cities and suburbs. That's the problem to fix before global warming turns the countryside into a desert or swamp.

            Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

            by koNko on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 11:01:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You misunderstand (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              koNko

              I am only replying to this:

              It should be about providing mobility to the entire population, whether they live in a rural district served by small buses and vans...

              I am all for funding mass transit in densely populated cities. I've lived in the country, in small towns, large cities and one extremely large city. I took a train to work every day for six years. It was the fastest and cheapest way, but  van-pools and buses don't work in small towns like the one where I now reside.

              Sorry we can't all live in high rise buildings crowded together. Somebody has to grow the food.

              "It is often pleasant to stone a martyr, no matter how much we admire him"...John Barth

              by Giles Goat Boy on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:10:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Noted & Thanks for Clarification. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Giles Goat Boy

                Sorry if I misunderstood and mischaracterized your position as obstructionist.

                You don't need to apologize for living where you do. Farmers are the foundation of society, in China we have 600 million.

                In fact, when making the mass-transit argument we often get caught in this loop of arguing compeating interests, and we must define the terms and balance of the greatest good verses special needs.  In the US, obviously rural dwellers are the special case.

                However, may I offer an outside opinion (I am an outsider here)?

                What seems to be more neglected in the USA (and elsewhere) is the greatest good in terms of what serves the public interest verses private interest. The default position is the private interest, which incresingly means large corporations verses real people.

                When I comes to mass-transit, most Americans are reflexivly against it and define it only in negative terms, jumping to the conclusion "it can't happen here, it can't work here".

                I'll merely suggest that no region/country with a good mass-transit system started at that point, they are built over years, but a global trend is to increase public spending in this sector because it works.

                I'm very keen to see how serious the Obama Administration is about mass-transit, and how well policy is formulated and executed. I really hope for the best because it is in the long term public interest.

                Approached from the viewpoint of cap and trade, can we can cap and reduce the energy consuption of urban dwellers and trade that for better quality food from farmers?

                Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

                by koNko on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:02:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Meanwhile back in reality... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Zinman, LordMike, Chairman Bob, Fedallah

          Do you realize how many small buses, vans, and trains would be needed to service rural America?  I mean seriously, think about this for more than two seconds.

          It would take a fleet of vehicles as big as the privately owned vehicles we have now.   I'll keep my car, thank you.  

          I understand how the world seems if you've only lived in the city your whole life, but you can't take concepts that work wonderfully in a city, and try to apply them to the rural countryside in a country the size of the US.  

          McCain * Palin 08 - A Bridge To Nowhere!

          by Beelzebud on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:49:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And you shouldn't take what works for your (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jxg

            sliver of the country and insist that it be applied everywhere, either.

            It's incredibly frustrating that even starting a conversation about how best to fund transportation and infrastructure in this country brings in arguments like these.  Automobiles aren't any good in large cities, and yet we continue to pour money into them because those who resent cities say we shouldn't be tailoring any transportation for them.  But unlike rural America, there is actually a large number of people living in cities and suburbs, where we could build useful transit.

            Just complaining that this wouldn't work everywhere isn't a helpful argument.

            Guide to my comments: When in doubt, assume sarcasm.

            by Gray on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:09:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Ah, no (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gray

          People choose to live in rural districts which cannot be served by the same infrastructure as cities. That's their prerogative, but it is not theirs to demand that their lifestyle be made equally convenient as well.

      •  Self-fulfilling prophecy (6+ / 0-)

        You are making the usual obstructionist arguement.

        May I reply?

        1)Numuerous countries have well integrated mass transit systems that reach majority or at least econimically and environmentally significant populations with a mix of Urban & High Speed Intercity rail services connecting to bus and taxi services to outlying areas. It's proven, it's efficient, it works.

        2)Obviously it is not effective to use mass transity in very now density areas but that is not a reason not to use them elswhere.

        3)A majority of Americans live in urban or suburban areas that would benifit from building mass transit. They pay a majority of taxes and generate a majority of CO2 emissions, so the Greatest Good is served in doing so. I realize this concept is too "Socialist" for many Americans to accept, but it is workable and sensible, and you may not have a choice forever.

        4)Replacing what is now a crumbling auto-centric infrastructure that delivers diminishing returns in transportation capacity at lover average speeds each year with more of the same is not a good long term investment. Filling a road with EVs moving at a crawl is not much improvement. Riding a train to an area serviced by EV taxis and busses, of bicycles is.  Really.

        5)You would have the choice to ride into town to take the train. As systems are built-out, the ride gets shorter.

        Please think about it.

        Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

        by koNko on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:48:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's just reality. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Zinman, koNko, malharden

          Have you driven across this country?   I simply don't see how you think you can service the rural communities with high speed rail and taxis.   Ever been in the Midwest?  

          So if I live on a farm, should I have to call a taxi out to my house so I can head into town and buy groceries?   That doesn't seem like a very efficient way to do things.  

          Should I be made to wait on a bus service that would probably only pass my house once a day, if I'm lucky?

          If we have high speed rail, what about the towns that don't live in the path of it?  I guess they can ride a taxi to work every morning.  

          McCain * Palin 08 - A Bridge To Nowhere!

          by Beelzebud on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 11:01:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, I Have. (9+ / 0-)

            I lived in the USA for several years, traveled a lot and occasionally visit.

            I have the big picture of the current situation, the worst mass-transit system of any wealthy developed country. Really it is. Really it doen't have to be. You can do much better.

            It could not be changed in a day; think a reasonable approach would be a 30-50 year master plan with significant progress in some areas within 10 years and in regional areas in 15-20 years. These time scales are a bit long, but I'm trying to be realistic about how long such projects take in the USA, it's not China where you can build a Meto system in 3 years with fast track 24/7 construction.

            It takes building a network and it's merely the sum of parts until the parts connected get to critical mass. This is why many people have natural resistance to the idea, there i8s no instant gratification  involved. But when they visit countries or areas with good systems they are often amazed ith the results. "Oh, this is great". Canada has some good rail systems, in fact, Bomadier is one of the best rolling stock companies.

            The way to get it done is to start with a plan and policy to do it and then go. You make mass-transit a planning requirement for federally funded investment with a rational code that defines how to apply it and best practices.

            There are also a lot of ways to leverage existing infrastructure to addapt it for mass transit lowering the cost and environmental impact (in therms of construction).  For example, it's quite common to run elevated rail lines above or along side existing highways, or even to subtract lanes (rail has far greater capacity on an area or investment basis - one rail line).

            In many countries, Japan for example, regional rail lines connecting regions serve rural areas on at least an hourly basis and people use a combination of taxi, bus or personal cars for local transit. We are not saying you can't have a pick-up truck for your farm, we are saying you can drive it to a station and catch a high speed line to someplace.

            It's not practical and not proposed to build high speed rail to every small town - is there a superhighway to every small town? The same roads that lead to regional highways can also lead to regional railways.

            Could it work? Well it does and it did; the US used to have one of the world's best rail systems but abandoned it for the automobile. And some US cities actually have decent Metro lines.

            Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

            by koNko on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 12:57:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You fail to take into account it has extremely (0+ / 0-)

              low population density for a developed country, which makes implementing any comprehensive mass transit policy nearly impossible.  There are maybe 30% of people (probably closer to 40-50% in areas of the Midwest) who live in such remote, low-density areas that insisting that they be served by mass transit would negate any efficiencies that mass transit has.

              •  A couple of points. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jxg, pHunbalanced, minorityusa

                First, nobody is forcing people to live in places that can't be served by public transportation.  In fact, all the incentives work in the other way.  Rural areas tend to get far more than their share of infrastructure on a per capita basis: it's extremely expensive for people to live far apart from each other, and society subsidizes that.

                Second, stating that 30% of people couldn't be served by mass transit as an argument for why nobody should have it...makes no sense.  If we spent half as much money on transit as we do on roads, let alone subsidizing carmakers, we could build an enormous amount of infrastructure that everyone, regardless of car ownership, could use.

                And yet for some reason the people who choose to live in places that couldn't be easily served in the first phase of a true transit buildout complain about this?  I don't get it.

                Guide to my comments: When in doubt, assume sarcasm.

                by Gray on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:04:55 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I believe some professions, like, say, farming, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  pHunbalanced

                  do in fact force people to live in remote areas that can't be served by public transportation.  Anyway, I'm not saying we should abandon mass transit. In fact, I'm saying exactly the opposite.  We need to focus on areas where it makes sense and it attainable, rather than insisting on a comprehensive policy that makes no practical sense.

                  •  People always have choices. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    jxg, pHunbalanced

                    Choices of profession, location, and so on.  But that point is only relevant because of how we try to mess with people's decisions with incentives.

                    And that brings me to my point.  As you said:

                    We need to focus on areas where it makes sense and it attainable, rather than insisting on a comprehensive policy that makes no practical sense.

                    Our "comprehensive policy" since WWII has been to throw trillions of dollars at infrastructure based around automobiles, and practically nothing at any other transportation infrastructure.  This makes no practical sense.  Moreover, even when we have a fantastic opportunity to reshape our nation's industry around building anything other than automobiles, we can think of nothing to blow the money on other than...other automakers.  This makes no practical sense.

                    Some will choose to live in areas that can't be easily served by mass transit, but that shouldn't keep us from building real options to automobile infrastructure where we can--which is almost everywhere.

                    Incidentally, speaking of transit going into rural areas: we used to have that, back before we abandoned the world's best rail network.  Have you read much about interurbans?

                    Guide to my comments: When in doubt, assume sarcasm.

                    by Gray on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:22:17 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't understand why people assume (4+ / 0-)

                    that you can't have trains without annihilating cars.

                    Yes, of course the farmers around me will still drive trucks on roads to get around locally. You need a truck even if it never leaves the property, just to haul things around.

                    The difference is that once you reach a rail or light rail hub, you have the option of taking the train. In Europe there are trains with cars that you can park in, then walk up to the passenger cabins, enjoy the ride and get off at your destination in your car.

                    Rail is not mutually exclusive with all other solutions. It is, however, the best solution for short- to mid-range mass transportation.

                    [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

                    by oldjohnbrown on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:29:10 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm not sure who you think is making that (0+ / 0-)

                      assumption.  My point is, to have rail, you need to have hubs. You also need to be fairly sure that the hub will be economically viable enough in 20-30 years to support a hub.  Again, while I am all for rail in areas that have the population to support it, expanding rail to most of the rural midwest makes no sense.

                      •  Most of the infrastructure is there, actually (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        pHunbalanced, Gray, koNko

                        There are beautiful old train stations dotting the Iowa landscape and old right-of-ways running through the countryside more or less everywhere. It's easy to forget how ubiquitous the railroads were.

                        There are no plans to bring high speed rail to the rural Midwest, but you could make a plausible case for light and conventional rail, especially for freight (all those farmers).

                        You don't really need hubs, you just need a network that reaches existing destinations. It will have hub-like structures just because there are major cities that serve as regional hubs in every other respect, but that's a pre-existing feature rather than a structural requirement for high speed rail. The airlines' hub/spoke model is stupid, and has wound up costing them dearly.

                        Of course, hardly anyone living on 1,000 acres will be able to step off the train and onto their front stoop, but that's not an argument against rural train service. It just means that they will only need their truck for relatively short trips.

                        [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

                        by oldjohnbrown on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:51:34 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Actually .. (0+ / 0-)

                        Hubs already exist, they are called cities, and in modern mass-transit systems, quite often "Rings" and "Grids" and "Lines" are built in a decentalized fashion where that makes sense.

                        The concept of hubs is actually a bit 19th centuryish and seldom the best chouce of configuration.

                        A great number of urban metros combine rings crossed by lines, this creates the highest opportunity to cross-over with the least number of lines.

                        Frankly, I think the greater question is how much longer is the US model of auto-centric transportation economically and environmentally viable.

                        Many developed and developing countries are already turning away from building more highways and putting the capital into mass-transit since it is far more economically and environmentally sustainable.

                        The problem is, no one asked that question before the US rail system was dismantled to build the present highway system which is highly inefficient and declines in economic efficiency every year.

                        I'm afraid I haven't got it handy, but US Transportaion Department statistics show a trend of continually increasing public spending on road maintenence with no growth in capacity and continually declining average speed traveling these roads.

                        This means, you keep spending more for less.

                        What is so sensible and economically sustainable about that?

                        Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

                        by koNko on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:15:31 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

          •  Just making sure I understand the logic here... (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jxg, pHunbalanced, Gray, koNko, MicahT0078

            There exist places that can't be well-served by mass transit, so the places that can be shouldn't?  Because that what I thought I just read.

    •  where the population density is high enough (0+ / 0-)

      which is a significant portion of the country in population terms, true.  Still, even city style single family with yards is marginal for mass transit, especially tracked forms.  You encounter the problem that to get stops close enough to a high percentage of the population the mass transit is stopping so often that its efficiency and effective speed drops too much.

  •  Also set up a competition for the best (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polar bear, Rachel Q

    new American green tech cars, with huge prizes. I believe that there are alot of silicon valley startup car companies that could use the money.  

    It is a race to the moon, only this time with cars.

    Republicans : Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor

    by ctsteve on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:47:20 PM PDT

  •  This car would be perfect here (8+ / 0-)

    on Maui. I can't drive more than 80 miles without going in circles (and getting dizzy).

    Shipping costs could be a problem though.

    Wind powered electric cars, love it...

    Hypocrisy, the eighth deadly sin.

    by cocomas on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:47:46 PM PDT

    •  Shipping cost? (0+ / 0-)

      Couple hundred bucks, tops.  Even less if you arrange to get a bunch on the same train.

      •  Let's see... (0+ / 0-)

        It cost me $2,000 to ship my car here from Colorado two years ago.

        Last time I checked, there is no train from L.A. to the islands.

        So, yes...unless they distribute here more widely, shipping costs could be a problem.

        Hypocrisy, the eighth deadly sin.

        by cocomas on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 01:23:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I appologize (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cocomas

          I missread that as Miami.  I cannot adequately explain why.  Yes, shipping anything to Hawaii sucks.  And everything has to be shipped in.

          Though, Maui does simplify some of the design considerations for electric vehicles.  Short distances.  A/C is not as important.  There can be a bit of elevation change, but that should balance out somewhat if you can afford a controller with regenerative braking.  Top speed might be an issue.  I never did drive much myself while on Maui, but I recall Oahu had two kinds of drivers, those who drove 70mph and those who drove 45mph.  

          •  My commute is 11 miles each way and the car (0+ / 0-)

            would be perfect. As long as it can accelerate up the hill to keep up with some of those jacked up trucks going 70, it'd do fine. No need for 4 wd...just have to figure out how to get the surf rack on board!

            Hypocrisy, the eighth deadly sin.

            by cocomas on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 02:46:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Great car, but they only need millions... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bnasley, Ellinorianne, BP in NJ, SoCaliana
    ...not billions at this point. :)

    There are many companies that deserve government money, and Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu are doing a good job so far.

    •  Millions for what? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theran, LordMike, blw

      They are not an auto manufacturer, they are a small engineering firm. To make the firm viable they would have to be absorbed or joint venture woth an exisiting auto company, it make absolutely no sense otherwise.

      I doubt may of the people on this thread have much expereince with the automotive indusry, but it is big, mean, heavy manufacturing that takes lots of capital and lots of other resources no small companies have.

      To survive as a small specialty car manufacturer might be a viable model for them (although such companies have a pretty high failure rate) but that wouldn't justify a lot of government financing to subsidize sports car production.

      If their technology really has merrit (I'm not sure how much actual technology they have and how good it is) then it could make an attractive aquisition for a larger auto company, which is how many of the small manufacturers have survived.

      At $50k+ per unit, how much can taxpayers afford to invest and what would be the return?

      I'm not against them succeeding; I'm an R+D person myself (which is why i ask such rotten questions)but I don't honestly see this as a viable product for a mass market.

      Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

      by koNko on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 12:19:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As a public good, they should keep growing. (0+ / 0-)

        We know from experience that if a larger company buys them they are as likely to be killed, slowed down, diluted or hamstrung as anything else.

        Lets let them follow their own business plan and not force them to be absorbed into a Chevy division (as an example) that started chattering about the Volt 5 years ago and still hasn't sold car #1.

        Small companies like Tesla are more nimble. Getting bigger WILL naturally slow them, so lets let them grow at a pace they can handle to not slow their advances and kill their "buzz" too quickly.

        "Humor is a rubber sword -- it allows you to make a point without drawing blood." -- Mary Hirsch

        by malharden on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 05:36:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Questions (0+ / 0-)

          How do you define the public good here? What, exactly?

          What would be the objective and how to get there? Would they ultimately build another auto manufacturing company?

          Small companies are nimble to a point, particularly when they have rich backers. How would they go from small to big, big enough to return value to the public interest, whatever that is?

          In other words, are we asking taxpayers to play VC?

          Or does Tesla have some compelling technology beyond what we can see in current products that would provide a big long-term return?

          One or two models of products built mainly with other peoples technology is a hobby.

          What would be the return giving Tesla millions or billions verses spreading it out over many R+D operations with a bigger brain pool and less baggage to carry?

          The subject is public financing of commercial enterprise, high rish commercial enterprise, and I personally don't see a compelling case to do so.

          Can anyone here tell me what unique and compelling technology Tesla has?

          What is the Buzz?

          What they developed/own, not what they bought from others.)

          Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

          by koNko on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:32:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You're basically saying that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koNko

        cars are not viable, which may well be true.  But otherwise there's no reason not to support R&D to either improve the technology or the production process itself.

        All things being equal, there's no reason not to fund people who got something on the road over people who haven't or did and gave up.

        "Dream for just a second and then do it!" -- Kolmogorov

        by theran on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:34:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not Really. (0+ / 0-)

          Cars are not going to be extinct any day soon so we need to make them better as soon as possible while investing in alternatives that will provide a better long term return to society.

          Given human nature, the second half of that statement is a much harder sell.

          What I am really questioning here, to steer back to topic, is what justifies giving millions/billions of public funds to Tesla?

          Is the government playing VC now?  Hasn't dumped enough into failed markets, now it's time to invest in high risk ventures with highly debatable prospects?

          I don't want to go on ad nausea here, please read up thread where I state my questions, and if you can answer them, I really do appreciate it because I'm not a big meanie trying to give Tesla a black eye. I'm trying to spark some productive, fact-oriented discussion about why such investment is justified and what are the likely returns.

          One thing is for sure; Daily Kos is not any better at due dilligence or risk assesment than AIG.

          Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

          by koNko on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:42:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, and... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldjohnbrown, bnasley, polar bear
    ...for $50,000 you don't get the 300 mile battery pack. That is more expensive.
    •  300 miles is optimistic as well (0+ / 0-)

      If I remember right, reviewers said they couldn't get the 200 or so claimed for the Roadster, and got as low as 57 with hard driving. But that's still better than the Volt's maximum!

      •  I think the review you are referring to was by (0+ / 0-)

        Top Gear, which has been thoroughly debunked. Follow the link above for some info on the hard driving they did at Monaco and lasted around 240 Mi.

        If it wasnt, do you have a link?

      •  I drive 30 miles each way to work (6+ / 0-)

        So hell, even if all I got was 100 miles out of the Tesla, it would get me to and from work with a little juice left over for me to run an errand or two.

        Is it the ideal road trip car? No, it's not. But I take road trips so rarely that I could just rent a gasoline car when going on a long trip. The Tesla would work out just fine for my needs in the city. Too bad I can't afford the 50 grand price tag.

        •  The range for the base Model S (0+ / 0-)

          is supposedly 120 miles. But it's not known yet how serious that figure is. Night driving with the headlights on? Hilly areas? Stop and go? Cold climate?

          Those are very important factors because range is going to be the critical specification for someone buying this car.

          Can you imagine the PR disaster if that figure is optimistic? If suddenly, people couldn't commute to work once winter hits?

          Tesla really needs to provide conservative estimates in this respect.

      •  hard driving? TopGear was doing much more... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldjohnbrown, hillgiant

        How about EXTREME hard racing! Any vehicle, electric of gas, will get horrible fuel efficiency when pushed to it's limits on a race track. Why? Because on a road course you're pretty much doing binary driving, i.e. just GAS or Brake... FULL throttle out of a corner... FULL throttle in the straights followed by FULL BREAKING into the corners... repeat until you win. They're is very little modulation going on.

        I've got a small sports car that gets about 30 mpg doing normal driving on the highway right now (not hypermiling). I've had the fortune to enjoy a few Walter Mitty weekends and drive it on a road course like TopGear's .... I was lucky to get 10 mpg on 105 octane. You go though a tank of gas in a very surprising hurry.

        It's not scientific, but it is an example. I'm sure the Tesla Roadster does what's advertised during normal driving.

        Please not that TopGear is primarily an entertainment show. Absolutely one of the best shows of it's type ever to be shown. They don't pretend to be anything else (unless they're doing a documentary in America, where they promised NOT to be entertaining :) )

        Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof - Carl Sagan

        by zipn on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 05:05:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Top Gear did bring up a great point... (0+ / 0-)

          I had the impression that they loved the car (it was wicked fast) but that it was impractical to fill up. You need hours to charge the battery as opposed to a couple of minutes to fill up a gas tank. To me the idea of an all electric car is great but until they make it as practical as a gas car it'll never make it past a niche market.

  •  Why not do some seed money... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, elwior, polar bear

    and then subsidize the purchase with a tax credit of like 25K so it would be competitive with the Prius...

    Obama - Real Leadership for a Real Change

    by dvogel001 on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:52:05 PM PDT

  •  Now that is CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN! (5+ / 0-)

    odds of happening 5%

    Big Oil and Big Auto aren't going to play nice, they are the status quo.

    I say fuck 'em, their time is over, time to bring on the green revolution.

  •  Good luck selling them in this economy. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Corwin Weber, Blueslide, Ellinorianne

    50k is way out of the middle class's reach.

    Just another toy for a few select wealthy people.  

    McCain * Palin 08 - A Bridge To Nowhere!

    by Beelzebud on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:57:38 PM PDT

    •  Stop it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theran

      Every product isn't targeted specifically at YOU.

      They have to sell things at a price point that lets them, you know, actually stay in business.

      Maybe do a little R&D, maybe actually build a dealer network.

      You know, good business. That kinda stuff.

      You want to dump on a startup because they can't afford to build an inexpensive car that would return very small profit margin, and therefore require them to sell a s#1t-ton of volume in order to generate the dollars they need to stay in business.

      They have neither the distribution network nor the warranty maintenance capability to be "Ford" right now.

      So how about cutting them a little slack?

      "Humor is a rubber sword -- it allows you to make a point without drawing blood." -- Mary Hirsch

      by malharden on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 05:41:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To the previous poster's point (0+ / 0-)

        I actually had no idea about Tesla until I read that George Clooney but a electric plug-in convertible.  So yeah I found out about Tesla through a rich person.

        And by the way, as somebody who has traveled abroad, Ford's European line is something they should totally bring to America.  The look, the efficiency, and the MPG would work here.  

        "Words are my weapon. Violence I am not good at."- John Lydon

        by Cait Strummer on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:28:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You know (0+ / 0-)

      Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Lotus, Lexus, Mercedes, Porsche, etc. all sell plenty of $50,000 plus vehicles. Sure there may be more Corollas and Focuses sold overall but that doesn't mean the luxury sport car, sedan, and SUV market is insignificant.

  •  . (3+ / 0-)

    .
    二つこと:

    1.  Well of course we should be investing in innovation and not dinosaur technology.  Thank you for the heads up.

     2. Goddamn this friggin' Sally Field "Oh! Thank you!  Thank you!  I'm on the Rec List!" shit.  Get the fuck over it.  Act like you've been on the goddam DKos Rec List before.  Sheesh.

     bg
    _________________

     

     

    "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

    by BenGoshi on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:02:13 PM PDT

  •  Great diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JT88, Night Train

    Too bad you made me reload it (on my slow connection) only to see your bogus "update". Please don't do this again, and please see my sig. Thanks.

    Nobody cares that you made the reclist for the 1st, 3rd or 45th time. Please make a note of it.

    by MeMeMeMeMe on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:09:56 PM PDT

  •  Tesla spotted in the wild (5+ / 0-)

    A blog mate saw one on the street in Munich.

    http://silencedmajority.blogs.com/...

    Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

    by Kayakbiker on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:12:22 PM PDT

  •  Umm... no we shouldn't... (7+ / 0-)

    Tesla has some serious issues... they are being sued by shareholders for some serious accounting shenanigans and customers are suing for getting jobbed on their orders...  they are incredibly behind on production and rollout schedule...

    They have no idea how to build a car... They've shunned "car people" to their detriment... which is why they are so behind.  They've only made a few dozen... a few dozen!  And they are running into massive regulatory hurdles, especially in California, which they have no experience with...

    Tesla may end up being great... who knows, but at the moment, their business is actually floundering 'cos of poor management... regardless of the glossy photos of their new, "someday" concept car....

    Just 'cos they make electric cars does not mean that they are going to prosper... they've got to get their shit together... right now, it's all glam and nothing else... That works for software and silicon valley, but it's not so great for cars...

    We shall see... They are getting $360,000,000 form the government... which is a lot for a startup company with nothing proven, yet...

    Comments that say "GM workers should get retraining" without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come are trollworthy

    by LordMike on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:15:44 PM PDT

    •  BTW, I don't hate Tesla, I hope they succeed... (5+ / 0-)

      ...and I'm glad the government is giving them a hand...

      However, just 'cos they've built a couple of dozen electric cars doesn't make them the infallible savior of the green earth...

      Comments that say "GM workers should get retraining" without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come are trollworthy

      by LordMike on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:39:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tesla Roadster #307 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldjohnbrown, LordMike

        is Fusion Red and recently delivered to its owner in the Seattle area.

        We certainly shouldn't put all our resources into this one company. They have had a rough start and long term success if far from assured. I think they are closer than anyone else at this point. If they succeed you can be sure the traditional automakers will jump into the market and create some serious competition (the ones that don't go broke first.)

        Capital is only the fruit of labor, [...] Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
        President Lincoln, December 3, 1861

        by notrouble on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:47:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Short Version (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aisling, oldjohnbrown, LordMike, hillgiant

      Thanks for filling in the detials, my short version up-thread was ...

      Tesla is an engineering company that builds cars, not a car company with engineers. There is a very great difference.

      The mess that is Tesla is typical of start-up companies. If you really have a good idea and can hang on long enough to get to the 3rd round VC financing, then the investors march in to clean up the mess and make a real company that can run, go public or be sold, usually the last. I think they passed their 3rd round about 2 years ago and as I recall a few heads got chopped then. If they are lucky, the VCs are preparing them for the next step; if not, they could go down.

      In any case, it's a small engineering firm and a start-up, not an auto company.

      I also wish them well, but they still aren't an auto company.

      Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

      by koNko on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 12:05:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Imagine a city with no noises from cars? (5+ / 0-)

    Or a busy highway with no sounds at night?
    Heh.

    Can only wish at this point.

  •  There's also the Karma by Fisker Auto. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, oldjohnbrown, kurt, elwior, polar bear

    It's not completely electric--a hybrid--but it's also pretty sexy and you can get 100 mpg.

    The Karma uses Q-DRIVE plug-in hybrid technology, developed exclusively for Fisker Automotive by Quantum Technologies. A fully-charged Karma burns no fuel for the first 50 miles. Venture further and the gasoline engine turns a generator to charge the lithium ion battery. Once the 50-mile electric range has been exceeded, the car operates as a normal hybrid vehicle. This balance of electric and gas range makes it entirely possible that Karma drivers who charge their car overnight and commute less than 50 miles a day will achieve an average fuel economy of 100 mpg (2.4L/100km) per year.

    -4.38, -7.64 Voyager 1: proof that what goes up never comes down.

    by pat bunny on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:17:07 PM PDT

  •  Tesla IS dinosaur technology . . . . (8+ / 0-)

    The Tesla runs on about 5000 cell phone batteries.  The car itself is a highly modified Lotus.  I drove one about 6 months ago for about 15 min. It's HEAVY--really REALLY HEAVY and doesn't handle all that well considering it's a 100,000 sports car, but it sure is FAST.

    The future is NOT in plug-in electric cars--that's a real dead-end.  The future is hydrogen fuel cells, maily because you can fill them up much in same manner as a gasoline powered car.  That is, when you're low on fuel, you pull into a Chevron station, you fill your tank and you motor on.  

    Check out the new Honda FCX Clarity, as IT comes way closer to representing the future of the motor car than ANY plug in electric:

    The future is already here

    •  GM was a leader in fuel cell technology... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, oldjohnbrown, Giles Goat Boy

      ...yet the hate for them continues unabated...

      Hydrogen is not going to cut it.... no infrastructure... everyone has electric power... no one has hydrogen...

      That fad has fizzled and died...

      Comments that say "GM workers should get retraining" without SPECIFIC DETAILS about those "new jobs" that never come are trollworthy

      by LordMike on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:30:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's old storage technologu (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldjohnbrown, Scarce

      and they've had reported problems with overheating of the lithium cells.  Which is a big "duh", IMHO.

      But, that doesn't meant continued advances in power storage tech will not make it into vehicles and bring the weight down over time.

      Already, new surfaces/subtsances have been fabricated in labs which allow for extremely rapid charging - if fitted with even today's batteries, perhaps the ability to do a rapid charge could alleviate some of the stored power needs/range with that in mind.

      The problem with electrics has almost always been related to charging and storage of enough power to run the engine, I feel.  Tesla is just a brute force, expensive way to do it.

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 12:05:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  'Who Killed the Electric Car?' is a great... (4+ / 0-)

    documentary, and a great way to get pissed off at big business.

  •  Cold weather? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, kurt, notrouble

    Can anyone comment on how these are likely to perform in sub zero weather and how they would handle in snow?  I'm assuming they are lighter than a regular car (or does the battery offset lighter engine weight?) so is traction an issue?  And would the battery hold its charge in the cold?  Since a huge part of the US (and virtually all of Canada) needs cars that are reliable and safe for cold winter driving, I'm wondering if anyone knowledgeable can comment on these questions?

    •  Tesla is selling their Roadster in Canada (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, Losty

      and they are reportedly doing fine in cold weather. The cars they sell up there are specially outfitted for the northern climate, IIRC. Check around on their website, I think I read about it there. www.teslamotors.com

      "I seek the truth, which never yet hurt anybody. It is only persistence in self-delusion and ignorance which does harm." --Marcus Aurelius

      by electric meatball on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 11:07:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Traction is 80% tires. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, oldjohnbrown, wondering if

      The model S pictured above will be available in AWD. Cold weather isn't an issue for an all electric car (power can be stored in all sorts of weather). Curb weight is 3825 which is pretty damn heavy for a sedan.

    •  Cold will cut range for lead-acid packs (0+ / 0-)

      Don't know about the ones Tesla uses though. However, there are purpose-built heating blankets available--truckers buy them for diesel engines that don't have block warmers built in.

      Bail out Studebaker.

      by AustinCynic on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 06:41:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  sorry, i have to (5+ / 0-)

    please don't use "update" in your diary title unless you are adding new info to the diary.  celebrating the rec list isn't info.

    ; )

    thanks!

    "Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." Thomas Paine, Common Sense

    by Cedwyn on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:22:10 PM PDT

  •  The government's thinking is this: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thinkdouble, LordMike, kurt, Rachel Q

    The Big Three already have large-scale productive capacity, and it can be redirected to green production more quickly than an entirely new industrial infrastructure can be created.  Replacing management is the first step on that road, and that is being undertaken.

    However, I believe the potential of Tesla Motors is recognized, as they have recently been approved for a 9-figure Department of Energy loan guarantee - money that will not only bring in cash under the auspices of the guarantee, but outside of it since it makes their prospects of success much greater.

    I would support adding another zero to that loan guarantee, but I think they can work with this.  In fact, it may be the optimal approach: We are thus pursuing EV with two opposite approaches - from high capacity / lower cost with conservative innovation (e.g., plug-in hybrids), and from low capacity / high initial cost with major innovations.

    "Religion isn't the opiate of the masses, it's the placebo of the masses." - House

    by Troubadour on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:24:39 PM PDT

    •  I would not support adding another zero (0+ / 0-)

      Tesla is a small company. They don't even have a proper factory. There is a hard limit on the amount of money they can use productively. Even $350M is generous.

      Now if you're talking about another zero for total subsidies to all US companies working on EVs, I'm with you.

      [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

      by oldjohnbrown on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:38:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The beauty is (0+ / 0-)

        it's not actually a subsidy - it's a loan guarantee.  Unless I don't understand loan guarantees, that means if Tesla is successful, the taxpayers don't spend a dime.

        "Religion isn't the opiate of the masses, it's the placebo of the masses." - House

        by Troubadour on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 02:50:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  And the cost of the battery replacement? (6+ / 0-)

    Currently the damn battery costs $16,000 and lasts for about 6-8 yrs....

    A while back there was some promising breakthough by MIT in battery design. That married to this car ... sweet deal ...

  •  The New Detroit (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, alexa100

    I love Tesla and have been following their growth almost since their inception. They've had a hell of a time getting the money they need to start producing vehicles priced to the larger market.
    With proper investment, Tesla and Silicon Valley could be come the new Detroit... the one that Henry Ford built, that is.

    •  why do you think they have trouble getting money? (0+ / 0-)

      In a country where trillions poured into subprime mortgages and CDS,
      why do you think Tesla had trouble getting money?

      George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

      by nathguy on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:10:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't get me wrong, the Tesla is awesome (0+ / 0-)

      but, let's not get too excited over what is essentially a concept car with a bit of limited production.

      IIRC the Tesla that you can buy (if you have $100K and if you're one of the lucky 1000 people at the top of the wait list) essentially runs on (Chinese and Korean made) laptop batteries.  The manufacturing capacity of these batteries just isn't sufficient for the Tesla to become a car for the everyman.  Now that may mean that what we really need are more battery factories, but what that means for the present is that you're not going to see real mass production any time in the next 5 years.  So you've got Detroit who has the capacity to make cars that people don't want to buy vs. Tesla which doesn't have the capacity to make the cars that people do what to buy.  Quite a conundrum.  

      This is a fantastically innovative company, and I'd love to see them prosper, but we need to do a lot more than give Tesla money to make that happen.

      As a native of Northwest Ohio, I'd also like to ask what happens to the old Detroit if Silicon Valley becomes the new Detroit?

      •  Tesla Ups 'n Downs (0+ / 0-)

        All of your concerns are valid.
        I suppose we've seen a lot of money thrown at the wall hoping something would stick.  But throwing att the right person or persons is always the answer and Tesla appears to have much to offer us if the funding is there.
        As for what happens to Michigan and Ohio?...
        It would be a disaster unless of the manufacturing infrastructure of those two Sates is utilized - and that makes the most sense.  
        Keep the brain in Palo Alto and the heart in the Rust Belt.
        A new brain would be a welcome addition for Ohio.
        It's that Abby Normal brain in Detroit that has been killing the once-robust body in Ohio.

        •  getting funding to the right place is the key (0+ / 0-)

          but I'm not sure Tesla is that place.  As I said, what Tesla really needs is more, better, and cheaper batteries, so rather than fund a car designer, perhaps we should be funding battery makers.

          Tesla's design is evolutionary, not revolutionary.  If there was a larger supplier network for electric powertrains, Detroit would benefit too.  FWIW I'd rather see Tesla compete with Detroit than supplant them.

  •  just think if all that home construction had been (3+ / 0-)

    by green builders--heck, probably a lot of peeps could afford their mortgages with low energy bills.

  •  480 three-phase... (0+ / 0-)

    Should be made residential anyways.  It is much more efficient than the 240 run to everybody's house.

    The GOP has a choice: change or die. It appears that they have chosen 'Die'. Bully for them.

    by RichM on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:34:34 PM PDT

  •  Big problem with the Tesla (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, pHunbalanced, alexa100

    I think its MSRP is somewhere between $35,000 to $40,000 dollars, that is simply unaffordable for most Americans.

    I'd rather drive a fuel efficient car like the Fit that, while nowhere near as efficient, is only $15,000, and is pretty efficient.

    •  Actually, I don't think it is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      malharden

      Well, it certainly does cost more than most Americans can afford, but it's not really who Tesla is trying to sell it to.  Fit and finish in a Tesla S will (supposedly, I've never seen a Tesla in person, and I don't think they've even finished an S yet) be closer to what you'd get in a $40k car than a $15k one.  

      Look at the Prius for another example of this tactic:  Depending on options, the Prius is somewhere between the mid $20k's and mid $30k's.  The 2010 model year is going to have things like adaptive radar cruise control and lane-keep assist.  If you take a peek at the wikipedia page for the cruise control, you'll notice that the list of cars in which it is available contains, almost exclusively, luxury models.  So, while affording a Prius might be a stretch for people like you and me, who could just as well use a Fit, the high-end features alone probably make it very tempting to those in the market for a $25k-$35k car.  And, of course, they help justify the price to everyone who just wants it for the hybrid drive train.

      I think Tesla S fills a similar niche at a higher price--sure it costs like $40k car, but it also feels like a $40k car.  Thus, people in the market for a $40k car will consider it.  

    •  It's not FOR most americans. (0+ / 0-)

      This is is a product being produced in small quantities by a start-up company.

      This is simply an unfair criticism, yet people keep leveling it.

      IF they can grow, IF they can survive, mass production of some yet unbuilt future vehicle will come later.

      Stop judging them by the same criteria you use to judge the Big 3 and Honda.

      "Humor is a rubber sword -- it allows you to make a point without drawing blood." -- Mary Hirsch

      by malharden on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 05:45:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wouldn't it be nice if auto factories (0+ / 0-)

    could be leased based like telecom lines were forced to be sold at wholesale...

    so much space and capacity going to waste...

    Stephen, The United States is not going to fire nuclear warheads at Decepticons. - Ret. Colonel Jack Jacobs

    by justmy2 on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:48:25 PM PDT

    •  Have you ever been in an auto factory? (5+ / 0-)

      Or any other factory that is designed to mass produce a product efficiently?

      These factories are not simply large boxes with machines. The factory is the machine. It's designed to integrate tools and people to build a rather specific thing. Retooling is so time consuming and costly that it's often cheaper to abandon and build anew to accomodate significant changes in models; much less whole products. Factories become obsolete along with their products and processes. The WWII automobile to tanks and planes conversion is a thing of the past and couldn't be achieved today.

      •  Uh, yes I understand that... (0+ / 0-)

        and I also understand that Honda can reconfigure their factories for new vehicles models within 7 days. Did you know that?

        Yes, my suggestion would be hard.  Yes, it isn't something that could be done in the near term.

        But it is not undoable by any means.  And it would ensure factory workers are able to stay employed.  

        Time to think bigger, instead of thinking about what can't be done...

        Stephen, The United States is not going to fire nuclear warheads at Decepticons. - Ret. Colonel Jack Jacobs

        by justmy2 on Sat Apr 04, 2009 at 07:28:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A Chevy Volt will go 40 miles (5+ / 0-)

    on one charge.

    This car?  300.

    Heavy sigh .....

    I want to save the jobs in Detroit, but good GOD the American car companies SUCK.  

    William Casey "We will know that we have succeeded when everything the public believes is false"

    by Inky99 on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:50:12 PM PDT

    •  The Tesla has a swap battery (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      malharden

      It swaps in less time than it takes to fill up a gas tank.

      Electric is here.

      Though I'd never call it "emission-free" of course.

      "Clearly, many inside this Nation's Government anticipated it. It was Mr. bush and his gang who chose to ignore them." [KO 12/18/08]

      by eroded47095 on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 11:55:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  and 300 still isn't enough. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Abolish gun control, marriage, and helmet laws. -7.62, -3.44

      by KVoimakas on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 01:42:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Enough for what? (0+ / 0-)

        I would suggest that if you are going on a trip longer than 300 miles where you can't stop either at your final destination or a hotel to recharge, you shouldn't be taking a car as your vehicle.

        "Humor is a rubber sword -- it allows you to make a point without drawing blood." -- Mary Hirsch

        by malharden on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 05:47:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yesterday, we drove my 94 year old mother (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KVoimakas

          to her home after a short visit with us for a family member's birthday. The trip is 175 miles one-way and we returned home after less than an hour's stay. Bus service doesn't exist and even if it did, what responsible person would send a 94 year old woman on such a trip? Now my question is: Did we make two 175 mile trips or one 350 mile trip?

        •  I prefer (0+ / 0-)

          to get all my driving done in one shot.

          And I'll ride if I can.

          Motorcycle > cage

          Abolish gun control, marriage, and helmet laws. -7.62, -3.44

          by KVoimakas on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 06:51:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You must fit in airplane seats (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          malharden

          Train service is only an option for me now if I don't have to be anywhere at any fixed time (the train through Mt. Pleasant has been over 24 hours late before). Plane service is an option if I don't really need my knees the next day, or if I need to be somewhere urgently enough to splurge for the extra room.

          Otherwise, I'm driving. I know it's not as safe, I know it's not as efficient, and it certainly isn't as fast (as a plane, anyway), but until Atrios' dream is realized and I can board my SUPERTRAIN to my destination of choice, the car remains my best option.

          So bring on the SUPERTRAINS. I'd much rather ride than drive.

          [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

          by oldjohnbrown on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:44:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You're right. (0+ / 0-)

          I should be taking my motorcycle.

          Abolish gun control, marriage, and helmet laws. -7.62, -3.44

          by KVoimakas on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:01:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Enough for who? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldjohnbrown, hillgiant

        according to the US DOT research:

        78% of all trips are less than 40 miles
        85% are less than 50 miles
        90% are less than 60 miles
        93% are less than 70 miles

    •  Tesla laid off their Detroit-area engineers (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldjohnbrown, hillgiant, blw
      BTW, they did a fair chunk of the engineering on the Model S you speak so highly of:

      http://njection.com/...

      The layoffs happened year after being given nearly $10 grand in guv'mint dollars per headcount they "created" in Michigan:

      http://www.autobloggreen.com/...

      And the way those employees found out that they'd lost their jobs?  Get this -- a blog post by their CEO:

      http://jalopnik.com/...

      But, by all means, let's give shiny happy kudos to Tesla Motors latest darling design, and take a steaming dump on Detroit.  It's fashionable.

  •  For your consideation from Detroit (3+ / 0-)

    From the people who brought you the Assembly line and the Model T In for the 2011 model year Ford Motor has announced plans to produce a BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) Cargo Van, and a BEV car in for the 2012 model year as well as releasing Plug in versions of their existing hybrids.

    GM's Volt is due out for the 2011 model year meaning as early as next August.

    But really rather than electric cars we should be researching Hydrogen combustion, and getting it into people's hands.

    -Gabe

    •  I like the air cars (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      firemage

      http://www.youtube.com/...

      Instead of combustion it uses compressed air to power to push the pistons.

      It's a grift. They probably had grifter parents and grifter grandparents and someday they'll each spawn little grifter kids.

      by Muskegon Critic on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:06:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  there was talk (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Muskegon Critic

        about Ford using a Hydraulic Hybrid for a F-150 where the power would be stored in compressed pistons.

        -Gabe

      •  much less efficient than BEVs (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldjohnbrown, Muskegon Critic

        in fact the compressed air vehicles demonstrated so far as less energy efficient than standard cars; the high mileage ones get their scores by being smaller and very lightweight.

        Much of the inefficiency comes from the nature of storing energy in compressed gases.  When you compress the air part of the energy you put into the task ends up as heat - the compressed air gets hot.  This heat leaks away as the air sits in the storage tank.  Then when you expand the air in the motor, it absorbs heat - gets could, and as it ends up colder than the air your originally compressed it expands to a smaller volume.

        Most designs try to make up for that lost energy through clever heat exchanger trick to let the surrounding atmosphere supply the lost heat. Doesn't work too well in winter. So most such designs include a fuel burning heat to warm the air before it expands in the engine, keeping the power output up; but the energy lost as heat from compression is wasted.

    •  hydrogen is a nonstarter (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldjohnbrown, hillgiant

      a number of studies show that hydrogen fuel vehicles, be they fuel cell operated electrics or H2 burning ICEs, are much less efficient than plain old BEVs, some say less efficient than gasoline powered cars.  

      There's a lot of energy lost in making and storing the hydrogen. Then the low temperature fuel cells used are fairly low efficiency, plus they need a lot of platinum or related metals - several times more than used in the catalytic converter of an ordinary car.

      On top of that is the difficulty of storing and working with hydrogen. It leaks through the tiniest holes, and through solid metal - embrittling that metal as it seeps out.

      Stranded Wind's ammonia fuel concepts are better, much less storage problems, much lower losses in that storing, and a 50% greater density of hydrogen atoms than in liquid hydrogen itself.

    •  Snake oil (0+ / 0-)

      Hydrogen cars are snake oil. Hydrogen is simply an energy storage medium and a rather poor one at that. There is virtually no infrastructure or distribution network to support hydrogen filling stations.

      Battery electric vehicles are far more efficient in terms of turning primary fuel into miles traveled than hydrogen. Heck even with all of the losses they do pretty well compared to a conventional automobile.

  •  50 G's today, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    malharden, polar bear

    15 G's hopefully in 5-10 years.  It's still at early adopter prices but like everything else electronic, it'll get cheaper as time goes on.

    •  The problem (0+ / 0-)

      is energy storage technology. The advantage of the IC engine is that gasoline/diesel store massive amounts of energy in a small space. Luckily our use of portable tools and electronics have spurred massive research into the area. If we can continue to develop more efficient batteries (or maybe Hyper-mega-super capacitors heh) electrics could become cheap quickly. Im wondering why we dont have an electric Motorcycle already...

      Murder is Fun http://www.wakeupfromyourslumber.com/node/10156

      by cdreid on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:18:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are lots of electric motorcycles (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cdreid

        Both in development and even out on the market.  What are you looking for?  Dirt bike?  High-end speedster?  Something in-between?

        •  I'd be looking for a something (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cdreid

          along the lines of my Monster.  Though I wonder how a dry clutch would fit into an electric design...a bike still has to have it's "thing"

          •  I don't know what you mean by "sport cruiser" (0+ / 0-)

            But there's everything from the Zero-X dirtbike (which has been getting stellar reviews) to the Vectrix scooter (first to the market) to, on the high-end, the upcoming, obscenely powerful, 150mph, 150-mile range Mission One.  By my calculations on the Mission One's stated specs, it should throw almost as many Gs as the Space Shuttle   ;)  I've seen about a dozen or two models since I started following announcements of upcoming and just-released EVs.  Even electric-averse Honda (they're hydrogen nuts) is getting into the game; they've started on an electric motorcycle to be released in the next year or two.

            If you can give me the sort of specs you're looking for, I can try to find a match for your needs.  Just remember that the price on an electric will be higher, but the operating costs lower.

          •  What sort of specs? (0+ / 0-)

            as I mentioned to the person below you, I can try to find a rough match.  Of course, expect a higher purchase price but lower operating costs.

        •  A sport cruiser (0+ / 0-)

          Ive never ever seen one. Electric bicycles sure but a full out motorcycle not so much. Which is strange because so much of a motorcycles weight is engine and converted to electric youd think theyd be perfect for electric.

          Murder is Fun http://www.wakeupfromyourslumber.com/node/10156

          by cdreid on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 03:36:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know what you mean by "sport cruiser" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cdreid

            But there's everything from the Zero-X dirtbike (which has been getting stellar reviews) to the Vectrix scooter (first to the market) to, on the high-end, the upcoming, obscenely powerful, 150mph, 150-mile range Mission One.  By my calculations on the Mission One's stated specs, it should throw almost as many Gs as the Space Shuttle   ;)  I've seen about a dozen or two models since I started following announcements of upcoming and just-released EVs.  Even electric-averse Honda (they're hydrogen nuts) is getting into the game; they've started on an electric motorcycle to be released in the next year or two.

            If you can give me the sort of specs you're looking for, I can try to find a match for your needs.  Just remember that the price on an electric will be higher, but the operating costs lower.

            •  Probably wont be getting one (0+ / 0-)

              I've been hit three times by 4wheelers. Last time by an old lady who HAD to hear the crunch and kept going. Im done. But a sport cruiser is a cruise bike (think harley or goldwing) that handles like a race (rice) bike and has the speed but rides and sits like a cruiser.

              Hope you're right. Seeing these goofy looking one seat electric cars seem silly when a motorcycle would do the same thing (with more passenger room) and be much more efficient.

              Murder is Fun http://www.wakeupfromyourslumber.com/node/10156

              by cdreid on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 02:57:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Btw thanks for the info (0+ / 0-)

              The mission one is awesome on paper. But its hideous. Why must alternative energy designers insist on putting teh ugly and teh weird in everything they come out with?

              Murder is Fun http://www.wakeupfromyourslumber.com/node/10156

              by cdreid on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 03:00:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  You know, I get excited about new technology, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rayne, nathguy

    but we (us Americans) tend to get carried away sometimes. The automobile industry started with many different people building and selling many different cars. The early innovators, I think, were in love with their early cars. All but a few car companies went out of business or were acquired by other companies. The BIG THREE are becoming the NOT SO BIG ONE car company in the US. This process of consolidation and decline is nothing new. The same thing happened and continues to happen in the personal computer industry.

    Eventually, we will have new personal transportation devices that will replace the current carbon fueled vehicles. Maybe it will be an electric car with a 300 mile range that takes 5 minute to recharge. But it is not here today.

    The three million people in the auto industry today are not all going to be saved by an electric vehicle that is not quite ready for mass production and distribution. We, and by that I mean our government, should be focused on helping the people in the auto industry transition into new jobs now, not in five or ten years or more down the road.

    •  What year did the Hudson or Packard go away? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tobendaro

      I'm so fucking sick of concern.

      "Clearly, many inside this Nation's Government anticipated it. It was Mr. bush and his gang who chose to ignore them." [KO 12/18/08]

      by eroded47095 on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 11:54:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mid-50's (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldjohnbrown, nathguy

        Packard merged with Studebaker in, I think, 1954 or '55. Definitely by 1956 since Studebaker was bring out its Golden Hawk with a Packard V8 (a 5 liter engine, can you imagine?).

        Hudson, Nash and Willys merged to become American Motors at about the same time, eventually being absorbed into Chrysler in 1987.

        Bail out Studebaker.

        by AustinCynic on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 06:46:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A 5 liter engine? Are you kidding me? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oldjohnbrown, buckeye blue

          In the mid-70's, my dad had a Chrysler Town & Country station wagon (which I drove regularly) that sported a 7.2 liter V8 engine.

          That's 440 cubes to us old-timers.

          Alot of "Muscle Cars" (including my 1970 Chevelle) tooled about town with 350 cu. in. V8's.  That translates to 5.7 liters.

          They weren't much on MPG's, but they'd rock your world with acceleration.  Of course, gasoline was being sold at about 37 CENTS a gallon back in '75.  You could fill a virtually empty 12-gallon tank for 5 bucks.  Dad's wagon had an enormous gas tank - 22 gallons IIRC - that cost me almost $10 to fill for a night out with my girl...

          Today, the 3.0 liter six in our van is the gas hog of the house.  The turbocharged 2.0 liter in our small wagon is the MPG champ, and the turbo adds amazing power when called upon.

          The conversion factor (for those of you who remember the old "cubic inch" standard) is:
          1 liter = 61 cu. in. (or CID - Cubic Inch Displacement)

          I like today's engines better.  They get more horses out of a cubic inch than the old ones ever did while using alot less fuel to do so and with damn fine reliability.

          But I'm ready to go electric and leave the Internal Combustion Engine behind.  Let's have at it!!!  That new Tesla looks sexy enough for me, but the original Tesla Roadster is SO hot!!!

          Celtic Merlin
          Carlinist

          Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

          by Celtic Merlin on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:38:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Dodge offers an 8.0l V10 right now (0+ / 0-)

            And Cadillac offered their big 503 in the '70s.

            Nothing new there.

            [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

            by oldjohnbrown on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:48:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The Golden Hawk was a preview of the muscle car (0+ / 0-)

            It and the original Chrysler 300 had the best 0-60 times in 1956 and 1957, IIRC. Apparently the Hawk's light body gave it an incredible power-to-weight ratio. After 1957 Studebaker started putting their own, smaller V8 into the Hawks.

            My win-the-lottery dream car is a Golden Hawk with a Packard V8. They're increasingly rare.

            Bail out Studebaker.

            by AustinCynic on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 02:30:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  This is ridiculous! (6+ / 0-)

    Tesla Motors is not developing any separate technologies. They're buying batteries from one supplier, transmissions from another, the body from a third -- and then making a mess of putting it all together.

    The laws of physics are working against the company on several planes:

    1. The speeds they are promising do not compute well with the light weight of the vehicle they are building, and safety concerns have been a major cause for the delays. If you want to sit in a cockleshell that goes zoom, be my guest.
    1. The energy required to move anything, has to be generated somewhere. If not through burning fuel in an internal combustion engine, then through burning fuel in a coal fired plant, lpg-plant, or nuclear plant. While electric vehicles are better users of available energy (more efficient conversion to motion), you still have to generate the energy.

    Then using it to accelerate with a Tesla (which is what owners do, along every single city block), is a very useless way of burning that energy.
    EV vehicles should not aim for racing performance.

    The present owner/manager of Tesla, Mr. Musk, should not be getting billions. But if your goal is to support rich man's toys, then ask Fisker to move his operation to the US.

    At any rate - this is not the solution, and if you checked how Tesla has been treating its customers, how they have reneged on the product promises, and how small their contribution to the actual technology is, then you'd know it would be a waste of money.

    We will restore science to its rightful place.

    by SteinL on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:30:15 PM PDT

    •  conider the (0+ / 0-)

      well-to-wheel efficiency of a standard internal combustion engine powered vehicle, say about 20%

      Now consider the efficiency of a modern fossil fuel burning power plant, say 40%, transmission loss of 7%, socket-to-wheel is around 80%, giving around 28%.  

      So a BEV might be more efficient at using the energy in fossil fuel that an ICE engine vehicle.  This is mostly because the large thermal power plants have much higher efficiencies than the small engines in automobiles and trucks. And newer technologies promise even better, GE's most recent gas turbine based power system nudges 60% efficiency, SOFC based combined cycle plants look to hit 80% to 85%. - in part because fuel cells are not thermal cycle based and aren't bound by the Carnot limit.

      Note that rapid acceleration in a BEV is much less wasteful than in a standard car, the acceleration rate has only a small impact on efficiencies unless you are getting tire slippage.

      •  Which is exactly what I write ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        superheed

        But Tesla is a toy. Immature technology platform, hashed together by picking stock parts from a variety of suppliers. And the rapid and many accelerations are draining the battery packs, which is why there are only a few "for show" Tesla Roadsters on the roads. Customers (and environmental groups) would find the battery depletion completely unacceptable at today's levels.

        At any rate - anyone suggesting Tesla should be the recipient hasn't made the least bit of effort to find out what's going on in the EV field. This diary should just go away.

        Have a look at Aptera's proposals. There you have realistic speeds, minimal drag, great handling, superior safety to Tesla's solution, and a mirror image of what we're going to have in the future. They deserve the money.

        Tesla is vaporware. The solution is not a 109 thousand dollar roadster.

        I also suggest the diarist should spend some time studying RMI's various proposals:
        http://www.rmi.org/

        We will restore science to its rightful place.

        by SteinL on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 05:57:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  While tesla is far from perfect (0+ / 0-)

          I would hardly call it vaporware.  They are shipping cars and i've seen a couple on the road already.  It's funny in the same post you call Tesla vaporware yet you tout Aptera which is

          No one says Tesla is the solution obviously not many are going to be able to afford a 100,00+ car,  but at least they are making the effort and are shipping cars.  In time the price will drop and the technology will improve as with any new form of transportation.

          Right man, right job and right time

          by Ianb007 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:38:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  What about the little guy? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AustinCynic, tobendaro, SoCaliana

    Tesla is no GM but they're still a pretty big company. How about seed money to small inventors?

    This guy in Maine designs and sells a small electric car out of his little shop. They're rustic, yes, but still quite useful. I wonder what these kind of guys could do with some real money behind them. See:

    The SUNN Electric Vehicle

    Thank you, Howard Dean!

    by thinkdouble on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:35:55 PM PDT

  •  When it comes to decisions such as this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc, malharden, RustyCannon

    a fundamental problem is the lifting of profit in the free market to mythically unerring and over-riding status while virtually ignoring other considerations, such as benefit to society.  We haven't been thinking too clearly about our future for a couple of decades now.

    The only true friend of the masses is solidarity. The constitution is the rallying point.

    by geomoo on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:40:07 PM PDT

  •  Tesla ought to try an get financing... (0+ / 0-)

    ...to buy Saturn from GM. That would expand their manufacturing base.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:41:30 PM PDT

    •  Especially since Tesla has a problem (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k9disc, tobendaro, JeffW, RustyCannon

      Why are they all over the map looking for manufacturing sites?

      All they need to do is buy the Saturn facility; they could sell the contents for scrap and pay for the Saturn site, as badly as GM needs to kill off the brand.

      And that asshole Bob Corker would welcome Tesla with open arms and all kinds of tax incentives if they came as a non-union company to his state.

      (All the more reason why GM ought to offer to set up a joint venture, give Tesla the space on GM's manufacturing floors which Hummer has occupied in exchange for a percentage of sales. It'd be a win-win and that asshole Corker would lose out.)

  •  Tesla is a joke (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rayne, nathguy, MicahT0078

    $100,000 cars for rich people that run on old technology, are not reliable, not good in crashes, do not travel far enough to drive across a state, and on and on.

    Fantasy cars for the Malibu "green because I can afford to be" crowd. They run on laptop batteries, and DO NOT drive as promised in the brochure.

    They do not drive 300 miles and do not charge in 4 hours.

    Private Property is the Curse. Those that Buy and Sell Land, and are landlords, have got it either by Oppression, Murder, or Theft

    by pacific ocean park on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:44:55 PM PDT

    •  You didn't read about the swap batteries? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldjohnbrown, malharden, puffmeister

      No wonder I get riled when pacific ocean dipshits start lecturing me.

      "Clearly, many inside this Nation's Government anticipated it. It was Mr. bush and his gang who chose to ignore them." [KO 12/18/08]

      by eroded47095 on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 11:52:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Top Gear is a TV show. (0+ / 0-)
      1. Their main goal is entertainment
      1. Their experience amounts to ONE anecdote.

      Did you read Tesla's response to Top Gear? Did you care to?

      Apparently TG staged fun theatrics like having to push the Tesla. Gimmie a break.

      I saw it too. It's just one more piece of information. Not the make-or-break.

      "Humor is a rubber sword -- it allows you to make a point without drawing blood." -- Mary Hirsch

      by malharden on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 05:52:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. I love Top Gear and have seen every (3+ / 0-)

        episode, and even fought jetlag to stay up and watch it in my London hotel room once (because illegally downloading it from the net is one thing, watching it on the Beeb like the Brits do is a whole new experience :D) but it's an entertainment show, and Jeremy Clarkson is heavily biased against anything that doesn't take gasoline. He loved the way the Tesla drove and couldn't say enough good things about it, but Top Gear, especially Clarkson, would not allow an electric car to get a 100% glowing review from them.

      •  Yes it is a T.V. show. (0+ / 0-)

        However I do work in Malibu and Calabasas where a few of these are running around.  In talking to my clients about their Teslas the Top Gear experience was not far off of the mark.  You have to really watch how you drive it, which defeats the purpose of a sports car if you asked me.  One thing Top Gear does well is call out the flaws.  Everything from a Ferrari smoking an engine to the axle strut snapping has happened on that show during the test drives.  So the Tesla running out of juice is not something that was staged in my opinion.

        A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel.-Robert Frost

        by MicahT0078 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:29:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Me, I want an Aptera. (9+ / 0-)

    http://aptera.com/

    So yeah, why not shave a few million off the GM bailout (or better yet, off the Wall Street bailout) and invest it in each of the companies that can present a serious plan for a near-term rollout of a production model of a good plug-in hybrid or electric car, and will agree to make it in the US?

    Let them license their technology and even some of their designs to GM and Chrysler, too. I don't mind if the big factories in Michigan get in on the act of making these things cheaper. But don't let the big boys buy them out just now.

    We can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. - Barack Obama 1/20/09

    by rcbowman on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:50:29 PM PDT

    •  Why not both? (0+ / 0-)

      I've been saving up for an electric car for a long time. (I missed out on the RAV-4 EV because I don't do leases and wasn't aware you could buy one for a brief period.) I was one of the first people to get a Prius back in 2001, but even then I would have preferred an electric.

      The Tesla Roadster is very cool, but the $120K base price is too high.

      I gave serious thought to putting some money down on the Phoenix, but lost interest after a couple of bad reviews and it became clear they were focused on maintenance vehicle fleet usage.

      Then I heard about the Aptera. I put a deposit down immediately and I'm now #113 on the Aptera waiting list. Hopefully they'll start shipping later this year...

      But my wife and I really need for one of our cars to be larger than the Aptera. So when the S Series was announced I got in line for it too. I'm lucky in that I know someone who has a Roadster and who was willing to put me on their "friends and family" list for the initial "Signature Series" run.

      Owning an S Series should be ... interesting. Neither of us have ever owned a high end car before.

      •  Do you visit the forum? (0+ / 0-)

        http://www.apteraforum.com/

        At the very least, I'm sure Gary would like to enter you in his database of preorders for generating order graphs.

      •  Well, not any time soon. (0+ / 0-)

        In my line of work, the idea of buying any kind of new car is pretty much a joke, and that goes double for pricier ones. And right now, any saving I can do is to pay rent for the next few months when my line of work probably ceases for the duration...

        Still and all, I'd really love to be able to afford an Aptera.

        We can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. - Barack Obama 1/20/09

        by rcbowman on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 09:16:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Until they design an electric car (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smedley Hirkum

    with a goal of selling it for $10K to $20K they are just creating a vehicle for a small market that will do nothing to solve the energy problems we have in this country, or the vehicle selling problems.

    These cars with an expected price even in mass production, of over $30K, are a bad joke and a misdirection of funds.

    An electric Tata Motors style car is more the way to go. That is the sort of car that needs to be put into production and supported all the way.

    Folks who can afford a $30K+ car don't give a damn how much gas costs, so they have little incentive to go green.

    But get a mass produced $15K electric on the market and watch sales skyrocket.

    -6.88/-5.64 * We won! We won!.... Now back on your heads.

    by John West on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:56:19 PM PDT

    •  What do you know about Tata? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RustyCannon

      or their car design?

      Do you know whether the cost of Tata's cars as they are currently built in India, where worker safety and consumer safety are very much third world, would be the same under the kinds of demands U.S. standards? What about emissions controls on hybrids? What about battery replacement and disposal?

      The Tata car shown recently at an auto show is about the size of a bath tub; that's a pretty small market niche to sell to, both in terms of size of driver and size of market share.

      Sorry, but most of the people hyping electric/hybrid vehicles designed for and made in Asian markets are not comparing apples to apples.

      •  I can see the ad campaign now (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hannibal, BoxNDox

        "Nothing gets between me and my Tatas."

        [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

        by oldjohnbrown on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:49:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Great for india and other emerging markets (0+ / 0-)

        It would never pass safety standards here.  I could be wrong, but I think they use adhesives instead of traditional fasteners for a lot of the car.  The US has the strictest safety standards and arguably the strictest emissions laws in the world (if you don't count CO2)

        The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also. -Mark Twain

        by superheed on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 02:38:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I just hung myself. (3+ / 0-)

      And now I'm dead.

      And it's all thanks to reading depressing downer naysaying posts on this fucking good news thread.

      Good job.

      "Clearly, many inside this Nation's Government anticipated it. It was Mr. bush and his gang who chose to ignore them." [KO 12/18/08]

      by eroded47095 on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 11:50:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Gotta start somewhere (4+ / 0-)

      Hey, unless we can send a guy to Mars, forget about manned spaceflight.

    •  what's so bad about aplug in Hybrid. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theran

      in 2011, Toyota rolls out the first plug in hybrid,, 25K
      No subsidy, and 100 MPG plus 300 Mile range.

      George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

      by nathguy on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:33:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think that one of their goals (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theran, zett

      with the first models is to prove that electric cars can be exciting and more than practical. When a lot of people think about electric cars they imagine little put-put cars or golf carts rather than 0-60 in 3.2 seconds. Their first car was like an ad addressed to investors with the scratch to help them build the company. It seems to be working in that capacity cause that car caused a lot of excitement. Now they have a second model at half the price--to me that looks like pretty good progress for a start-up.

      Yes we did, yes we will. President Obama

      by marketgeek on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:23:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  mass produced $15K electric (0+ / 0-)

      But get a mass produced $15K electric on the market and watch sales skyrocket.

      Great, and do I get my pony then, also?  :-)

      You can just about buy the batteries for $15K. The problem is the batteries (or whatever power storage source you use).

      -Jay-

    •  The price range they're at now (0+ / 0-)

      is a huge market - they could sell tens of thousands of cars potentially, which would make it the most successful electric car in history.

    •  Early stage tecnology is expensive (0+ / 0-)

      The thing is what is today's technology for the everyman very often used to be yesterday's specialized high-end.

      This applies to automobiles just as much as it does to computers or consumer electronics.

      Automatic transmissions, cruise control, power windows, power locks, anti-lock brakes, disk brakes, AWD, power steering, electronic ignition, electronic fuel injection, etc. all used to only be found on high end cars or be very expensive options.

      There is a market for $50,000 plus and $100,000 plus automobiles. In fact some auto brands ONLY sell into this market. Many features common today appeared first on high-end luxury and sports cars.

  •  I'm with NNadir on this topic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NNadir, nathguy

    and I think this company and their current car plans/offerings are pure hype. We need an electric car in the sub 30k range before they will have any impact. I'm not saying this company could not help drive things in that direction but they have a long way to go.

    "Everybody does better, when everybody does better" - Paul Wellstone 1997

    by yuriwho on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 11:04:57 PM PDT

    •  Economy of scales (7+ / 0-)

      Produce a 1000 cars and it'll cost $60k, produce 2 orders of magnitude more and it's 1/3 the price. It's why custom production is always substantially higher in price than mass production. The question is what do we do with the industrial capacity of Detroit? More of the same or something else?

    •  Can I just say (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BoxNDox, CA Physics Grad

      SCREW Ralph Nader every way to Sunday.

      Thank you.

      "Clearly, many inside this Nation's Government anticipated it. It was Mr. bush and his gang who chose to ignore them." [KO 12/18/08]

      by eroded47095 on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 11:48:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You have to start somewhere (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BoxNDox

      Let's bust them up in little pieces so they can't hold us hostage like this.

      by RustyCannon on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 06:05:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're missing the point (2+ / 0-)

      The big cost is the batteries.  You need volume manufacturing to drive costs down for batteries.  You can't build big battery plants unless you have a market to sell the product.  So, unless you build the vehicles to create a demand for batteries, the price will never go down.  Even if Tesla only sells 10,000 cars a year (they're targeting 20,000) that's on the order of 100,000,000 million cells in demand.  That'll support 1-2 manufacturing plants on its own.  That's a pretty big first step.

      •  computer purchases (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theran, JayBat

        are pushing battery production and technology like mad.

        Tesla is tiny compared to that.

        George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

        by nathguy on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:38:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do the math (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BoxNDox

          Laptop - 3 cells

          Tesla Roadster - 7,000 cells

          Model S - Approx 8,000 - 12,000 cells

          Adds up pretty quick.  Plus, if there's a demand for auto-sized cells, then companies like A123 have a reason to build manufacturing.

          •  yes, do the math (0+ / 0-)

            2005 Worldwide Laptop sales

            http://findarticles.com/...

            200 Million worldwide sales. 3 cells each, 600 Million cells plus
            replacements, figure another 10%/year.  

            Roadster + Model S average 10,000 Cells per car.

            Tesla needs to sell 10,000 cars/year to be 12% of annual cell production.

            Frankly, that TESLA battery is a bad design.  10,000 parts, is
            just a design begging for failure,  unless they have a really good
            switching architecture to make it failure resistant, cell failure
            will drive them nuts.

            I know from reading the literature that the water cooling runs
            all the time dragging the battery life down by 20%.  

            George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

            by nathguy on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:53:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think you made my case (0+ / 0-)

              Tesla alone, with modest sales, can be a significant driver of a domestic battery supply market.  There is currently no market for Lithium-ion auto cells and they can make one.  Importantly, they can also drive other autos to compete in the space.

              Lastly, I have no idea where you get your 20% number but I'm sure it's bunk.  Do you really think a couple water pumps will drain 20% of an over 40 Kwh battery pack?

    •  Thanks. To clarify my position though, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yuriwho

      I need to point out that it is a claim that there is no such thing as a "green" car at any price.

      An electric car, for all the hype about them, is still a car, and it is intrinsic to their nature, based on their inherent mass, that they cannot be made sustainable for a population greater than a few hundred million people.

      I believe that the ethical thing to do would to stop trying to put lipstick on this particular pig, the car itself.

      The car is the idea of distributed energy writ large, and basically distributed energy sucks because by definition, the external cost of distributed energy is point source by nature.

  •  Well (3+ / 0-)

    When Tesla directly impacts 1 out of every 10 working Americans and its collapse would trigger a worldwide depression, let's talk.

    The "Worker" and the "Consumer" are one and the same.

    by Rustbelt Dem on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 11:15:03 PM PDT

  •  Been saying this for months, bravo! n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ProgressiveTokyo, polar bear
  •  hm. (3+ / 0-)

    the best car is a bike--"a chain, a crank, and a burrito-filled gas tank."

  •  I really like this car (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckeye blue, RustyCannon, polar bear

    The speed, price and style is just what I'm looking for in a car.  I may finally be able to give up on my E550 for a green car.

    Click here for all your political gear, including new laser etching technology! Don't like mine? Make your own!

    by sgilman on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 11:36:33 PM PDT

  •  Tesla has asked for a $350 million loan (6+ / 0-)

    http://www.teslamotors.com/...

    Regarding funding, I am excited to report that the Department of Energy informed Tesla last week that they may disburse funds from our $350M Model S loan application within four to five months. The Obama administration has thankfully made it a top priority to move quickly on the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program, as this will both generate high quality jobs in the near term and lay the groundwork for a better environment in the future.

    •  Nothing to stop them (0+ / 0-)

      from taking the money this year, and firing workers the next & importing parts, offshoring production.  Other than their good word.

      Sunshine on my shoulders...

      by pkbarbiedoll on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 12:06:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Any startup is risky (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RustyCannon

        But there are some significant people and money involved:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        Tesla's third round included investment from prominent entrepreneurs including Google co-founders Sergey Brin & Larry Page, former eBay President Jeff Skoll, Hyatt heir Nick Pritzker and added the VC firms Draper, Fisher, Jurvetson, Capricorn Management and The Bay Area Equity Fund Managed by JP Morgan.[1]

        The fourth, Series D round in May 2007 added another USD$45 million and brought the total investments to over $105 million USD through private financing. The fifth, Series E round in February 2008 added another USD$40 million. Elon Musk, who was President of PayPal before it was bought by eBay, has contributed $70 million of his own money to the company. By January, 2009, Tesla had raised USD$187 million and delivered 147 cars.

  •  Just so they can offshore jobs 3 years from now? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, RustyCannon

    That's how this works you see... we throw all kinds of money at these "green" companies only to see them take the advice of Clark Howard and every other neoliberal globalist - and offshore production & use as many imported parts as possible.  

    Nope.  I've seen this movie before.  

    Sunshine on my shoulders...

    by pkbarbiedoll on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 12:05:11 AM PDT

  •  Windmills. Smaller cars. Cheaper cars. Solar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pHunbalanced, Losty

    panels.

    Ocean thermal. Wave energy.

    Mini hydro.

    Etc.

    Their original car was hideously expensive, no real reason to think this is a car "for the masses".

    Be good to each other. It matters.

    by AllisonInSeattle on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 01:04:05 AM PDT

  •  That Would Sure Be Better Than Wall Street (0+ / 0-)

    I hope that Tesla isn't suffering any problems raising money through private means. If it is, then the government should make sure it has access to direct government loans, so that it is not slowed down in any way by the current economic situation.

  •  I love Tesla, but I don't think its the answer (0+ / 0-)

    Still takes way too long to recharge.

    And don't try to convince me otherwise, that'll be the next diary in my energy series...

    One last note- almost everything people say about the EV1 is wrong.

    •  thought: its your perception vs. objectivity (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      middleagedhousewife

      "It Takes too long to charge"

      Perhaps we should readjust what going 250 miles in a day really means to us.

      On proper voltage 2-4 hours of charging isnt TOO long, are you roadtripping 300 miles one way per day?

      Man I commute 210 miles on mondays and friday and it would STILL accomodate me, that is a LONG COMMUTE.

      your city or suburban driving wouldnt come close to touching that.

      •  Is it really 250 miles? (0+ / 0-)

        Well you'll have to read my diary in a few days.

        Suffice it to say, that real world conditions are nothing at all like test results.  As long as your commute is in sunny weather, and there's no traffic sure you can do 210 miles.  But add some stop and go, some rain, some heat and darkness, and you'll be very lucky to get 200 miles.

        So sorry you'll have to walk the last ten miles home.

    •  Tesla's way behind on the charging (0+ / 0-)

      But SSC's supposedly got a charging system for their Ultimate Aero EV that'll charge it up in something like 10 minutes. Considering the serious engineering chops at SSC (They make the world's fastest production car), I'm inclined to believe them.

      So now that we've won, when does the apocalypse begin?

      by Hannibal on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 11:54:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope, umpossible. (0+ / 0-)

        Again, that'll be in my diary.

        If you think you can transfer 100KWH in 10 minutes, then I've got a bridge to sell you.  To give you an idea of how impossible that is (with normal household conditions) the average home in America uses roughly 1KW at any given time.

        To do what you suggest, would require (not including efficiency losses) about 600KW.  A city of 2500 would use as much juice for that 10 minutes, as your car.

        Think about that.

  •  Sorry Electric Alone Won't Do (0+ / 0-)

    Go out stand next to a highway and count the number of big trucks, pickups, and SUVs.  The requirements for electric engines in the heavier pulls are too big for the electric engine designs. More Pull Higher the Amperage.

    This is ok for cars but we need a new internal combustion engine with the power to pull loads. The only thing I've seen with the power potential is a steam engine where the water is heated by a H2 O2 burn. Requires a stripper that uses sound and electric potential to pull out the gasses. Returns some water from burn to water supply. Steam engine provides lots of power but requires significant pure water to run.

    Going green won't be easy

    •  must disagree in part (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RustyCannon, hillgiant

      Remember that most railroad engines are Diesel-electric hybrids.  Pure battery operated - you're correct; although this sort of beast might do OK in urban settings.  But hybrids? In the works right now - like this.  Newer wheel-motors give you up to several hundred HP per wheel or axle without the need for power trains.

      See these PDFs

      http://www.fisita.com/...

      http://www.osti.gov/...

      •  Diesel-electric, not hybrids (0+ / 0-)

        Freight locomotive engines convert diesel to electricity to power the wheels, but there aren't any batteries so they aren't hybrids. GE did recently come out with a real hybrid locomotive, but I don't think it's in production yet.

        •  but what was said was that (0+ / 0-)

          The requirements for electric engines in the heavier pulls are too big for the electric engine designs.

          Nothing about batteries, just motor capabilities. And my point was that there are really big electric motors in use right now; there's even bigger ones on ships.

          Locomotives may not make it to being hybrids, but that model isn't as useful to them. The efficiency gains are from being able to run the ICE near optimum, and from regenerative braking and acceleration. Trains tend to travel long distances within a limit range of speeds, not doing too much stop and starting; they get decent efficiencies as is.  

          Switcher engines might be able to use hybrid benefits, but then switch yards are fairly easy to electrify which puts the engine "on the grid" with little need for onboard storage.

    •  large trans needs to be by Rail (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldjohnbrown

      and we can run Rail on electric.

      the hop from Rail to the point of sale can still be highly efficient hybrid. SO MANY OPTIONS.

    •  Bring links (0+ / 0-)

      "Clearly, many inside this Nation's Government anticipated it. It was Mr. bush and his gang who chose to ignore them." [KO 12/18/08]

      by eroded47095 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 12:40:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Throw some bucks to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hannibal, RustyCannon

    The reason people don't learn from the past, is because the past was a repetitious lie to begin with. Mike Hastie U.S. Army Medic Vietnam 1970-71

    by BOHICA on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 03:54:43 AM PDT

  •  They need to be purchased by a GM or Chysler. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RustyCannon

    Somebody that has the manufacturing capability to mass produce and bring prices down.

    •  But, because of the economy, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      malharden

      few are buying cars and all call manufacturers are hurting, foreign and domestic. Ours are asking us for LOANS. Foreign manufacturers are being bailed out by their home governments, and none have any cash to buy a start-up.

      Let's bust them up in little pieces so they can't hold us hostage like this.

      by RustyCannon on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 05:56:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  GM or Chrysler is incented to kill them... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Trial Lawyer Richard, BoxNDox

      ...not to help them succeed.

      The Chevy Volt saga is a working example of this.

      So's the EV1.

      So's Texaco buying battery patents then killing the technology.

      Having Tesla bought by one of these companies is exactly the WRONG thing to do.

      Henry Ford did not sell himself to a railroad company.

      Let them be a startup. Nurture and support them and let them grow sensibly.

      "Humor is a rubber sword -- it allows you to make a point without drawing blood." -- Mary Hirsch

      by malharden on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 05:59:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  GM is ahead of these guys on technology. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Buckeye BattleCry, nathguy

      They have no incentive to buy them. Tesla is nice because of their business desire to make electric cars, but they have no clear technological advantage over GM projects in the works.  

      Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

      by bigtimecynic on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:30:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's what the fan boys don't get. (5+ / 0-)

        It's not that hard to hand build a car, i had some friends who
        did one in shop class in school.  It's not even that hard to
        do one that's electric hand built.

        What's hard is doing it so it passes DOT certification, and
        then runs good in Minnseota as well as Arizona and Florida,
        runs 100K without exploding, runs smoothly, doesn't have
        weird door leaks, etc....

        My Camry, which is made in the millions, developed a weird trunk leak,
        took a trip to the dealer to fix.  GM used to fight terrible sun roof leaks.
        Delorean never got those gull wing doors to seal well.

        i had a VW Diesel, great car, but the mcpherson strut bearings used to
        seize up in the winter and it would handle like a truck, and the
        coupler from the engine manifold to the exhaust used to shake itself
        to death.

        having the dealer support to fix all this is a big deal.
        hacving the engineering depth to prevent it is even bigger.

        doing all that for 14K a car is really a big deal

        George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

        by nathguy on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:07:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's nice to see that someone gets it. (0+ / 0-)

          i had a person in another thread tell me that the ICE has not changed at all since it was invented.  I think most people don't get how much engineering goes into every aspect of their vehicle's life, from design to the manufacturing process.

          The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also. -Mark Twain

          by superheed on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 02:43:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Tesla motors was one first diaries I ever did (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldjohnbrown, buckeye blue

    That was years ago.  I just happened to be googling for "electric cars" when I came across this little website.  Between the Tesla activity and Zap! Motors I knew a change was a-comin.  I just didn't know it would take this long.

  •  If it is such a great deal, why isn't a private (0+ / 0-)

    entity buying up the company?  If you say because of Big Oil, why isn't a Japanese entity buying it up since they are not beholden to Big Oil, since they have zero oil.

  •  300 miles is a big deal. Range killed the EV1 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hannibal, buckeye blue

    If this car really can go 300 miles on a charge -- and that's 300 miles under real driving conditions, not ideal/perfect/never actually happens -- that is a HUGE deal.

    Back in the mid 90's I did some web marketing work with a team that was also working on the EV1.  Time and time again, it was cruising range that emerged as the biggest challenge, by far.  Officially, I think it was 70 miles.  But realistically, from everything I heard from these folks, it was more like 50 (i.e., if you did normal stuff like turn on the radio, perhaps the AC, etc.).

    Nobody in their right mind (or precious few) wants to buy a car that needs to be plugged in for hours every 50 miles.

    But 300?  That's a whole other ballgame.  

    •  Range didnt kill EV1 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brein

      GM killed EV1.

      EV1 customers BEGGED TO KEEP THEIR CARS (and the line was out the door for em)

      calculate how far you go in a day I bet its less than 300miles

      •  Price would have killed the EV1 if GM didn't. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nathguy, BrandonM, brein

        All EV1 drivers were leasing their cars from GM far below actual cost. GM had the REAL cost of each unit estimated at about $80,000 (in 1990 dollars).   If they ever went on sale in the open market at actual cost, the car would have died anyway. Its survival was based on GM subsidizing it.  This little tidbit is lost on people who say that GM "killed the electric car."  They didn't really strangle it, so much as they just pulled the life support plug out of the wall.

        Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

        by bigtimecynic on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:26:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  fair enough (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brein

          it wasnt profitable for GM at the time, because other products made this one look stupid.

          doubt it was hurting their bottomline much though.

          To be clear though, range did not kill the EV1.

          You didnt hear GM saying "sorry people just dont like the range of this car"

        •  Yeah, (0+ / 0-)

          I have a hard time believing that they would have killed a viable product that they spent $2B developing bc it worked too well.

          The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also. -Mark Twain

          by superheed on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 02:45:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  i hear in LA Traffic (0+ / 0-)

      the range was averaging 40 MPG with the AC on

      the traffic helicopters had a blast reporting stuck EV's on the
      highway.  

      George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

      by nathguy on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:10:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tesla is what you get with no government (6+ / 0-)

    Tesla's product line is geared to the wealthy with a really good reason. Electric automotive technology is expensive and is going to be so until technology and capital drive the cost down. The boutique market is viable, so we get the wrong car to solve the climate crisis.

    Who's at fault? Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush are at fault. It's up to the Federal Government to set goals and to see that they happen by distorting the free market. Large sums of capital should have been available for green car start-ups, and there should be significant subsidies to purchasers. A company like Tesla should have had significant federal backing along the requirement that they also produce a "Corolla" version of their electric car.

    Our system of financing start-ups is broken beyond belief. Right now it's based on the value of your house and who you know. The emphasis has been on mergers and acquisitions and not a healthy system of financing new companies. Only the government can insure the risk of financing small companies and only the government can afford grants. It's not just cheap foreign labor that has destroyed our manufacturing sector, it's also an indifferent government.

  •  No need to subsidize. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smedley Hirkum, RustyCannon

    Just tax the bejeezus out of carbon and let Tesla win in the market.

    Passive renunciation is not the whole of wisdom.

    by play jurist on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 04:33:25 AM PDT

  •  Tesla is the one to watch (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nobody at all

    Going from a 100K 2-seater car to a $50K 7 seater car in a couple of years is tremendous. What could they do in 5 years with some real money?

  •  Ford Fusion hybrid, 41 mpg city, 700 mile (8+ / 0-)

    range, base price $27,000, and it is a midsize car.  Don't see the attraction to pay twice as much for a 2 person vs 4 person car.

    •  Note that the sedan (4+ / 0-)

      ...currently vaporware for the next couple of years at least ("slated to go into production in 2011") already includes hefty government subsidies to hit its supposed $50K price.

      "The company expects to receive funding from the Department of Energy this year to support the Model S program."

      "The Model S will cost $49,900, after a U.S. government tax credit of $7,500, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said at the car's unveiling."

      "The company has raised $186 million in capital to date, and has applied for $350 million in federal loans."

      "Tesla, which ran into a series of cost overruns and production delays with its Roadster sports car that forced it to cut 24 percent of its staff, said last month that it should be profitable by the middle of this year."

      If they get the money, perhaps Obama should fire Musk?

    •  do the math... (4+ / 0-)

      ...at 41 mpg, it will take 5000 gallons of gas to drive 200,000 miles, which is a reasonable life for a car.

      at $2.00 a gallon, that only adds $10,000 to the total cost of ownership of the fusion...but if the price of gas goes back to $4.00, that adds $20,000 to that tco, making the choice between a tesla and a fusion more or less a wash, since the tesla would use no gas at all to travel those 200,000 miles.

      (it does cost about $2.00 a day to charge the tesla, so tco for that vehicle increases by about $700 annually for "fuel".)

      price of gas goes above $4.00...and the tesla becomes the cheaper choice.

      and that's the potential attraction.

      "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

      by fake consultant on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 05:59:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  At $20,000 for gas at $4 per gallon the (0+ / 0-)

        price goes to $47 thousand, making the Fusion still $10 thousand cheaper for a 4 seater.  Also, with the hybrid, you get the speed to go on the highway.  

        •  Can your Ford heap beat this? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sasher

          # - 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds

          # - 120 mph top speed

          http://www.teslamotors.com/...

          What highway has a top speed over 120 mph?

          "Clearly, many inside this Nation's Government anticipated it. It was Mr. bush and his gang who chose to ignore them." [KO 12/18/08]

          by eroded47095 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 12:42:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  i had the impression... (0+ / 0-)

          ...that the tesla was $50,000, compared to the $47,000 that the tco for the fusion could be...which is only a $3000 difference.

          it should be pointed out that there is a substantial difference in maintenance costs as well.

          for the tesla, just for starters: no oil changes, tune ups, transmission service, muffler or exhaust system, catalytic converter, starter, alternator, oil pump, fuel pump, water pump, radiator and hoses, or heater core.

          and because electric motors provide 100% of available torque at 0 rpm, if you throw around enough amps an electric car can outaccelerate virtually any car with an internal combustion engine.

          how fast?

          in this video the tesla wrightspeed x1 outaccelerates a ferarri enzo by doing 0 - 60 in 3.07 sec; and in this video a tesla wrightspeed blows the doors off both a lamborghini gallardo and a nascar rig on the oval.

          "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

          by fake consultant on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 01:15:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  OK, so at $2 a night to charge, if you drive (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fake consultant

        10,000 miles a year, it would take 20 years to hit 200,000, so 20 years at $2 a night electricity costs adds $15,000 to the price of the Tesla.

        •  there are a couple problems... (0+ / 0-)

          ...with your math here.

          first, to get to that $15,000 figure, you assume 7500 driving days in 20 years...which requires more than 350 driving days a year.

          a more realistic scenario might be a commuter who faces a 100 mile round trip to work, five days a week, fifty weeks a year. That's roughly 25,000 miles a year (and just about exactly double the national driving average).

          such a commuter would reach 200,000 miles in about 8 years...which, my handy calculator tells me, is 2000 days, which should, at $2 a day, add $4000 to tco, not $15,000.

          "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

          by fake consultant on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 10:38:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Fusion... (0+ / 0-)

      Diesel not sold in US gets 65 mpgs. I would by one in a heart-beat, but no plans by Ford to sell them here...

      "War is the health of the state." Rudolf Bourne "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."Samuel Johnson

      by american pastoral on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:36:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's because CAFE really racheted down (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brein

        the NOx targets for 2010.  The emissions standards in Europe are much less stringent.

        The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also. -Mark Twain

        by superheed on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 02:47:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  too bad.... (0+ / 0-)

          I run biodiesel in my VW Golf and I would love to replace it with a US brand....

          "War is the health of the state." Rudolf Bourne "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."Samuel Johnson

          by american pastoral on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 03:14:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think I remember reading somewhere that VW (0+ / 0-)

            pulled its diesel out of the US because of the new standards.  The new NOx targets are about 1/10 of the current ones.  Good for preventing ozone formation, but bad in terms of fuel consumption.

            The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also. -Mark Twain

            by superheed on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 03:38:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  How much is that car? (0+ / 0-)

    Nice...

    •  Just over $57k base price (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BoxNDox

      which includes a 160-mile battery pack.

      They're hoping for a ~$7k energy efficiency rebate to bring the effective price down to $50k.

      [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

      by oldjohnbrown on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:54:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tesla (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nathguy, wondering if

    Kind of reminds me of the DeLorean--lots of rich dilletantes, Music Man style promises and slippery characters. If some billionaire (Elon Musk) wants to make it a pet project (in between dabbling in private rocketships), and attract nouveau riche internet millionaires and such to the cause (Carmack and Calcanis), fine, let's see if a viable car ever comes out of it, but the government should certainly not "throw money" at it.

    •  if the Feds want to help. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sasher

      they should license the motor design and help GM or Ford
      set up a motor line.

      Tesla has some innovative motor technology, but, the rest of the
      vehicle is pretty marginal.

      witha  license per motor, they could make some money selling those
      to the others.

      George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

      by nathguy on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:13:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  i diaried on this company awhile back (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoCaliana

    and i agree.

    the negatives pointed out by some kossacks would all be resolved by a big infusion of incentive-laden investments and accompanying oversight, not to mention having to compete on the market.

    it would be a big success...

    especially if the other established american electric car company was also subsidized - phoenix motor cars

    •  the biggest weakness at Tesla (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldjohnbrown

      is the CEO.

      George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

      by nathguy on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:13:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No. (0+ / 0-)

        the biggest weakness at Tesla is the CEO.

        Nope, sorry.  Tesla's biggest weakness is that the batteries they would need to be a financial success simply don't exist.

        -Jay-

        •  you understimate (0+ / 0-)

          well, everything and everyone. i don't mean that to sound too terse or what have you.

          i just think you don't seem to grasp that people are ready, in a singular moment and state of mind in fact, to support even an "imperfect" new way of driving.  and that with that support and incentives, those batteries would exist soon enough.

          it's how many other major advancements in society came into being. ever tried to use one of the first "home computers"?  not practical, very flawed.  but look now.

          it can and will work for electric cars... with solar panels at home to recharge from, at that.

    •  great minds... (0+ / 0-)

      I also like Phoenix, got on their waitlist in Jan. '07.  But they took so long, I bought a Prius.  If they got gov't incentives, I would trade my Prius in for a totally electric car!

      Listen to Ray Taliaferro on KGOradio.com, 1 a.m.-5 a.m. Pacific time, M-F

      by SoCaliana on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:19:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wish they'd make a truck or SUV! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckeye blue, RustyCannon

    Yes, folks, some of us use those things as work vehicles. If you live on a farm, you'll find that those damn gas guzzlers come in handy when one has to haul a ton of feed or seed.

    If somebody made an EV that would get up the hill to our farm and could haul the things I need to haul, I'd buy it right now.

    •  You guys are the right internal combustion engine (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aisling, bigtimecynic, SciMathGuy

      ...consumers. Diesel, but ICE.

      Nobody blames you guys for your emissions.

      Smoggy, trafficky freeways are the problem.

      Still, hats off to you for preferring electric.

      "Humor is a rubber sword -- it allows you to make a point without drawing blood." -- Mary Hirsch

      by malharden on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 06:04:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The funny thing is that electric motors are great (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brein, SciMathGuy

      haulers. They produce gobs of torque, and unlike diesels they're not peaky.

      The problem is the batteries, which just can't store enough energy to work. But if you had a diesel-electric dynamo that ran on batteries until it was under load and then fired up the diesel, that could work very well.

      [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

      by oldjohnbrown on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:56:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Until my electricity comes from (0+ / 0-)

    a source other than mountain top removal for coal burning electric plants, I will not be buying an electric car.

    I woke up this morning, so I must still be alive. - DKos BFSkinner

    by Audri on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 05:35:42 AM PDT

    •  Then put solar panels on your garage. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Audri

      Let's bust them up in little pieces so they can't hold us hostage like this.

      by RustyCannon on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 05:45:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Problem with that is most people (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Audri, RustyCannon

        need to charge their electric car at night while they are sleeping...

        Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

        by bigtimecynic on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:21:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A solar system with batteries and inverter (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Audri

          would probably cost as much as a year's worth of fuel in a gas guzzler.

          But the main point is that we can't wait for the conversion from fossil to renewable energy to be complete before we start converting our vehicles. They need to be done simultaneously. My power comes from hydro and wind, so I would have no guilt charging an electric car. If your power comes from coal at this time, what is the difference in carbon emissions between the electricity generated to charge an electric versus the direct carbon emissions of a fossil-fueled car?

          Let's bust them up in little pieces so they can't hold us hostage like this.

          by RustyCannon on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:35:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Nail on the head (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arielle, zett, malharden

    Tipped and recc'd. I've been saying for months now that we should be positioning companies like Tesla, Phoenix and Fisker to be the next generation of American automobile manufacturers, so that we can let GM go the way of the dodo.

    I'm hoping to nurse my aging Geo Prizm along for another couple years, then convert a gas car to electric. Won't get the range of the beauty in the diary, but it should get me around.

  •  50-60 percent government subsidy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nathguy, malharden

    And this little baby would DOMINATE the market. Subsidize it for 2 years, 2 years thats all that would be needed. That is one SEXY sedan too, and I'm a picky SOB.

    COME ON OBAMA, lets get this country back on top.

  •  And free solar power for the electricity! nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    malharden
  •  the real hero of this story? (8+ / 0-)

    a123 systems: the american companty that makes the roughly 6700 batteries that make each tesla go.

    that's the company that really needs development money...and if we spend wisely, they can ramp up production to sell to more auto companies than just tesla.

    "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

    by fake consultant on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 05:49:49 AM PDT

  •  Oh god, let the California lovefest begin... (7+ / 0-)

    We all know how California is the innovation hotbed of America, and that the Upper Midwest deserves a slow strangling economic death (well, at least in the opinion of many uninformed Kossacks). Yay Tesla! Boo GM!

    Ok, seriously, there are so many problems with Tesla, and so many reasons it is technologically and economically inferior to the upcoming GM Volt electric car. Where to start?

    1. Tesla uses an inferior battery technology compared to the GM technology, with a substantially less stable chemistry and lower life design.  Why do you think they made it so easy to swap out their battery?  When the GM Volt goes into production, GM will be operating the ONLY advanced large scale lithium ion battery integration and assembly factory in the US.
    1. This is a relevant car to people who otherwise have their eye on a Mercedes or Jaguar.  The thing is over $50,000 for godssake.  Who can afford that?  It is more that 50% higher sale price than the estimated sticker price of the 2010 Volt.
    1. The Volt is a vastly superior concept. It also will be an electric car, but with an small on-emergency generator with a small gas tank. So when your battery runs out after 40 miles, the gen set kicks in to recharge the battery as you drive (at which point you are then driving a 50 mpg gasoline hybrid).  In other words, this concept eliminates what is known in the electric car community as "range anxiety"; that nagging feeling that you might not be able to make it home on your battery, and there is no place around to charge your battery (this anxiety is compounded by the fact that it takes quite a bit of time to charge).  And here's the thing... 75% of all American car trips are less than 40 miles (which is why GM picked this as the design point), so you may need to use the gen set only a few times a year depending on your driving patterns. So fill up your gas tank with slightly more expensive biofuel and set your eco mind at ease.
    1. With regard to the Chinese threat, I admit I do find this interesting.  If Kossacks have a problem with nonexistent, imaginary quality problems with moderm American cars, you ain't seen nothing yet. Just wait until you step into your brand new, death trap, lead painted, poorly constructed Chinese car.  It is worth noting that not a single car of Chinese origin is successfully sold in the US market at this time.  There is a reason for that.

    Bottom line? GM has the best technology for moving us forward in green cars.  It is the most well thought out technical approach, and will be decently priced (estimated around $30K after incentives and tax breaks). The tax dollars are much better spent on a company that understands large scale manufacturing, factory automation and robotics, and all aspects of automotive design.

    I will throw Tesla bone in two regards, though. They did help get the ball rolling on electric vehicles, and the proposed sedan is actually pretty sweet looking. But they just don't have the product, the price point, or the manufacturing know-how to be a major player in the near future.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 06:00:17 AM PDT

    •  So how about we support them as they... (7+ / 0-)

      ...evolve from a startup to a mature company that can perform a bit better.

      NAH, lets just poo-poo them and give jackasses like Wagoner more support no matter that he's been dangling the Volt in front of us for years with empty promises.

      But they just don't have the product, the price point, or the manufacturing know-how to be a major player in the near future.

      Blindly feeding GM's beast (and the Big 3 in general) is what got them to be "too big to fail" in the first place. I, for one, think it would be nice to see some motivated startups come along to lessen our National Risk. Either that or we will just let China and Korea/Kia come along and keep nibbling at our market share (GDP).

      "Humor is a rubber sword -- it allows you to make a point without drawing blood." -- Mary Hirsch

      by malharden on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 06:08:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would be in favor of promoting both. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldjohnbrown

        There is often a valuable synergy between the abilities of large manufacturers and the risk-taking nature of smaller business. But to blindly bash GM in this regard is absurd. The development of GM's EV1 in the 1990s did more to advance the technology of the electric car than anything in the last century. The Prius would not exist if the EV1 hadn't been there first.  

        Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

        by bigtimecynic on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:16:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You should have made this a diary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aisling

      Thanks for a shedding a little bit of lite.

      I wouldn't take much work to make this a diary, really...

      Liberals and conservatives are two gangs who have intimidated rational, normal thinking beings into not having a voice on television or in the culture.

      by Dave B on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 06:59:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Volt (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AdamW, dss, buckeye blue, iBlue, BoxNDox

      is priced at $40K. Fuck GM. GM execs are the stupidest, laziest, most arrogant bunch of bureaucratic assholes that ever ran a company (I know, I used to work for them). Anyone with half a brain would have taken a decent, cheap Saturn and converted that into hybrid to compete with Prius and Insight. Instead, they go around denying global warming just like they shunned SQC and Demming in the 60s and 70s. After gas price shot up to $4 and the company started its decent down a shit hole, they come up with this stupid idea of a $40K electric car. On top of that the fucktards make a hybrid out of Escalade, like people who can afford an Escalade would prefer a 15 mi/gallon SUV instead of the 10 mi/gallon original. Bunch of arrogant dumb fucks.

    •  Geography has nothing to do with it. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dss, sasher, zipn, brein
      1.  Tesla uses and GM proposes to use lithium ion batteries.  Although the batteries proposed for the Volt are more advanced, they will not be available for 2 years.  Tesla is providing a car with the best battery technology available now.  
      1.  The production of a new product as complicated as a car takes years of development.   These costs need to be distributed over the lifetime of the product line.  Tesla has no legacy technology like GM has that they can use to offset costs.  Each generation can be progressively cheaper as Tesla develops legacy technology.    Tesla's only option at this point is to use existing of-the-shelf parts until they can ramp up production, which will take years.

      Just as important, you have to get units in the field to "prove" technology.  Even with the six years it typically takes to get a new car to market these days, nothing can substitute for getting volumes of units on the road for extended periods of time.  The annoying service bulletin items that we all deal with serve to improve the next generation of vehicle.  Thus, a $50,000 price tag may limit sales to a couple of thousand vehicles a year but those vehicles are crucial to the development of future cars.

      1.  The volt is a better concept at this time but, again, it won't be available for two years.  The problem is not total range, since people tend to plan trips.  The problem is and always has been unplanned travel.  What happens when, due to unforeseen circumstances, you need to travel a distance greater than your range "right now."  With ICEs you just fuel up and continue.  E-REVs like the Volt also allow this solution.  

      All-electric vehicles can also solve this problem with the introduction of ultracapacitors, which should be able to recharge a substantial percentage of a battery packs capacity in 4 to 8 minutes, about the time it takes to fuel an ICE vehicle.  Unfortunately, these are still a couple or years away  same as the Volt.

      Before you praise GM too much, they were working on the basic concept used in the Volt (electric propulsion, fossil fuel powered range extender) back in the 1990s and prototypes using the EV1 were developed (60-100 mpg, 390 mile range), including some really interesting work using ceramic gas turbine engines instead of ICEs.  The program got scrapped, along with the EV1 in favor of the big SUV push.  In 2006 GM started over from scratch with the Volt concept.

      RE:  GMs devotion to SUVs.  They were forced down the throat of consumers because most of the tooling was paid for, they had efficiency of scale across product lines, federal subsidies reduced the price, and they were not subject to the same CAFÉ and emissions standards as cars.  Had GM spent the same billions (yes billions) developing and marketing the EV1 we would have a very different automotive landscape right now.

      FYI, GM spent nearly $1B to develop the Hummer brand, approximately what it cost Toyota to develop the Prius.

    •  Excellent post. (0+ / 0-)

      Thank you.

      Regards, Andrew Gross Chairman/CEO Automotive Consulting Services (An Oregon Corporation)

      by The Car Czar on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:43:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  it seems to me... (0+ / 0-)

      ...that both designs have places in the market.

      range anxiety is a real concern for many...but there are others who drive 50 miles or less, one way, to work...and a car with 300 mile range that uses no gas at all will be a very appealing option for a lot of those drivers.

      that said, there might also be a place in the driveway for a second car--or minivan--that can run around all day, or go on vacation (or go to costco, for that matter), and series hybrid seems well-suited for that application.

      "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

      by fake consultant on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 01:59:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ha I wrote this same story (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, buckeye blue, RTAtlanta

    A long time ago;

    As most of us know, during the debate to give $700 billion of the taxpayers money to the investment banks that had become "to big to fail" our elected officials gave $25 billion to the Big Three (soon to be Big Two) automakers. Now our representatives are planning to fork over another $25 billion and lend assistance in the merger between GM and Chrysler.

    A corporation that has proven over and over to be to big to succeed is getting even bigger through taxpayer donations. What will we the people receive?

    In 2010 General Motors will present the people with an automobile that can drive thirty or forty miles before needing gasoline. Setting aside the other obvious benefit of keeping many retirees out of the PBGC are the American taxpayers now also entering into partnership with Big Oil?  

    General Motors is not making much fanfare out of the fact that the company has entered its one hundredth year of operation in 2008. Perhaps out of embarrassment. Not because of the recent exposure in Who Killed the Electric Car? The Big Three have devoted over a century to killing both the electric car and electric public transit.

    Electric vehicles were actually the most popular form of automated transportation at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. The discovery of cheep Texas oil created the era of the internal explosion engine. Their first big move was changing the name to internal combustion so people could love their smelly dirty engines.

    A strong partnership of auto manufacturers, oil and rubber ruled the nation. So strong that before Charles E. Wilson moved on to becoming the Secretary of Defense, his most famous quote was "What's good for General Motors is good for the country."  Now we are left with hearing "What's bad for General Motors is bad for the country."

    It was very obvious by the 1960's that oil was not going to last forever and in the 1964 World's Fair GM was already promising an electric car and very soon but they had a whole lot of excuses. Even with collage students winning awards and being featured in Popular Mechanics for making electric cars in their home garage, it just couldn't be done.

    At this point Americans are so disgusted with GM that we are just about ready to put license plates on golf carts and be done with them so they are giving us thirty or forty miles.

    And now that a Silicon Valley start up has finally embarrassed GM enough with an electric high end production roadster that goes 221 miles between charges, GM has answered with a car that will go thirty or forty miles.

    What is Tesla doing now with little or no support for the U.S. government?  

    Tesla is also currently working on a sedan, originally code-named the "WhiteStar" and now known as the Model S, which will be introduced as a 2010 model. It is being designed as an alternative to cars such as the BMW 5 Series and the Audi A6, with an estimated price of $60,000. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was present at the unveiling of this new model and was on hand to announce that the Model S would be built in a new plant in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Future plans include a more affordable third model. The development and production of this future model, code-named "BlueStar", will be funded by profits from the Model S sedan. According to Tesla, if everything goes according to plan, BlueStar will be released in 2012 and cost around $30,000.

    And what future plans does GM have? Not much of anything, just that thirty or forty miles after devoting one hundred years to polluting this planet. With the new technology the Tesla Roadster is already obsolete but GM has been a weight dragging this nation down since before the owners of Tesla were born.

    What if our representatives gave $50 billion to Tesla? It sounds like a big wad of cash but it's a drop in the bucket compared with what they are throwing in the direction of every failed mega corporation they can find.  

    What could Tesla do with that kind of money? They could probably produce around 50 million of those Blue Stars and just hand them out for free. Of if they charged a nominal fee they could become the world's leading producer of automobiles and return the U.S.A to OPEC nation status.

    I know it's a crazy idea, it's downright un-American. It smacks of socialism and we only do that when it's bad money after bad. Something to think about, not something from the people at Getty but it sure would be nice to get that green energy ball rolling.

    It is a wild and crazy idea but this nation needs something other than lobbyist bearing gifts.

    •  Oh please. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldjohnbrown, nathguy

      GM kiled their electric car, but to state that they killed the electric car is to imply that all other car companies were mysteriously powerless to make one.  The auto industry was hardly a monopoly in the 1990s, and there was no reason why liberal icons Toyota and Honda couldn't step up to the plate. In fact, those guys deserve MORE criticism for be too fucking lazy to even try. But instead, GM ironically gets criticism heaped on them just because they were the only company that had the balls and brains to pull off a good prototype. Truly ridiculous.

      Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

      by bigtimecynic on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:01:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Toyota and Honda learned from the EV1 (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theran, highacidity, Eddie C, buckeye blue

        debacle and pushed the Hybrid.

        It balanced the two issues, and they had a decent product
        out by 2003.

        if GM had real balls they would have kept working on the EV1
        and made it into a hybrid.

        George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

        by nathguy on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:18:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The sad part is, GM did have a "range extender" (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          highacidity, Eddie C, nathguy

          concept on the board to make it a serial hybrid; essentially what the Chevy Volt will be.  They just never pulled the trigger. What a shame.  They could have developed what is essentially the Volt 10-25 years early. Definitely a shame. Agreed.

          Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

          by bigtimecynic on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:22:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They sunk a ton of money and years of (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            highacidity, Eddie C, nathguy

            highly contentious R&D into the EV1. I can understand that at the end they might have been fatigued. But it is a shame that they didn't just take the basic idea of a serial hybrid and drop it in an otherwise ordinary car.

            The Civic Hybrid is as plain-Jane as they come, but it's still one of the best hybrid models on the road.

            [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

            by oldjohnbrown on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:03:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  They actually had working prototypes (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              oldjohnbrown

              The electric propulsion, fossil fuel powered range extended prototypes were built back in the 1990s using the EV1 platform.  Some of the specs were pretty good: 60-100 mpg, 390 mile range.  One prototype used a 90,000 RPM ceramic gas turbine engine instead of an ICE.  A much better solution by the way, more flexible on fuels, 2-3 times as efficient and nearly zero emissions.

              GM can complain all they want about EV R&D costs but they spent over $1B to create the Hummer brand, which is nearly dead a decade later.  Talk about waste.

      •  You know for the life of me (0+ / 0-)

        I can't figure out where it was that I exonerated the foreign auto makers to deserve an "Oh please" and a "Truly ridiculous."

        I just added my point about the history of car companies and it is pretty obvious that I did not offer the blame exclusively to GM to anyone who can read.

        •  Well, not to press the issue but... (0+ / 0-)

          but your comment very clearly indicts GM, and exonerates Japan by virtue of omission (albeit not an explicit exoneration)

          Think about it; you laid forth a discussion of the woes and ill behavior of the auto industry.  The two largest car companies in the world by a long shot are GM and Toyota. Your entire emphasis was on GM, with nary a mention of Toyota.  Whether intended or not, that is significant bias.

          Although I did get a chuckle out of your term "internal explosion engine." I was just trying to explain to my young son the other day how engines work.  The notion that there are many small explosions occuring under the hood kind of amazed him.

          Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

          by bigtimecynic on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 12:04:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Tesla is applying (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highacidity, Eddie C

      for the $25 billion you are talking about, same as GM, et al.  There was never any limitation on that money to the established automakers.

  •  Curious as to how many have a commute of (0+ / 0-)

    less than 30 miles during which they rarely exceed more than 35 mph. This is the current target market for plug-in vehicles - and yet most Americans wouldn't consider themselves as part of it.

    I understand that plug-ins are not going to meet every demand - but then many of us don't own a pickup truck and yet rent or borrow one for those few times in which we do need it.

    •  That is why the GM Volt has a 40 mile (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spud1, oldjohnbrown, nathguy

      all electric range.  75% of all trips in the US are under 40 miles.  I am impressed by the amount of sheer common sense that has gone into the Volt development. It just so much more practical. I hope GM survives until 2010 so we can see it roll off the assembly line.

      Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

      by bigtimecynic on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:10:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the concern is not that my daily commute is 40 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spud1, Gary Norton, buckeye blue

      miles

      but that once a week i take a 100 mile trip, and that's
      where the range screws you up.

      if i spend a weekend, ferrying a kid to a soccer tournament,
      i don't want to sit for 2 hours charging half way there.

      George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

      by nathguy on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:19:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is my family (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spud1, buckeye blue

      5 people, one car, a ten year old gas-guzzling minivan on its last legs.  When gas prices hit $4.00, my SO's company started reimbursing 100% for T passes, so he's riding the bus to and from work.  On average, I drive between 200 and 250 miles a week, of which maybe 30 miles, tops, is highway driving over 40mph.

      I live in an inner-ring Northeastern suburb, but so do millions of other folks.

  •  Electric Vehicles??? (0+ / 0-)

    It isn't clear that there is benefit to Electrical Vehicle.
    After all--- the power has to come from somewhere. For example if you use a dirty coal plant to produce the electricity, what's the net benefit?

    •  The benefit is quite clear and provable. (8+ / 0-)

      The efficiency of a small internal combustion engine is quite low (20-30%) compared to the efficiency of even a coal plant.  Switching cars to electric would lead to substantial reductions in CO2 emissions even if coal produced all the electricity in question, in terms of CO2 released per KW of energy produced (although I am admittedly too lazy to go through the calcs here).  The benefits are even larger when you consider that a good percent of electricity in the US is generated by nuclear, natural gas, and nenewables.

      Plus, coal and nuclear plants provide what's known as "baseline" power; that is, they chug along at a good pace and are not easily ramped up or down to instantaneously meet demand. The result is that there is excess capacity in the grid during off-peak hours.  These off-peak hours happen to be at night; exactly when people would be charging their electric cars in their driveway/garage. So the current grid and generating capacity could actually work with a fairly large electric car population even without expansion or upgrade of the infrastructure.

      Electrification is the future of the automobile.

      Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

      by bigtimecynic on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:07:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great Idea! Build it in Detroit!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pHunbalanced, Hannibal

    Southeast Michigan is already an industrial wasteland. Let's invest and build this baby there instead of in an unspoiled part of the country like Oregon or Mississippi.

    "War is the health of the state." Rudolf Bourne "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."Samuel Johnson

    by american pastoral on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 06:38:29 AM PDT

  •  Tesla is a great start (0+ / 0-)

    But we need a multifaceted approach to this issue.  Creating a fleet of all-electric vehicles and a series of charging stations would seriously reduce the amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere and clean our skies, and making more electric vehicles would create jobs, but in a sense that would just keep some of our most pressing issues like urban sprawl and land management in status quo mode.  Like someone else mentioned earlier, some of our resources need to go into creating more and better mass transit.  And to facilitate that development, why don't some of the current auto manufacturers in Detroit refit their plants to manufacture light rail cars instead of automobiles.

    BTW, Fast Company had an article about 25 Ways to Jumpstart the Auto Industry, which asked experts from biotech, to the founder of Zipcar to Xzibit of "Pimp My Ride" on how they would solve the auto crisis.  I don't think any one of them have a magic pill, but at least the ideas need to be brainstormed.

  •  My son is 11 yrs old (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo, buckeye blue, brein, hillgiant, iBlue

    and he has a picture of a Tesla on a beach for his computer. It is the wallpaper for his laptop.

    He has told me from the time he was about 6 yrs old that he was going to build an all electric Ferrari. He has been enthralled with this car since I showed it to him.

    He is only 11 but he is already saying that he is going to MIT to be an engineer. That being said he also wants to be a catcher for the MLB and he wants to be a chef. I love all this ambition and whatever he does I am sure he will be fantastic at it.

    I guess when you have no new ideas, anything more than zero must seem overwhelming.

    by COwoman on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:13:58 AM PDT

  •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

    This was my initial response to the request for a bailout. Buy the Big 3 for the pittance they were worth, and give them to Tesla if they agreed to hire the Big 3's line workers with similar contracts.

    How we know Daffy Duck is Republican: "It's mine, understand? Mine, all mine! Get back down there! Down down down! Go go go! Mine mine mine! Mwahahaha!" --BiPM

    by rhetoricus on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:16:55 AM PDT

  •  the only problem with Tesla (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freespeech, buckeye blue, nathguy

    is that they currently make boy toys, not everyday cars.  If they were serious about competing in the full coverage global car market, rather than the Sharper Image male-mid-life-crisis market, they would design a light truck or some other utility vehicle.   As it stands, they are following an Italian sports car model of hand craft production, which is simply not capable of supplying national demand--even if they garnered $100,000 billion in public investment.   I mean, most golf cart companies could probably modify their electric  products to produce a basic electric vehicle with a range of 150 miles and enough space/speed to serve the needs of 80% of workaday American drivers. And they could sell products for $12,000.  So Tesla has to get serious about its long term R and D if they want to be seen as the lead player they claim they are.

    On the upside, though, their new Model S might, hypothetically, be modified to be a patrol cruiser, which could be a better first step than a huge influx of cash from DC.  If they can operate well in the  capacity of a police force standard vehicle--and in all kinds of conditions (e.g., snow and ice), then I think Tesla could be in a position to claim they are ready to pull the car market ahead over the next 10 years. But they need to take those steps rather than  just bragging about the testosterone infused acceleration of their roadsters...

    •  Barrier of entry (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckeye blue, brein

      It's not cheap to build a large scale production plant (cars, microchips, etc.). Intel and AMD have very few competitors because it costs billions to build a modern fab. Scaling up a new car company will take billions of dollars which is why the $350M from the DOE is just a starting point if Tesla wants to succeed.

      Cars are cheap because once the mass production process is put into place then it gets cheaper to build subsequent cars. When you buy raw materials in bulk you can leverage the order size into cheaper costs (economy of scales).

      Think a 4-door sports sedan with two trunks, modern safety equipment, and an 300-mile range electric motor selling for 25-30k a pop wouldn't fly off the showroom floor?

    •  I think you stretch it a bit here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highacidity

      if you are not an engineer.

      I mean, most golf cart companies could probably modify their electric  products to produce a basic electric vehicle with a range of 150 miles and enough space/speed to serve the needs of 80% of workaday American drivers.

    •  As I commented elsewhere, the roadster... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      suresh, zett, brein

      ... was the first of a three-step plan.

      Step two is the luxury sedan, the Model S

      Step three will be a more affordable car for most people...

      This is what was announced when the company was first formed, and so far (with delays of course, what development is without those unfortunately) they are following the plan.

      I believe this process is designed to put the bulk of the R&D cost onto the higher-priced cars... by the time they get to the more affordable model, a lot of things will be worked out.

  •  I believe that the US should spend our $Trillions (0+ / 0-)

    on developing world class basic technologies (batteries and infrastructure), licensing them for domestic production ONLY, and encourage a new wave of US, technologically-advanced, manufacturing companies to spring up.

    "Peace be the journey. Cool Runnings!"

    by Terra Mystica on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:43:05 AM PDT

  •  Sure! I'd flip 'em a billion dollar coin (0+ / 0-)

    I have no problem with that.

    I don't see why we'd need to dig into GMs pot, though.  There's a lot more at stake with GM than just GM and its cars.

    But I'd love to also support a new, visionary domestic car company.

    It's a grift. They probably had grifter parents and grifter grandparents and someday they'll each spawn little grifter kids.

    by Muskegon Critic on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:58:14 AM PDT

  •  I love the concept... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckeye blue, brein, iBlue

    but Tesla has yet to make a car that actually achieves what they claim.  The original claimed 240 miles and worked for all of 50 miles (Top Gear U.K., s12e7).  Then there was the 16 hour recharge time.  I hope this one actually goes 300 miles but I doubt it will.  

    As for the arguments about the battery, they are laptop batteries.  I am not sure that is a detraction.  How much does it cost to replace the battery in the Volt when it comes time?  Or is it more of a time to replace the car?

    To bigtimecynic:

    1.) Yes California is a hotbed of innovation.  You can thank us for the stricter air environmental standards that 23 other states have adopted.  Even if the Bush Admin EPA tried to shut it down.

    2.) The Volt is not on the market, the Tesla is.  I will concede the production ability lack with Tesla but not the know how.  They were able to come up with a higher performance electric vehicle before anyone else.  Engineering a manufacturing process that is more efficient than what Detroit has will be simple and quick, with the right funding.

    3.)  Honda has an electric/hydrogen based off of the Civic that looks promising.  More so than the Volt.  I want manufacturing to be here but if the Volt arrives and it is out of date before it hits the market than that will be the end of GM.

    4.) These supposed non-existent quality problems you refer to actually do exist.  When I buy a Honda I buy it with the confidence that if I maintain it the car will absolutely go for 250k miles with no major issues.  That is the reputation of Honda.  Of the 3 American made cars I have had not one has made it past 90k miles due to mechanical failure. (Chrysler, Chevy, and GM in case you were wondering)  That is a quality problem and it does exist.

    A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel.-Robert Frost

    by MicahT0078 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:17:43 AM PDT

  •  China will only STEAL the technology (0+ / 0-)

    then pawn it off as their own. I will purchase the new Tesla Motors car as soon as it's available.  I am hanging onto my "paid for" 15 yrs old Camry until a green american made car is on the market.  It will be my first american made car.

  •  I'd rawk (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dittoz

    the everliving shit out that car.
    Tesla makes some sexy SEXY vehicles

  •  MIT Battery (0+ / 0-)

    I wish I had a link but Wired.com recently did a story on a new type of lithium battery that MIT has/is developed/developing.

    Basically the sucker pulls a full charge in seconds, so a battery of the size that would be in the tesla would recharge in minutes.

    Imagine parking along the side of the road to mail a letter and coming back out to a fully charged Tesla Roadster, amazing stuff.

  •  50,000 is too much for most Americans... (0+ / 0-)

    unless you have a tenured job, are a doctor, or have a trust fund.  

    We need affordable electric cars, not these super rich only vehicles.

    So, I'd vote 'no' on giving money to Tesla.

    I'm betting Toyota or Honda will be able to develop a better car that will cost 20k or less and if they can't the Chinese will---using the billions that GM has invested in Chinese car companies over the years.

    (while GM spent a billion on the Hummer, Toyota spent a billion on the Prius)

  •  I'd Be Getting in Line to Buy a Tesla But (0+ / 0-)
    To get on the waiting list, a prospective buyer has to put up $40K cash as a retainer. For delivery 2 years out! And if they mess up your order (that would never happen at a new company) you either take what they made or get back in line.

    Living here on their home turf, I see a few Tesla Roadsters rolling around now -- oh yes, object of desire. Zero to 60 faster than a Porsche 911, less weight, more power. And no tail pipe.

    The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by easong on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:38:15 AM PDT

  •  battery production destroys the environment (0+ / 0-)

    Here's a series of pictures from Sudbury, Ontario.  This is where the nickel comes from to make the nickel-metal hydride batteries that go in the Toyota Prius.

    Lithium production for the Tesla batteries is no better.

    You can see the damage from outer space.

    They are not labor-friendly, either.

    Bottom line:  cars cannot be made environmentally friendly.  We're going to have to give them up if we want to survive.

    •  Give up cars....now, that's really going to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hannibal

      happen! Everything has an impact. Let's focus on how to lessen the impact and not on ridiculous "back to the stone age" solutions.

      I suppose you are against solar and wind because of the damage they cause as well?

      •  of course not (0+ / 0-)

        But I'm against turning hundreds of square miles of land into a lunar landscape, being the leading cause of acid rain in North America, and screwing labor in the bargain.

        Check the link I provided.  There's got to be a better way than this.  Is mass transit so unthinkable?

        •  So let's focus on mitigating the environmental (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          highacidity

          and labor effects. Not on proposing something that makes us look like kooks.

          Mass transit is great and we should invest in it. But it will not completely replace the personal transportation device.

          Some environmentalist extremes are against solar, wind and tidal because it disturbs the environment (of course, we need to have EIS on those as well).

      •  Give up horses and buggies...now, that's really (0+ / 0-)

        going to happen.

        This comment was sent from 1892.

  •  I just don't understand. It's a coal-fired car. (0+ / 0-)

    The electricity has to come from somewhere!  So what if it burns coal?  It doesn't make it green.

    "If any question why we died, tell them, because our fathers lied." - Kipling Check out the video at www.videodissent.com

    by VideoDissent on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:45:49 AM PDT

  •  question (0+ / 0-)
    what would it take to start a co-venture w/tesla
    and gm et al, to convert all the 2008-9 unsold gas cars to
    tesla electrics?  obviously tesla can't build
    enough electric cars to meet demand.  and we
    already have all these cars aleady built and
    sitting.  couldn't they be converted to tesla-gm
    elecric cars?  sold at a reduced price because
    of taxpayer dollars to clear the lots and get
    production going on new cars?
  •  It might be worth noting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayBat, Hannibal

    that in nearly 6 years Tesla has only delivered about 150 cars.

    You realize that Lotus, the company that builds the Roadster and provided its platform, is planning to challenge Tesla with an extended-range EV?

    We are all droogie6655321

    by Buckeye BattleCry on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:02:05 AM PDT

  •  I've always thought (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buckeye BattleCry, Hannibal

    we should have taken the billions for the Big 3 and given them out to small companies and startups showing real promise in alternative cars.

    But not to Tesla.  They've proven ineffective in every area of their business.  They obviously have some cool ideas and some smart people, but they're just not good at doing their job, which is delivering electric cars that work.

    But yes, lets give billions to the other dozens of interesting car companies out there.

    President Barack Obama

    by subframe on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:06:36 AM PDT

  •  Electric cars can be FASTER (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity

    than IC engines as well, easily. I drive a mustang gt. The things a rocket. Id bet you money that a low end electric car ten years from now could leave it in the dust. Electric cars have a lot of advantages besides just eliminating gasoline.

    Murder is Fun http://www.wakeupfromyourslumber.com/node/10156

    by cdreid on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:15:12 AM PDT

  •  No need for the government to be picking winners. (0+ / 0-)

    Just tax gas to offset all the costs (global warming, wars) that go along with using it.

  •  Unfortunately (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hannibal
    if you order this car today, you'll get delivery on 2011.

    I wonder if even with government funds this company is able to develop technologies required to reduce costs, mass produce, and deliver its products on a shorter time frame.

  •  Financial situation for Tesla (0+ / 0-)

    Last time I checked, Tesla only has 9 million (US) in the bank, which is partly due to the fact that they're venture capital funded (VC's are evil bastards; my previous company was shut down due to a fire sale so our VC's could get some of their money back, causing 30 people to get fired when any objective view of the situation would make them not go crazy when the economy went to crap). I love Tesla's technology, but without some serious long term testing, I'm not sure if this is a viable EV. The batteries have amazing (and redundant) safety systems, but I'm not sure if anyone wants to ride around on a 1000 pound battery that could have the same issues as the dell batteries that went into thermal runaways (caught on fire). I'm really hoping either Tesla or someone else can make this work, but the safety factors are quite worrisome.

  •  Republican Party, 1910: (0+ / 0-)

    "Internal combustion?  Assembly lines?  What the hell are those?  What this country needs are more guys in suits trading horseshoe futures!"

    Andrew Mellon & GOP: 'In a Depression, assets return to their rightful owners'

    by Tuffie on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:51:25 AM PDT

  •  What's the total environmental cost? (0+ / 0-)

    including the manufacture and disposal of batteries and the energy required to recharge the batteries? Electricity rates are going way up.

    It's obviously a greener alternative to gasoline fueled motor vehicles but these cars  still require the same highways and the same raw materials to manufacture. They will have the same problems of disposal and will contribute to congestion and traffic.

    First I would give billions to mass transit like mono-rails. This is transportation that would get people off the roads. It's also cheaper than owning a vehicle. We need to think 'cheap' because hard times are coming.

    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

    by Agathena on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 11:11:05 AM PDT

  •  some corrections (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dcoronata, SoCaliana

    The $57,500 base price (it's only under $50k after a tax credit) is for the 160 mile range only.  A 300 mile range will cost more - how much more isn't stated.  And the 45 minute charge is a "quick" charge for a 160 mile range with non-standard electrical in your house.

    Still, if they've pulled off a real 300 mile range in a real sedan AT ALL, it's an amazing technical feat.

    Hand me that airplane glue and I'll tell you another story.

    by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 11:14:55 AM PDT

  •  I wish Saturn could go independent and then... (0+ / 0-)

    devote the investment necessary to take their line and make it electric and bio-fuels. A range of autos from 18K to 40K that has high mileage and local electric. If I had ten biliion I'd do it!

  •  Should Michigan be ignored? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett
    You seemed to have talked down the Detroit Three instead of urging them to adopt electric vehicles.

    Is 12% not a high enough employment rate for Michigan?

  •  Charging stations (0+ / 0-)

    This is a link:

    http://www.engadget.com/...

    When you state something to be fact, it is good to back it up with a link.

    The author of the diary did it.

    But really, no one else , especially the concerned gloomsters in the comments, did.

    "Clearly, many inside this Nation's Government anticipated it. It was Mr. bush and his gang who chose to ignore them." [KO 12/18/08]

    by eroded47095 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 01:23:08 PM PDT

  •  i would love to have one, even better a roadster (0+ / 0-)

    but we miss the point a bit, we need to build an affordable electric car, not $50,000 for the model s, or the chevy volt for that matter. we need cars to compete with the honda civic or hyundai elentra. cheap cars to compete with the chinese, who will kick our asses if we don't keep our eye on the ball. if taxpayer dollars are going to subsidize this industry it needs to be for working class people to buy an electric car, not for people who can afford a $50,000 car.

    "the christian in me says it's wrong, but the corrections officer in me says, 'i love to make a grown man piss himself.'" - cpl. charles graner

    by mindtrafficcontrol on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 01:45:21 PM PDT

    •  Sigh. (0+ / 0-)

      This is the plan... from one of my earlier comments:

      Tesla's original development plan...
      ... was to begin by developing the technology and process by manufacturing the verrrry pricey roadster, which they've done.

      Next is to go one step further and make a "luxury" sedan, which is what this diary is about.

      Then they will make a much more affordable model. So I guess the knowledge and manufacturing capacity gained at each step will help bring down the price.

      I wish the diarist would add this to the diary, so all the people bitching about Tesla's "elitist" cost could see there is a plan to make a more affordable auto.

      I think it makes a heap of sense to put the bulk of the R&D cost onto the high-priced cars. Then they make the affordable one.

      So many people here are thinking short-term. Yes, development is taking longer than anticipated, but that is not unusual unfortunately. This is new stuff...

      •  why would you write "sigh"? (0+ / 0-)
        in any case, i wasn't speaking specifically about tesla (if you read my comment you will see that i also mentioned the expensive chevy volt). my point was about taxpayer money, which is being thrown around fairly loosely these days, being given to corporations. i'll repeat, WHOEVER gets our money, there should be strings attached that we get a car that is affordable. and if we expect to beat the chinese at this i suggest we achieve this goal rather quickly. in a world with accountability we would say, "hey, gm, you know that $6 billion you want? show me how you are going to get a million $20,000 electric cars on the road in 4 years. then we'll talk."

        "the christian in me says it's wrong, but the corrections officer in me says, 'i love to make a grown man piss himself.'" - cpl. charles graner

        by mindtrafficcontrol on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 04:59:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary. Right here in Silicon Valley! (0+ / 0-)

    Next time I tell you someone from Texas should NOT be president of the United States, please pay attention. In Memory of Molly Ivins, 1944-2007

    by truebeliever on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 03:20:29 PM PDT

  •  Infrastructure (0+ / 0-)

    This is great. Some commenters hinted that this car is just another stepping stone for tesla to an even cheaper all eclectric vehicle. This is what govt money should get behind. As well as supporting the infrastructure for a electric car culture. Currently the grid could not power a significant amount of people driving electric. We got some work to do, kudos to this progressive step and a changing america.

  •  Dear Sirs, (0+ / 0-)

    This is worth considering, to say the very least ~

    'nuff said!

    ~we study the old to understand the new~from one thing know ten thousand~to see things truly one must see what is in the light and what lies hidden in shadow~

    by ArthurPoet on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 03:38:30 PM PDT

  •  5 years from now (0+ / 0-)

    Americans will fall over themselves buying Chinese cars, electric, hybrids, whatever. They'll be cheap and otherwise competitive. It's practically inevitable. Get used to the idea.

    We don't inherit the world from the past. We borrow it from the future.

    by minorityusa on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 04:06:13 PM PDT

  •  I want that car!!!! n/t (0+ / 0-)

  •  Agree Completely (0+ / 0-)

    I've been drooling over Tesla's line ever since I was in Iraq. I grew up with Chevy and recently went from that and Ford to all Toyota. We have a Highlander hybrid and Tundra, so I say let Detroit go bankrupt until they produce something green and reliable.

    We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further. ~Richard Dawkins

    by Therapy on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 06:28:19 PM PDT

  •  Only if the billions will get the price down (0+ / 0-)

    on the car.  It's still too high.

    And ask Obama what he learned here in SoCal from Phoenix Cars.  They might be a better choice, since they're ready to market next year.  Find out if they can make their cars get more miles per charge.

    Maybe DKos can get some of us together and make a fleet purchase?

    Listen to Ray Taliaferro on KGOradio.com, 1 a.m.-5 a.m. Pacific time, M-F

    by SoCaliana on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:13:36 PM PDT

  •  Glad to see this diary still on the rec list. (0+ / 0-)

    I've forwarded the link to many folks of like mind.

    Thanks again for a great read!

  •  SEPARATE Government from Private Enterprise (0+ / 0-)

    I don't want my tax dollars going to GM, Chrysler or this boondoggle of a company either!

    While we're at it, let's get "Turbo Tax" Timmy Geithner (The Graduate) out of the boardroom and back where he belongs, or else we'll see a return to Soviet-era cars and collective farm production goals.  

    Calling Mr. Khrushchev!

    Good luck to all!

    Regards, Andrew Gross Chairman/CEO Automotive Consulting Services (An Oregon Corporation)

    by The Car Czar on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:38:39 PM PDT

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