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For those who have not been following the Tesla Model S saga here's a primer.  A week or so ago NY Times writer John M. Broder wrote a pretty scathing review called "Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway" with a devastating photo of the Tesla on a flat bed truck.  The news hit like a brick and Tesla's stock price dropped over 3%.

Within hours Elon Musk CEO of Tesla Motors responded.  He went on TV and made his case. In particular on CNBC where he went into some detail his concerns over the review and Mr. Broder.

A he said/he said ensued.  Even here on Daily Kos.  

Well since then other reporters have taken it upon themselves to recreate the DC to Boston trip including CNN Money and CNBC.  Results are below

First came CNN Money and their review.

One of the bones of contention between Musk and Broder was that Broder opted to go through NYC and deal with congestion which wastes battery life.  

After a short break in Manhattan, the range readout said 79 miles; the Milford charging station was 73 miles away. About 20 miles from Milford, less than 10 miles of range remained. I called Tesla again, and Ted Merendino, a product planner, told me that even when the display reached zero there would still be a few miles of cushion.
Musk noted that was unplanned and Broder would not have had any issue had he followed the plan.
The above helps explain a unique peculiarity at the end of the second leg of Broder’s trip. When he first reached our Milford, Connecticut Supercharger, having driven the car hard and after taking an unplanned detour through downtown Manhattan to give his brother a ride, the display said "0 miles remaining." Instead of plugging in the car, he drove in circles for over half a mile in a tiny, 100-space parking lot. When the Model S valiantly refused to die, he eventually plugged it in. On the later legs, it is clear Broder was determined not to be foiled again.
NY Times explained that Broder was driving around looking for the charging station in Milford but the stop in Manhattan was never really explained.  

Peter Valdes-Dapena CNN Money opted instead to go around NYC, a trip that is a bit longer but takes less time and doesn't take you through city traffic.  The result?

When we got to Northern New Jersey, we had a choice to make. We could take the shorter route to Milford -- over the George Washington Bridge and through the Bronx -- or a route 30 miles longer that avoided New York City, and its battery draining traffic congestion altogether.

I discussed it with the people at Tesla by phone during the drive, as well as photo journalist Jeremy Harlan and producer Abby Bassett Heffernan, who were accompanying me in a separate car. We opted for the longer route, though the folks at Tesla advised slowing down a little to conserve energy.

That seemed smart, until we hit traffic. While it wasn't as bad as the epic parking lot that is the Cross Bronx Expressway, I had gone 30 miles out of our way to avoid traffic and I got it anyway. This did not seem like the road to success.

But as I drove into Connecticut, I realized something amazing. Not only did I have enough battery range left, I had plenty. I had at least 40 miles -- more than an entire Chevy Volt's worth of electricity -- left to play with. I sped up, cruising over 70, riding in the left lane, mashing the gas pedal just to feel how fast the car could shoot from 65 to 80. I was practically giddy.

In the end, I made it -- and it wasn't that hard.

Earlier today NY Times responded to criticism of Tesla's Model S review.  KenInCO wrote a diary about it here.  Basically they admitted Mr. Broder fucked up.
Did he use good judgment along the way? Not especially. In particular, decisions he made at a crucial juncture – when he recharged the Model S in Norwich, Conn., a stop forced by the unexpected loss of charge overnight – were certainly instrumental in this saga’s high-drama ending.

In addition, Mr. Broder left himself open to valid criticism by taking what seem to be casual and imprecise notes along the journey, unaware that his every move was being monitored. A little red notebook in the front seat is no match for digitally recorded driving logs, which Mr. Musk has used, in the most damaging (and sometimes quite misleading) ways possible, as he defended his vehicle’s reputation.

Well CNBC's Phil Lebeau ALSO decided to follow up on Tesla and he test drove the Model S from DC to Boston.  He reported on his trip in real time, checking in with the people of CNBC as the day went.  

There are a few videos of his trip along with this key observation

After commenting on "range anxiety" in his last update, Phil put those concerns to rest at the Milford, CT charging station. If you know how far you're going, the car monitors how many more miles you have left. "There shouldn't be range anxiety if you know exactly how far you're going," Phil said. He also said that he'll be charging the car for about 45 minutes before he heads off on the last leg of the drive up to Boston.
.

Alot of issues and questions were brought up with the NY Times review written by Broder. Some of them Mr. Broder and NY Times tried to respond to, others they failed to completely.  Both CNN Money and now today CNBC set out to see who was right and who was wrong in this he said/he said.  Both showed that if you charge the car and manage your mileage like you would do a normal IC car you won't have a problem reaching your destination.  

Some questions still remain but by and large it seems that the Tesla Model S passed the test given to them by CNN and by CNBC.

NY Times and John M. Broder on the other hand failed the test.  

Wed Feb 20, 2013 at  5:22 AM PT: Wow Rec list?  Well um thanks guys.

Here's a follow up on the week long debate inPC Magazine.

It seems that a few Tesla owners also recreated the test run from DC to Boston.  That may explain why I saw a black one in Westport, CT the other day.  Westport is along the route taken and they have a solar powered EV refueling station at the train station off I-95.  I have to say it is a sleek car.  Even in a town as wealthy as Westport that car stood out and that's saying something considering I saw a Maserati like 5 minutes later.  It's not built to be an economy car but rather a luxury vehicle on par with some BMW or Lexus models.  Only it's an EV as well.  This is the future whether we accept it or not.  New hybrids and EV's are being introduced every week.  Just recently Toyota announced the hybrid Scion.  At under $15,000 that's a great deal for the young struggling college student and it won't burn a hole in their pocket filling up.    

Wed Feb 20, 2013 at  1:20 PM PT: 4th quarter results are in.  

Greater than expected losses.  Income was up however.  Tesla anticipates producing 20,000 Model S vehicles this year.  They had over 6,000 reservations in 4th quarter compared to 2,900 in 3rd quarter.  Most importantly they anticipate making a profit in 1st quarter 2013.  Not a bad start.

Originally posted to DisNoir36 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 05:53 PM PST.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots.

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  •  Tip Jar (199+ / 0-)
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    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 05:53:19 PM PST

  •  Well I'm sold on Tesla but my wife isn't (60+ / 0-)

    the price of the Model S left her "shocked". She's told me that if I want it I've got to lose weight and put money aside for a year towards the car. That woman will be the death life of me yet.

    What's wrong with America? I'll tell you. Everything Romney said was pre-chewed wads of cud from Republicans from the last 30 years and yet he managed thru a combination of racism and selling the (false) hope of riches to get 47% of the national vote.

    by ontheleftcoast on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 06:00:14 PM PST

    •  PPrice is a bit high but (24+ / 0-)

      you can't think of it as you would a normal car.  

      The lowest range Tesla goes for over $50,000, but you have to consider that you won't ever have to buy another gallon of gas.  

      If you drive your car 200,000 miles at $4.00 a gallon in a typical car that gets say 30mpg that means you're spending over $25,000 in gas alone.  Now add in the cost of doing an oil change every 5,000 miles and a tune up every 15,000 miles.  Add in the costs of replacing belts and spark plugs.  Maybe a muffler or cat converter and lord knows whatever else.  When all is said and done you're easily spending $30,000-$35,000 on fueling and maintenance that you don't have to spend on a Tesla.  Now add in the price of buying that typical car.  

      That's with a car getting 30 mpg.  If the car gets only 25 mpg then fuel costs go up to $32,000 ALONE!!!

      In the end you're paying about the same or less for that gas guzzler as you would for a new Tesla.  Only difference is with Tesla it's mostly upfront and it's better for the environment.  

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 06:20:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, not even close. (23+ / 0-)

        It will cost you close to $24,000 just to replace the batteries over the course of those 200,000 miles. And most folks will charge at home where electricity is not "free".

        With cars rated at 42 MPG and higher, it is not economical to own a Tesla S. It might be a fine gesture and investment in a clean energy future though. But make that investment with your eyes open, not based on bad math.

        We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

        by i understand on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 06:53:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually (30+ / 0-)

          it only costs $8,000 for the 40kwh battery.  Batteries have a 100,000 mile or 8 year warranty.  

          There aren't too many cars rated at 42mpg or better and only five of them sells for $20,000 or less and none of them compare in terms of luxury with the Model S.  The rest are higher with some significantly higher and they're mostly hybrids which means you'll still have some added costs of gas and maintenance.    

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:27:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So then, you agree with me... (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Chi, Argyrios, MPociask, Quicklund, rb608

            We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

            by i understand on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:56:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ummm. Speaking of bad math. $8000 doesn't (24+ / 0-)

              equal 24,000.  

              And the little cars that you're referring to are not really the equivilent of the Tesla.  It's more like a BMW.  And you're not going to find one of those that gets even close to 30 mpg.

              Why the hostility anyway?  I don't quite get why a discussion of Tesla would be turned into a silly "gotcha" post.

              "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

              by gustynpip on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:35:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  First, I didn't say 24,000 I said "close to". (6+ / 0-)

                And the higher end battery replacement is currently 12K for a replacement. So if you want to be precise it would be (if everything works perfectly) some number greater then 16K and less then 30K depending on the model you get.

                I'm not hostile at all, nor am I playing "gotcha" (although you all may be playing that, I'm not sure but you all seem very defensive). But if bad math is needed to sell something I get suspicous. It puts it in the company of a flat tax and the lottery.

                We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                by i understand on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:46:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  But where do you get these numbers? (9+ / 0-)

                  Are these based on testing by engineers?

                  Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

                  by yet another liberal on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:49:02 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  no based on the warranty and replacement costs. (7+ / 0-)

                    published by Tesla.

                    Also not mentioned here is the $600/year service fee.

                    Again, lots of good reasons to buy a "green" car. And if the Tesla S fits what some folks want, great! But who wants bad math to convince them it's somehow a cheaper solution?

                    We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                    by i understand on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:54:50 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Bad math? (15+ / 0-)

                      Stop it.  A Tesla is a luxury car.  It's expensive.  I think people who buy that are well aware of that.

                      Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

                      by yet another liberal on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:58:13 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  But why treat what you perceive to be "bad math" (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      von Dutch

                      as some sort of sneaky way to "sell" Tesla?  Why couldn't you just have posted a "but here are some additional expenses you didn't take into consideration"?  That's what's usually done when people want to provide information and have a discussion.  When people want to be argumentative, they state their position in the "gotcha" manner you did.  Which leads me to believe you have agenda other than just making sure people have all the facts.

                      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                      by gustynpip on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:38:16 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I'm not worried about it (6+ / 0-)

                        he/she tried to hijack the thread.

                        I didn't include the costs of a battery replacement because when I spoke to a rep from Tesla they told me that even though the warranty is for 100,000 or 8 years the batteries are expected to last 200,000 miles.   At that point, if you've had the car and driven it 200,000 miles, you've likely had it for 10-13 years unless you drive like I do (25,000 per year which would still work out to 8 years).  When that time comes you have to make a decision.  Do you pay $8,000-$12,000 for a new battery or do you buy a new car.  Its not an altogether different decision than a typical car owner faces when say their transmission goes.  Last year I spent over $6,000 in maintenance alone and I STILl have to replave my cat converter to teh tune of over $1,000.  With an EV you don't have those things.  So if I missed adding $600 maintenance every 15,000 miles it's because that STILL is less than what I'm paying to maintain my current car.  

                        My estimates were never intended to be exact.  Just a back of the napkin type rough estimate to show that  the way we think of cost with a typical car is not the way we should be thinking with an EV car.  EV's will cost more up front but in the long run the overall cost is not all that different than a typical car.  I mean my estimates were if anything conservative considering the Tesla Model S is a luxury car.  If I had compared it to a similarly luxurious car then my original price for the car would likely be $30,000 to $40,000 with fuel costs on top.  Maintenance of luxury cars are even pricier.  So when you add it all up, the Model S ends up being a pretty good deal.  

                        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

                        by DisNoir36 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:53:35 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Nonsense (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Quicklund

                          But if it makes you feel better about a purchase, you're welcome to your reality bubble. And I see there is another clique here that attacks anyone who challenges that bubble.

                          We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                          by i understand on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:02:19 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Nonsense that was no hijack (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          i understand

                          The comment about battery replacement costs was as on-topic as a comment can be.

                          You offer good logic here as to why battery replacement might not be needed. But it might. And to ignore this factor entirely, even after it is raised, is indeed bad math.

                          What's worse though is the possibility you'd not made this rebuttal comment at all. These sort of comments are productive. Don't blow off quality debate as a hijack. The ratio of crap:productive comments on the internet is far too high for that. We've got enough chaff so please do not deny us your wheat.

              •  My BMW 328i gets better than 30 mpg in actual use (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                i understand, NYFM

                The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                by nextstep on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 10:02:04 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Your BMW 328i (0+ / 0-)

                  also probably cost you brand new between $40,000-$55,000 depending on the model.  

                  Now add in fuel costs and maintenance.

                  This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

                  by DisNoir36 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:56:10 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  All vehicles have maintenance costs (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    earicicle

                    This constant assumption that there'll be no maintenance issues on an electric car get tedious. There's still a lot of moving parts, there's still brakes, suspension, tires, lighting etc. There's also some pretty sophisticated software and lots of processors, do you think those won't require any maintenance?

                    Bottom line, it's still a car, and it's going to require maintenance. Will it require less maintenance? Certainly. But to say that these things are zero-maintenance, hassle-free is wishful thinking at best.

                    I've seen this sort of thing a lot with the EV community. It's like no EV company can do any wrong. No matter how shitty that company's product is (Zero and Coda) they're still treated like they're the best thing ever.

                    You need a license to drive, a license to run a business, but any idiot can buy a gun.

                    by Hannibal on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 10:27:26 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Sure they do (0+ / 0-)

                      but you won't be changing oil filters, spark plugs, belts, cat converters, exhaust systems, alternators and so on.  

                      There are far LESS moving parts in the Tesla than your standard IC car.  Outside of tires, brakes, air filters and certain fluids to keep those parts moving smoothly.  So it's obvious that maintenance will be significantly less.  Especially when you consider that you only have to go for maintenance every 15,000 miles as opposed to every 2,500-5,000 miles.  

                      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

                      by DisNoir36 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 01:28:26 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Tesla has 15k mile maintenance intervals? (0+ / 0-)

                        And you actually think that's low? That's on par with modern Ducatis, which aren't exactly known for being low maintenance.

                        You need a license to drive, a license to run a business, but any idiot can buy a gun.

                        by Hannibal on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:41:29 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  My read on all of this... (6+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MPociask, Ian S, IL clb, Hannibal, sea note, NYFM

                You are paying a LOT of money for a car that leaves you in a constant state of calculations and continual worry.  The biggest concern, at least at the moment, is making it to one of the very limited number of charging stations so you can refuel.

                And while 45 minutes of recharge time may be fine if you time your stop to get a meal, it still adds substantially to the overall trip time.

                It is not that I am unsympathetic to the strong need for a fleet of reliable electric vehicles, but right now, we're on the cutting edge and the buyers are early adapters, willing to deal with the uncertainties of charging locations, traffic conditions and constant calculations.

                I was and am an early Prius buyer.  I still have my original from 2004 with about 90K of miles on it and it runs great.  As I remarked to my partner last night while we watched news stories about the recent run up in gas prices.....whatever we buy next time, great gas mileage is going to be a key concern because this problem is only going to get worse.  

                As technology advances, I do think electric cars will build market share, but I also suspect they will more often be used as the second car in two car households, and one devoted more to the large volume of "in town" driving and/or shorter daily commutes most of us do.

                Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

                by dweb8231 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 04:44:06 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I wouldn't say constant worry. (6+ / 0-)

                  Day to day, you'll wake up at full charge for your daily commute. As long as it's under 100 miles each way, you're fine, with a pretty large buffer. Never needing to refuel is nice.

                  The only time you need even minimal planning is on long road trips.

                •  Because you never ran out of gas? (10+ / 0-)

                  I have.  Not fun.  

                  That's the point.  Running out of juice is no different than running out of gas.

                  The only difference right now is that the infrastructure is not fully in place but it is coming online pretty rapidly.  

                  I think someone who buys an EV  will have to be organized and figure out a routine.  Charge at night, find charging stations near an eatery for lunch and so on.  But in a few years the infrastructure will be in place and then there won't be any excuses.  

                  This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

                  by DisNoir36 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:59:19 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Good point (0+ / 0-)

                    20 minutes later my Dad came and gave me a gallon.

                    No not fun, but not catastrophic for Gasoline, just kinda slowly the pedal stops doing much of anything.

                  •  I would beg to differ (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    nextstep, Quicklund, NYFM

                    There is a big difference.  If I run out of gas, I call someone and they can bring a gas can with a couple gallons of gas.  If I run out of juice, who do i call and say "Can you bring me a couple kilowatts of electricity (or kw/ah or whatever).  Although I could always call a friend with a portable generator or a tow truck...

                    ''The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government provides no real security for our Republic.'' - Justice Hugo L. Black of the Supreme Court

                    by geekydee on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:34:27 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You've just designed the 2015 tow trucks (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      cazcee

                      Soon every one will be built with a short-range jucifier.

                    •  When EV's are more prevalent, I can see that AAA (0+ / 0-)

                      service trucks will have on board a battery booster that will get you to the nearest charging station.

                      Life may select the picture, but you choose the frame.

                      by sea note on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 10:40:49 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I wonder what it would cost (0+ / 0-)

                        for these cars to come equipped with an emergency battery with just enough juice to either get it off the freeway or to a charging station. It might require a electronic switch up front or a manual connection to take over the electronics of the car from the main power source.

                        Retaining it's power might be done through solar or other means. The goal would be that the drive would only have to use it when it was needed and not have to charge it frequently as batteries that aren't use tend to lose their charge. If they charge overnight then maybe a portion of that goes to the emergency battery.

                        Some would say why would we need it in the first place. Because electronic calculations of mileage remaining are only as good as the software, the battery, the monitoring of road conditions and traffic plus time between recharges.

                        The Telsa may be close to dead accurate as possible but at that price point it's not going to sell nearly as many as one in the $15,000 range that are being planned now.

                        It would be the battery equivalent of the small spare tire that gets about 50 miles.

                        That might be a profitable third party add-on if enough cars make it on the road and the manufacturers agree to a  universal interface with the emergency battery as an option or leaving the interface and the space around it easy for a third party battery to hook up to it. I don't know if they have it right now. But I do know the Leafs and at least one other car was recently rated as having the worse resale value. Range anxiety , like anything new is going to keep people away from buying e-cars unless of course Apple makes one.  

                        Hey....137B in cash. My guess is they'll wait until it's at 200B and build a worldwide wireless carrier of their own with the latest and greatest equipment since the adaptation of smart phones and pads are limited by the unreal cost of the monthly bills that go with them and the credit rating of the person buying it.  But in the interim, they could use 50B or so to build a small car company and do a iCar. All electric, all wireless, white or Black, sleek as hell. The Apple logo on the front grill.

                         

                    •  One other wrinkle.....the plug (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      geekydee

                      I think electric car manufacturers are working together on a common design, but one issue is trying to enable as rapid a charge as possible and that means big cables and special plug designs to handle the load.  Whether it is a special tow truck design or some other such, the bottom line is that unless you can find a car recharging plug, you could be facing a challenge.

                      Yes...cars can run out of gas, but if you suddenly need to start looking for a gas station, you've got a lot better chance of finding one than a charging station.

                      Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

                      by dweb8231 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 01:29:22 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  You KNOW there will be (0+ / 0-)

                      People starting businesses to do just that, if not already started - cruise around helping people who ran out of juice.

                      Seriously, this is really a non-issue.

                      Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

                      by splashy on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 05:55:27 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  I've never run out of gas. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    happymisanthropy, NYFM

                    NEVER. And I've been driving for a LOT of years.

                    Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                    by earicicle on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 10:32:22 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  and the guys that owned (3+ / 0-)

                  the first internal combustion engine cars faced similar issues, plus in some places, being fined for scaring the horses.  The technology, as far as practical road experience, is in its infancy.   Similar changes over time in what EVs can do should be forthcoming, just as power, range and features of IC cars changed.

                  The Tesla really isn't yet a touring car, a long distance ride.  It can be done, but it doesn't feature the convenience of driving an IC car.   But over time, that will probably change.  No one right now who needs to make plus 100 mile trips routinely probably wants to own an EV to make those trips.

                  I spent two years in Chicago a good long while back.  In all the time I lived there, I made one trip out of the city by car that went over 100 miles.  I could have used an EV with little or no inconvenience if they had existed back then.  

              •  What about (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MPociask, Quicklund

                VW Passat TDI?  $25-30k.  EPA says 43 Mpg but several folks I know who own it says nope - they get better (and these aren't hyper-miler types).  I get 44 mpg  on mixed highway/city driving on my 99 Jetta (just turned 200k yay!)

                We are seriously considering a Passat TDI (not to replace my Jetta mind you) in the near future as soon as I can make room for payments on a $25 k car.  I would LOVE a Tesla S but I need the price to be a good deal lower - so I am rooting for great sales that will help the technology spread!

                "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

                by newfie on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:12:01 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm giving some serious thought to the new (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  oldmanriver, newfie

                  Ford - Fusion is it? hybrid.  It's getting rave reviews and with the $4,000 tax credit, will be around $30,000 with all the bells and whistles I want.  It's rated for 47 mpg.

                  Right now I'm driving a 2003 Jaguar X type with nearly 200,000 miles, which they don't make anymore (if they did, I have to admit I'd be buy it again, regardless of the 25 or 26 mpg).  I'm having a dickens of a time finding anything even brand new I'd rather drive than it and have spent literally years looking.  I refuse to consider anything that gets less than 30 mpg, yet want it to be fun to drive and nice looking.  There's really not much out there, I've found.

                  "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                  by gustynpip on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:47:30 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Be careful with the MPG for the Fusion and CMax (0+ / 0-)

                    There's a significant portion of owners (and testers like Consumer Reports, etc) that are only averaging between 37 and 39 MPG in both no matter how carefully they try to drive.  My wife was considering the Fusion Hybrid but we'll wait a bit to see how the controversy shakes out.

                    If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin. --- Charles Darwin

                    by coracii on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:37:06 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I have heard that. (0+ / 0-)

                      And I have heard the exact opposite for the VW TDI.

                      "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

                      by newfie on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 01:02:00 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Thanks for letting me know that. I won't (0+ / 0-)

                      be doing anything until spring at least, maybe longer.  I've spent so much time online looking at cars, trying to find something sporty but comfortable and with enough room for dogs and lugguge when traveling, but getting decent milage.  I actually just hit upon this one reading Edmund's and love the looks of it, it sounds like it has the space I need and has some of the little luxuries I like and meets my  milage requirement plus some.  I'll stay on top of the milage thing, though, before I jump into it.

                      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                      by gustynpip on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 02:03:02 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Ford Fusion? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    gustynpip, radical simplicity

                    um, yeah.  I have a 2012 and I love it, although do NOT believe the mileage claims.  my overall mieage at this point is 31.4 and has dropped over the winter.  Things to think aboutconventional heater uses engine heat, so engins until warmed u[p for heat.  Yeah, crazy ain't it?  My sticker said 42 city/34 highway, but if I take short trips (~130 mi.), I get around 35-38 mpg, and if I keep the heat off, I can make 39 on in-town trips with out hills.  NOTE:  Hills will kill the mileage!  

                    But, on the pro side, I love the heated leather seats, the lighting package, in-mirror backup camera (only have Sync, not the Touch console)), the room and creature comforts and the fact I can reach all the controls and SEE them (unlike the Prius V I looked at).  I have a friend with a Mercedes S-something or other, and he liked it, so I figure it ain't all bad  :)

                    ''The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government provides no real security for our Republic.'' - Justice Hugo L. Black of the Supreme Court

                    by geekydee on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:46:56 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Boy do I miss heated leather seats! (0+ / 0-)

                      Though, reading your comment, I'm glad I chose a different car - we were considering the Fusion, among others. It would have bugged me to no end to have gone backwards on mileage. I had gotten down to 39 mpg in the old, old, old civic hybrid, and between the wear and tear of a quarter million miles, through a decade of VT mud seasons and salty winters, and needing a little of everything in order to pass inspection, we reached the "makes more sense to buy a car" stage.

                      Luckily, the new one (prius c) is averaging 49 mpg, despite the really cold weather, winter formula gas, and studded snow tires on steel (nominally pothole resistant) rims.

                •  I Love My Jetta TDI Sportwagen! (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  newfie

                  40+ mpg...and it can go fast.  ;)  It can haul a lot of dogs, too.

                  •  That was/is a consideration. (0+ / 0-)

                    I won't give up my 99 Jetta TDI until it gives up.  I am looking for 300k (really 400k but don't tell my wife).

                    "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

                    by newfie on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 01:03:27 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  My Civic Hybrid Battery lasted 263,000 Miles (17+ / 0-)

            A replacement goes for ~$2k, now. When the car was new, the battery packs cost ~$5k. As battery-powered cars become more common, the price of batteries is dropping. The Tesla battery will probably cost less in 100k miles than it does now, and will cost even less by the time it actually needs replacement.

            If you just pay a small amount of attention to what I call "battery hygiene," (don't overcharge it, don't drain it dead, try to keep it in the 40 - 80% range) a battery can last a whole lot longer than the warranty period. I don't live in an environment that is friendly to batteries, but living off-grid, I learned the basic healthy-battery charging lesson before I bought the car.

            I may very well be the only person in the country with that model of car whose battery pack lasted that long, but it literally took zero effort to make it last, other than an occasional glance at the charge indicator on the dashboard, and a commitment to change how my foot rested on the gas pedal based on what it showed.

          •  My 1997 manual Chevy Cavalier got 42 mpg. (0+ / 0-)

            And that was only because I was a newbie at driving stick--I learned on the Cavalier, to take it as a hand-me-down from my sis. Most other vintage Cavalier drivers, I found, got 44 mpg and up. It was a $10,000 car in its day.

            As for current cars, Mazda's SkyActiv technology gets you 40 mpg for the world's best car, the Mazda3. Which you can get into for well under 20k. The Cavalier was a bridge car between my Mazda 323 (the 3's venerable ancestor), which gave me 18 phenomenal years of service and my 2010 3, from which I expect--if I wish--another 18.

            Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

            by earicicle on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 03:42:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Furthermore.... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hannibal, radical simplicity

            .... gas cars tend to have a 100,000 mile warranty on the drive train. So if we assume we'll be replacing the batteries based on the warranty, we also have to assume we'll replace the engine/transmission. Try pricing an engine for a BMW.

            We heard all these alarming numbers about the Prius too, when it came out. The batteries are lasting longer than expected, and replacements are now a fraction of the originally quoted price.

          •  And didn't Tesla just say they are biodegradable? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            radical simplicity

            And isn't it all wheel drive or is that the model X SUV?

            I thought they had a buyback program too.  Where the batteries can be bought outright or traded in with money off the next purchase?

            The EV1 only got 125 miles per charge and could charge up overnight and the reality is 90% of Americans drive around 90 miles a day.

            Meaning even the smaller battery pack Tesla would help the majority of Americans.

            It's a no-brainer, IMO.

            Thanks for all these efforts.

            We need the Tesla NOW!

            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

            by gerrilea on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 11:27:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Googling 'tin whisker anode battery' (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lujane, elwior, Just Bob

          turns up a little article on 'Gizmag' about an improvement that might tip the scales. Don't know how to link, but it seems promising.

        •  Battery price is found where? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sychotic1

          Here's the Battery Warranty for the 85kWh car: 8 years, unlimited miles.  From the Model S options and pricing page: http://www.teslamotors.com/...

          However, I think the car sells itself on simply being really nice.  Don't forget that you'll need to pay for the electricity too!

      •  You do still need to calculate the cost of the (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MRA NY, Lujane, MKSinSA, sacrelicious, MPociask

        electricity in.  And you just might end up needing to replace batteries (unless there''s some warranty, which I don't know).  I'd love a Tesla, but I'd need to get the $80,000 one, and our electrical rates are double that of most.  So it's probably not going to happen.

        (Isn't there also a tax credit of $7,500?  That would reduce the actual cost as well.)

        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

        by gustynpip on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 06:57:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There is no free battery replacement. (0+ / 0-)

          We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

          by i understand on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 06:59:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Costs of electricity are minimal (8+ / 0-)

          especially if you fill up at a Tesla supercharger which is free.

          Batteries have a 8 year 100,000 warranty.  

          Yes there is a $7,500 credit.  I factored it in already.  The 40kwh is actually close to $60,000 without the rebate.

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:29:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ha! You aren't fortunate enough to live in a (4+ / 0-)

            coop area like me.  We get to pay double everyone else's electric rates.  And there are no superchargers anywhere within hundreds of miles.  The one I'd need to buy in order for it to be of realistic use would hit nearly 100 grand, so I guess it's going to continue being a dream, even with your most helpful calculations.

            "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

            by gustynpip on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:28:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  SOLAR PANELS (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Just Bob, radical simplicity

              Although what I do is have a net metering deal with the electric company where they buy my excess power during the day, when they need it and I don't.  I also have a Time-of-Use plan where I charge my Leaf at midnight when power is cheapest.  I pay 9 cents a kWh charging then.  Both my charging station and the car itself have timers to enable this.

              So would getting solar help?

              •  Not where I live. I think the sun shines (0+ / 0-)

                a total of like 22 hours a year.  (Not really that bad - but this time of year, it feels like it.)  

                My husband and I have discussed the possibility of putting up a windmill - because what we don't get in sun we definitely get in wind.  But we haven't been able to find any realistic way of getting that done.

                "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                by gustynpip on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:51:13 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  When we looked on Tesla's website, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Quicklund, NYFM

            THEY had already factored in the federal tax credit into the advertised price.

            You're likely double-discounting.

            © grover


            So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

            by grover on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:54:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Where do you get (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Quicklund, redcedar

            this "minimal cost" electricity?  I'd like some for my house . . . (I get the "free for now" at "supercharger sites" for as long as the marketing promotion lasts, and even the tax-and-ratepayer subsidies for some "home charging stations", but obviously that can't go on forever . . . it doesn't cost any less to generate electricity for your car that it does for my television).

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:57:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  From what I've heard with the superchargers (0+ / 0-)

              The only cost to Tesla is the capital cost and maybe a bit of maintenance.  They actually figured those costs into the price of the Model S.  That at least is what Elon Musk said in an interview discussing it.

              "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 Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 09:53:31 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If so, (0+ / 0-)

                (and I'd love to see the accounting for it) it's not "free" it's "prepaid" . . . and any time you charge at home on your own dime you're paying twice.  Or something.

                Is it actually in the purchase contract that you're guaranteed "free" power forever?

                Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

                by Deward Hastings on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 01:51:02 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  There's a federally mandated battery warranty (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MKSinSA, sacrelicious, Sychotic1

          And in some states, there's an additional mandate. The minimum, under federal law is 100,000 miles.

          In some states, it's 150,000 miles (any state that has adopted the CA emissions regs).

          If your battery pack dies before the minimum mandated age in your state, you get a free battery pack from the dealer.

        •  quoted prices after the discount n/t (0+ / 0-)

          "There's nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires." - President Obama

          by fhcec on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:09:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Most electic companies have EV credits/discounts. (0+ / 0-)

          You simply have to apply.

          (As a matter of fact, many offer discounted rates for equipment like CPAP machines for sleep apnea too. I had no idea. But I'm off topic... )

          As for the federal tax credit, Tesla includes that in their advertised price of the car...

          © grover


          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:51:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't buy the price argument considering that (9+ / 0-)

        Hummers did and other huge gas hog Trucks&SUV's still do sell in large numbers at equal to an higher prices than Electric and Hybrid Vehicles that are worth the higher price for other very good reasons than Trucks/SUV have for just being Big and Gas Hungry.

        •  Trucks have a psychological reason (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sychotic1, defluxion10

          I wish I could find it - years ago, there was a marketing study that showed a very high propensity for large truck purchases among people with prescriptions for viagra.

        •  Assuming that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          defluxion10

          the folks looking to spend that kind of money on a car are also concerned about the environment.  I think that it is likely that a similar percentage of those who can afford it are interested in environmental concerns as those who cannot afford it.  This puts more pressure on and makes it more difficult to establish an EV market.  There will be a limit to how far the market will take it unless you lower the price to reach the other environmentally conscientious folks.  I think companies like Tesla understand that.  Otherwise the S would have a cost closer to the Roadster.  I think thecost will come down in time.  Or more likely they will bring out a new modl that falls in the $30-40K range.

          "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

          by newfie on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:29:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Model X is next one (5+ / 0-)

            and it is I believe slated to hit the market this year.  Supposedly after that they'll roll out 2 new models a year and they will be more affordable.  The plan was always to roll out the higher priced cars to make some money which could be used to build more affordable ones.  This is completely new technology in many ways.  Tesla built the Model S from scratch.  So it's understandable that they would want to recoup some of their costs.  I think in 5 years or so the technology will be so far advanced from today and the market will have grown so much that by then the new EV cars rolling out will blow the Model S away in terms of range, price and enjoyment.  But still this is an exciting step in that direction and I whole heartily applaud Elon Musk for taking that step despite the naysayers.

            This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

            by DisNoir36 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:38:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  The Tesla S is a luxury/status car (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sychotic1, TomP, Argyrios

        If you care about the savings from gasoline, you can't afford it.
        Right now they only sell the model with the greatest range as they are production limited and this car makes the most money for them.

        It really competes with BMW 5 and 7 series.

        I think it is a great car,  and I plan to take a test drive.

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 10:00:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They are shipping 60kWh models right now (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sychotic1, Quicklund

          And they should be shipping the 40kWh models soon (I think those are awaiting EPA tests).

          It is a great car.  Highly recommend it.  I think the best values are at the top and bottom ends; 85kWh Performance is a beast and the 40kWh is fantastic for around town luxury.

      •  You don't get nearly the mileage range in the (7+ / 0-)

        Entry-level tesla as the ones being reviewed. You're really only getting a commuter car. And the $57,400 (which Tesla just announced it's raising to 59,900) is the price after the $7500 federal tax credit. So the price actually bumps into the mid $60k range, until you file your taxes next year.

        That's pretty spendy for a commuter car.

        To get the 300 mile range, you're looking at mid $80k,  depending on the packages you choose, a bit more. Plus sales tax. Plus service, which is pre-paid. No Tesla facility near you? That's cool; they come to you, for only several hundred dollars more.

        So rough calculations, a $95k- 100k car upfront, and your tax credit(s) later.

        For financing, Tesla expects you to put at least $25k down, depending on the model/package you buy, which, no kidding, who wants to finance that much of a depreciating asset?

        This is not a car intended for the middle class. I don't this Tesla really pretends it is.

        I'm not knocking it at all. Tesla is filling a hole in the market, and there appears to be a big market, from what I can see. But this isn't a car for most folks.

        © grover


        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:44:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree totally. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quicklund, radical simplicity

          I hope that they will end up bringing in a new line for those of us who think spending 20-25K is a lot to spend on a car.  

          "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

          by newfie on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:31:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not for a while (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            newfie, radical simplicity

            They need to ramp up volume which means they need to sell enough of the current line to expand production facilities to make a new line to sell to expand production facilities, wash rinse repeat a few cycles.

            And of course the chargers need to spread along all our major highways

            I'd say we're at least 15 years away.

            "Don't be defeatist, dear. It's very middle class." - Violet Crawley

            by nightsweat on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:45:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Musk's stated goals.. (4+ / 0-)

          have pretty much always been to drive the market throguh building enthusiasm for electric vehicles by building top end cars.  Musk has said that he would consider getting out-sold in the EV market by the traditional companies a success.

          They entered into the market not with a competitor to the Leaf or the Prius, but with a competitor to the Viper, the Corvette, the 911 - Pretty much the opposite of a general consumer vehicle. Their next targets are pretty much the whole BMW and Cadillac lines.

          Taken as a whole; I can't consider Tesla Motors as a serious attempt to sell cars en masse to all of us. Rather, it seems to be meant an antidote, if you will, to the failures of the EV-1. A firework message that electric vehicle doesn't have to mean a souped up golf cart.

          •  Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            radical simplicity

            Really cool trends tend to trickle down.  My husband and I will walk through a parking lot and observe how many cars look like BMWs.

            It's not that BMW build their cars to look like Hondas, but rather smart mid range car companies get on board quickly.

            Notice how many phones being advertised look almost exactly like iPhones? No coincidence there...

            If everyone drove a Tesla, Ferrari would build an electric vehicle that the affluent would actually want.

            © grover


            So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

            by grover on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 11:12:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  lol at that response, ontheleftcoast. nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ontheleftcoast

      I share a birthday with John Lennon and Bo Obama.

      by peacestpete on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:43:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They are working on a less costly sedan... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      minorityusa, ontheleftcoast

      ...but their SUV/CUV will be out next.

      Regulated capital serves the people, unregulated capital serves itself.

      by Alumbrados on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:04:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I believe the Times ombudsman report. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattinjersey, NYFM, Shotput8

    I read Elon Musk's rebuttal to the story and too much of it was spin for me to just accept. And many things in the story he did not deny, like what the Tesla folks told the reporter about the "lost" electrical charge overnight.

    The reporter showed poor judgement and record keeping, but was not "faking" the report.

    We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

    by i understand on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 06:55:46 PM PST

  •  The Tesla is a great piece of engineering (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mookins, Sychotic1, MPociask

    and it's been an extremely valuable exercise in pushing the technology envelope. That doesn't hide the fact that it's a niche market vehicle with serious practical limitations. Even if I had the dough I wouldn't consider buying one.

    •  We ought to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      misterwade, MKSinSA

      Just tax gas at $9 a gallon and sit back watch the earthe burners cry

      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

      by Mindful Nature on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:25:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  except that would utterly screw (0+ / 0-)

        over the economy and what's left of the middle class

        In the time that I have been given,
        I am what I am

        by duhban on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:02:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I sort of agree BUT (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aseth, MPociask, Joieau

        I think that we should gradually raise the tax on gas.  Give people time and incentive to make the transition.

        I would suggest raising the excise tax on gasoline by about 10 - 15 cents per year for the next decade.  It may not seem like much, but it would promote alternate technology and it would simultaneously fund more road and bridge projects throughout the nation.

        "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

        by Sychotic1 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 03:53:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And what about those of us (0+ / 0-)

          among half the working people in this country who make less than $25-30K a year? You know, the people for whom the used-used vehicle market exists. All this plan does is make it much harder for us to get to and from work (afford the fuel), yet our real wages and purchasing power keeps going down every year. We can't afford nifty new hybrids or EVs in the $50K+ range. Nor can we afford used hybrids or EVs in the $15-25K range. Nor can we afford used-used hybrids or EVs in the $8-15K range, or $8K+ in new batteries.

          IOW, if a used-used vehicle costs us more than about $5K, we can't buy it. And when we do, we pay outrageous interest and struggle to make the payments anyway while also paying for fuel and maintenance. Which nickel-dimes us to death on all those peripheral pieces-parts. Just another regressive tax.

          Meh. I'm saving up for a mule.

          •  I have been there (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau, radical simplicity

            and it is true that the poor are generally harmed more by many/most change.  One could mitigate (somewhat) by placing a good portion of the increase into alternate forms of transportation such as mass transit, bike lanes, etc., but that is not a complete solution.

            "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

            by Sychotic1 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 11:52:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Question. (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    otto
    Hidden by:
    Morgan in Austin

    Will they put this Tesla to the test?

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    If you listen to fools, the Mob Rules

    by CO Democrat on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:23:03 PM PST

  •  warmer (7+ / 0-)

    cnn report was done on a much warmer day. temperature affects battery life.

    Obama 2012...going to win it with our support!!!

    by mattinjersey on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:42:05 PM PST

    •  Cold weather reduces the battery's output (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alumbrados, Shotput8, duhban

      And too high of heat damages it (reduces its life).

      Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

      by yet another liberal on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:48:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And that's what Broder's report emphasized (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYFM, Shotput8, indefinitelee, sangreal, Ian S

      Musk and his backers, and the pro-EV crowd here, emphasize the imprecision in Broder's report on his trip to the charger in Milford.  He wasn't  hypermiling or doing a great job of conserving energy; the distance between superchargers was marginal.

      But the real fun part of his review was the part where he ran out of juice.  This occurred because the temperature fell to 10F and lost more than half its charge just parked overnight.  He made it to a Level 2 charger and gave it an hour, which only added 5% to the very cold battery.  Tesla's instructions to "condition" it didn't work, so the battery didn't get back its charge (which was sort of still there, just frozen).

      Batteries just don't like the cold.  That's one reason why a hybrid (Volt, Prius, etc.) is more practical.

      •  I always leave for a 60 mile trip (8+ / 0-)

        When the display estimates I can go 30!!!!

        Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

        by yet another liberal on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:06:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why not? (0+ / 0-)

          Elon claims the car will go thru "heroic efforts" to stay alive. ;)

          We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

          by i understand on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:19:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Probably (7+ / 0-)

            Because I don't care if somebody said something like that.  I'd read the guage instead of driving off like a moron.

            Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

            by yet another liberal on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:31:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  It did... (5+ / 0-)

            Broder travelled more than 55 miles on a charge that told him he'd make it 31 miles.  I'd say that the car over-performed and the driver was an idiot.

            If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin. --- Charles Darwin

            by coracii on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:45:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Tesla also told him... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              K S LaVida

              The range would come back after the battery warmed up. That communication was not disputed by Tesla.

              Hard to say the car "over-performed" as you put it or "heroic" as Elon put it when it's just recovering capacity it lost by sitting overnight.

              I'd say it's muddy, and with Elon spinning at least as much as the reporter I'll side with the ombudsman's reasonable interpretation.

              We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

              by i understand on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 08:39:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You're conflating a reporter's duty ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MJ via Chicago

                ... to report the exact truth with that of a salesman's? Broder should never work in the industry again. That Musk guy will probably be worth millions some day.

                What I was waiting to find out in this story was whether there was remote access or stored access to the driving/electrical data unknown to the reporter. It now seems that that was the case. Broder had no knowledge that his every move was monitored. I will await additional evidence, but what you do when nobody's looking is who you are.

                I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

                by Tortmaster on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 10:30:17 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  "Spinning at least as much" (2+ / 0-)

                Really.

                You had me fooled upthread. I thought you were a fair-minded poster who simply caught a math error.

                Now I see you are also an evangelical. Remember, that's not a dirty word.

                •  huh? (0+ / 0-)

                  "heroic efforts to stay alive", please. And you should read his take on the ombudsman's report.

                  I have no idea why my honest reading of these stories makes me an evangelical against EVs. I'm not, and frankly I'm currently shopping for a hybrid (although the diesel powered Jetta is in the running). The only thing I'm evangelical about is speaking out when I see others trying to pull the wool over folks eyes. And all of these stories and positions share that in spades.

                  We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                  by i understand on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 11:18:14 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  "heroic efforts to stay alive", please -what? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    radical simplicity

                    I've read every main article that's come out. I don't know what this sentence fragment is supposed to prove.

                    One one had we have repeated disingenuity by the NYT writer.

                    On the other we have a company owner pissed off and who  made the mistake of using the word "faked". Well that word goes to state of mind and that is something that cannot be proved. So he should have used the word disingenuous instead. That can be proven and is in ample evidence in the original NYT article,

                    To state Mr Musk is spinning "at least as much" is worse than a claim of false equivalency, because false equivalency is your best-case scenario. According to you, the odds are Telsa motors is more at fault than Mr Broder.

                    So as I said, I do not see your writings as coming from a genuine unbiased POV.

          •  Because I am not an idiot. (0+ / 0-)

            Next question?

        •  It took an hour to get that much in (0+ / 0-)

          The battery wasn't taking a charge well. He spent an hour at the Norwich charge point.  The only warm place to sit was a nearby smoker's breakfast club -- a sort of diner for cigarette fiends where you need to buy membership because smoking in restaurants (pubilc accommodations) isn't allowed but smoking in private clubs is.

          An hour of either that or sitting outside in 10F weather would be more than enough for anyone.

      •  He could have (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sychotic1, Quicklund

        charged more fully at Milford the night before the charge drop.
        He was not leaving himself much leeway even if the charge had not been lost over night.

        If you aren't outraged, you are an idiot

        by indefinitelee on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:47:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hybrids are more practical for now (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        duhban, Quicklund, NYFM

        But in the future when it's the gas stations that will be "hybrid" selling dino-juice as well as electrons, a cheaper Leaf will dominate - especially as the price of gas goes ever higher.

        But we have to get from here to there.  Hybrids just make gas less needed, but still necessary - I should know, my Prius gets 50-55 mpg (rain&cold makes things a bit slower), but my 300+ mi/wk commute still means I visit the gas station every 1.5 weeks or so.

        Zero emissions is a real goal, and it's been met by cars like the Leaf, TeslaS and (for smaller ranges) the Volt.

        --
        Make sure everyone's vote counts: Verified Voting

        by sacrelicious on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 10:41:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Zero emissions depends on the state. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deward Hastings, K S LaVida

          If you live in a state that mines coal, chances are your electricity has a serious coal component.  The emissions take place, just at a smokestack instead of at your tailpipe.  

          "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

          by Yamaneko2 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 01:01:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Right, because there are ZERO emissions in oil (7+ / 0-)

            production.  Exploring, drilling, transporting, refining, further transporting, and pumping/selling all take place without a single drop of oil burnt or a single electron fired.  Let's not even get into the tremendous amount of emissions produced by having to maintain a ginormous army and navy and air force to patrol the shipping lanes so the oil keeps flowing.

            I really am getting sick of this coal-fired electricity nonsense.  It's an oil industry talking point, and those idiots don't even realize it applies right back to them. Every gas station in the states that use coal is also burning electricity all day, every day.  

          •  Here is the deal, if we can centralize (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            otto, MPociask, SLKRR, Quicklund, sacrelicious

            our energy needs to one mode (electrical system) to the extent we can green that single mode, the entire system will be greened.  Going electric is the first step in greening.

            "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

            by Sychotic1 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 03:56:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  A pure-EV allows me to go off-grid (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            radical simplicity

            And setup my own solar installation to power my house and car.

            You cannot do that with a gas car. At all.

            Plus, I would posit that the EROEI and pollution output of coal power+transmission+zero-emmissions is still better than the oil extraction (and the military force to force other countries to do that), refining, transport, storage and subsequent burning in a terribly inefficent small motor.

            Did you know that gas cars (aside from hybrids like the Prius) still have emissions while turned off?  It's called evaporative emission.

            If you want to run the numbers, I would bet you EVs still win.

            --
            Make sure everyone's vote counts: Verified Voting

            by sacrelicious on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 10:26:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Even using coal-fired electricity (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            splashy

            An electric car is cleaner than most of the internal combustion engine cars on the road in the US. The electric motor is much, much better at transforming power into motion (whereas an internal combustion engine turns most of the power from gasoline into heat, a portion of which is used to create motion).

            Electric vehicle CO2

            To summarize the linked article:

            If

            Your current car gets 33 mpg or better,

            AND

            You live in the worst region in the country for CO2-producing electric utilities (basically: Colorado), then an EV isn't going to be an improvement.

            In any other region of the country, an electric car is going to reduce CO2 vs an internal combustion car.

            And electric will reduce CO2 vs any car that gets below 33 mpg, even in the worst region in the entire country for dirty electric production.

            Note: the average mileage in American cars on the road today is: 21 mpg.
        •  I am considering the other half of hybrid (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sacrelicious

          the extended range gas vehicle.  It pretty much stays electric for shorter trips.

          "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

          by Sychotic1 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 03:55:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  that could be part of it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKSinSA, Quicklund

      that doesn't excuse Broder's poor note taking and questionable decesions

      In the time that I have been given,
      I am what I am

      by duhban on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:05:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not that much (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sponson, Quicklund

      Note: we live off-grid and drive a hybrid in VT. We don't always keep our house warm (our sole heat source is a woodstove). Yes, there's a slight reduction in output until the batteries warm up, which happens all by itself as power is drawn out. The drop is nothing like Broder tries to imply.

      The only issue we've had with the hybrids in cold has starting the car when it was negative 20F. Batteries don't like to be that cold, but internal combusion engine starter batteries get even more unhappy in those temps, too, so it's a wash.

      The mileage has been fairly consistent in both hybrids (this is our second) - within a few miles per gallon seasonally. But one important impact on hybrids is that winter formula gas in New England has a higher percentage of ethanol, and thus offers less energy output, so that's part of the few mpg decline over the winter. The studded snow tires and heavy steel rims don't help, either (except for climbing icy hills full of potholes). When you factor in both of those influences, the mileage drop due to cold weather from the batteries themselves is probably a maximum of 1 - 2 mpg.

  •  As much as I'm in favor of Electric Cars (6+ / 0-)
    Both showed that if you charge the car and manage your mileage like you would do a normal IC car you won't have a problem reaching your destination.  
    This above is the big problem for electric cars. I personally didn't have a huge problem with the NYT's review/conclusions. If you can't treat the Tesla the way you would any other car... if you have to "manage" it to the worrisome extent that a minor detour and some lousy weather screw you over that badly... that IS a valid big point against EVs.
    The writer clearly didn't properly report the story, which is the real problem. But the results of his trip are particularly illuminating, in light of all the hubbub.

    Most of the trouble, it seems, can be resolved by increased infrastructure support for EVs, and maybe even re-training society's habits (we did all learn to plug our phones in every night, for example). Regardless, until you can use an EV mostly the same way you'd use a combustion vehicle, we need to be made aware of these possibilities. We shouldn't be encouraging people to buy EVs if there is a reasonable chance that the thing is going to crap out on you midway through any given trip simply because you weren't babying it or planning your whole trip around it.

    When I go on a road trip, yes, I know I need to get gas at certain intervals. Ditto that I have to charge an EV. But from the sound of things, you run a higher (if still improbable, given the average person's driving habits) risk of running out of juice in an EV. People should be well aware of that.

    My style is impetuous.
    My defense is impregnable.
    YOU'RE NOT ALEXANDER!

    by samfish on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:08:13 PM PST

    •  Something else I read... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shotput8, MPociask, Ian S

      Was that it wasn't recommended to use these superchargers more then 3-4 times a year as they shorten the life of the batteries. shrug

      The reason I won't get one, at this point, is that I don't want to spend at least an hour "filling up". And that's even at one of these superchargers you're not supposed to use very often.

      We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

      by i understand on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:14:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Things are changing really fast (3+ / 0-)

        There's EV charger infrastructure going up all over the place.

        Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

        by yet another liberal on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:36:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here in Central Florida (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          radical simplicity

          There's free public charging stations popping up all over the place.  Within a 30 mile diameter of my house there's about 50-60 stations including at shopping plazas, parking garages, restaurants, banks, etc.

          If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin. --- Charles Darwin

          by coracii on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:49:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Nope... (3+ / 0-)

        The supercharging is fine for the batteries. The thing that they said to avoid was charging to 100% and draining to 0%. So for normal driving they say to charge to 90%, which is the default behavior. But for occasional long distance trips, charge to 100%.

        Note that normally you'd charge overnight at your house, so no "waiting". Unlike a gas car, you don't have to go to a station to refuel, you just plug in overnight, so it doesn't particularly matter how long charging time is. The "superchargers" are for fast recharging for long distance drives.

    •  why is it a problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy

      that the electric car works if you manage mileage the same way you do an IC car?

      Your comments reads as though you got the opposite meaning from your quoted text.

      If you aren't outraged, you are an idiot

      by indefinitelee on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:39:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because its apples and oranges (0+ / 0-)

        Managing your mileage with an internal combustion vehicle is pretty much an afterthought. We have seen multiple instances demonstrating that this is not the case yet with EVs.

        My style is impetuous.
        My defense is impregnable.
        YOU'RE NOT ALEXANDER!

        by samfish on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:58:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i think we have (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Just Bob, happymisanthropy

          different definitions of "manage"

          or you don't agree with the statement you quoted that if you manage your EV the same way you manage your ICE you will be fine.

          If you aren't outraged, you are an idiot

          by indefinitelee on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 10:05:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  How is it not the same? (3+ / 0-)

          Both ICE and EV technologies have range limits imposed by the power source. The differences are:
          - Electricity is much, much cheaper than gas (per mile).
          - You have electricity at hour house, so you can recharge overnight, while you need to buy gas at a gas station.
          - Recharging (electricity) is much slower than pumping gas.
          - There aren't many public charging stations yet.

          The first three are fundamental, the fourth is a matter of market maturity. So for cross-country travel, an EV isn't great. But for driving near your home EVs give you extremely low cost transportation without the requirement to go to gas stations.

          Come to think of it, when gas cars were new (and the infrastructure wasn't built out), people worried about running out of gas before reaching their destination. And people on horseback worried about reaching the next place to feed/water their horses. Airplanes run out of fuel. In fact, I can't think of a form of transportation, including walking, where range before refueling never matters. The only reason we're even thinking about this for EVs is that it's a new technology. If anything, EVs have it a bit easier than gas, since they leverage the electrical grid which is already in place, so people can charge at home or at work, and all they need to do is deploy a few charging stations on major highways for long distance travel, whereas gas cars took nearly 50 years to develop a ubiquitous network of gas stations.

          •  "much, much cheaper"? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Quicklund

            I don't see that.  I do watch various EV sites, and especially note the estimates of electric power (kWh) consumption for gas-equivalent vehicle performance, and when that is multiplied by unsubsidized (retail) electric prices the "cheaper" all but disappears.  There are plenty of ICE vehicles that cost less than ten cents/mile for fuel (at current prices) . . . how many kWh does it take to move an EV a mile (average, normal driving) and what does a kWh of electricity cost (unsubsidized) where you live?

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:12:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I can travel (4+ / 0-)

              about 40 miles minimum (I usually get at least 45 since my trips are on flat, low traffic roads) on only electricity in my Volt and it costs about $0.95 to charge it.  So, for about 40 miles of range on electric I pay ninety cents, for a car that gets 30mpg like my wife's that same 40 miles costs $5.20 based on the cost for a gallon today.  Takes me about 4 hours to fully charge the Volt off the 240v charger I installed.

              If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin. --- Charles Darwin

              by coracii on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:56:23 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  since a "full" recharge (0+ / 0-)

                will take about 15kVA that suggests that you are paying about 6 cents/kWH for power . . . I sure wish I could buy electric power at that price, but where I live "baseline" is twice that and the top marginal rate (which regular charging of an EV would push me into) is over 30 cents/kWH.

                6 cents/kWH . . . damn, that's a steal.  If I could get that price I'd buy an electric car just so I could run my house off the charger . . .

                Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

                by Deward Hastings on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 08:46:36 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You're almost exactly right (0+ / 0-)

                  I pay about 6.2 cents per kWH according to my last bill.

                  If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin. --- Charles Darwin

                  by coracii on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:12:40 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Where are you (0+ / 0-)

                    that power is that cheap?

                    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

                    by Deward Hastings on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 01:44:57 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Central Florida (0+ / 0-)

                      My first 1000 kWH per month is 6.2047 cents per unit and anything above that is 8.7613 cents per unit (for a 2300 square foot house we typically average about 600 units in the late fall, winter and early spring and about 900 units in the early fall, late spring and summer.  HVAC costs are a killer here with the temps constantly staying in the mid to upper 90's for most of the year.

                      If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin. --- Charles Darwin

                      by coracii on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:32:22 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  I get between 34 and 58 miles per charge... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                coracii, radical simplicity

                in my 2012 Volt, depending on the weather.  My commute is 40 miles round-trip, and I plug in at work, so it usually isn't a problem for me to go all electric every day (every day above 25 degrees, that is).

                Anyway, I pay $0.055 per kWh.  I get between 3.5 and 6 miles traveled per kilowatt hour, again depending on the weather, traffic, etc.  A full charge costs me $0.44. I don't even notice a bump in my electric bill, especially since half my charging occurs at work.  I used to drive a car that got about 30 mpg.  I drive 13000 miles per year.  That 433 gallons x $3.75 = $1,625.00 per year in gas.  I plan on keeping this car 6 years.  I'll spend about $1000 in gas over six years and $500 on electric.  That's $8250 in gas savings.  I have 82% oil life after 19 months, so it's possible I won't have  to change the oil even once.  I won't have to get new brakes (I down-shift in Low to brake more often than not), transmission, or any normal IC maintenance.  A  car that cost me $40,000 to buy, minus $7500 federal tax rebate, and $4000 state rebate will end up with a total cost of ownership at way less than $20,000.  

                If gas prices stay at $4.00/gal, or if I was driving a car that got 25 or 20 or 15 mpg, the savings calculation adds up even higher.

                Let me tell you, it' s a sweet ride either way. (And no charge anxiety).

    •  People who commute (5+ / 0-)

      with vehicles with a range of 100 miles or less are also known as "motorcyclists." I did it for nearly five years. Sure, all you have to do is go to a gas station, but subtract to that the fact that all you have is a low fuel light that turns on and basic arithmetic together with your best estimates for fuel mileage. I never did run out of fuel, it never was inconvenient, and a vehicle that is re-fueled by plugging it in overnight is much more convenient.

  •  I think some of you are missing the point (23+ / 0-)

    We can't afford to just keep buying planet-killing vehicles and expect anyone to leave a drop of oil in the ground.

    Frankly all the qvetching about how this tech isn't ready is so much hand-waving. The Model S too expensive? Well, sure...it's a luxury sedan. There are gas-powered luxury sedans that cost more than that. You can get an EV for $30,000 after tax rebate. It won't be as luxurious nor will it have the same range as the Model S. But it will likely do fine for your commute. And if it's a Volt you can just run on gas if you go on a long trip.

    Ending fossil fuels is the biggest fight this generation has. I'm really tired of the nitpicking. If you can afford a shiny new car, please PLEASE take the time to check out EV's. See what the real cost is. Test drive one. They're silent, accelerate well and have interiors that feel like a space ship. They are simpler machines with fewer moving parts to replace. 90% of the time you'll just plug them in at home and at work...no stopping to fuel up. Battery tech will improve and in a few years you'll be able to pop a new battery in for a couple grand and instantly increase your range.

    And if you're like me and you have solar panels, you'll be able to power your car for free. FROM THE FUCKING SUN!! (Offer not available in Seattle during winter).

    I get a little emotional about this because we don't need people twisting their mittens over the finer points of whether an EV is exactly as awesome as their future burner. It's not. And it is. And it's more awesome in other ways.

    Different.
    Better.
    Not a fucking nightmare for your grandkids.
    EV's. Be the first on your block.

    •  rec x10 (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      otto, Egg, Quicklund, Jay C, Egalitare

      (but I still agree with it only 100%).

      What I'd like to see is the federal government (or a state gov't, what the hell) fund research into EVs with the caveat that all of the findings be open source.  And then watch the glories of truly competitive capitalism.

    •  Best comment on the thread (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sponson, otto, aseth, Egg, Quicklund, Egalitare

      Right on BNW. Couldn't agree more. I've heard the bullshit about my Prius for seven years now. About how I'm pious and smug and a hypocrite for this or that reason. Yeah, I am. But at least I've done one little thing that's a step in the right direction. Feels good to drive it. I'll be going EV as soon as I feasibly can.

      The opposite of life is not death, but indifference. -- Jaki Gefjon (A.A.Attanasio)

      by Max Wyvern on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:06:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Try $20,000 (7+ / 0-)

      The new American-built Leafs have a cheapo trim level, the S (ha ha), which lists for $28,000.  If you earn enough to get the whole tax credit, take off $7,500.  If you live in California, you get a $2,500 rebate, so now you're UNDER $20,000.

      Best of all for the budget-minded, used Leafs are coming on the market as the '13s have better features and some owners want them now.  I sure hope Nissan's going to start swapping in new batteries on them, now that they're building the batteries in the US too.

    •  "not available in Seattle . . ." (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund

      or anywhere at night.

      There are lots of arguments in favor of "electric" cars, but "free" electricity isn't one of them.  

      Electric power comes from somewhere and, at present anyway, it doesn't come for nothing.  Not even "free" solar electricity comes for nothing, and as you acknowledge it is often not there when you need it.  Filling that gap is one of those "externalities" (hidden costs) that is being notably ignored in this discussion . . .

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:49:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Tesla is a luxury fetish (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau

      Who would want to be known for an efficient electric car for the bottom 90%?

      Tesla is a luxury car that most car-buying people will never be able to afford.

      I really don't get understand the desire to defend Musk/Tesla as if it's the last word in electric vehicles

      •  How in the name of sweet gopher gravy (2+ / 0-)

        ...did you manage to get here?

        I really don't get understand the desire to defend Musk/Tesla as if it's the last word in electric vehicles
        I've rad almost the entire comments section now and all I see are people defending Telsa in the sense of the firm being victim to a bad-faith NYT article. I did not read one single comment claiming Tesla is the greatest thing ever. There are numerous comments about hybrids and EV performance in general.

        Projection on display?

      •  Who would want to be known (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        radical simplicity
        Who would want to be known for an efficient electric car for the bottom 90%?
        My guess would be "just about any automaker on the planet"

        The Tesla, at this point in time, is far from the "last word in electric vehicles" - more like one of the first - and isn't, AFAICT,being "defended" much (just against its negative reportage).

        If by "efficient" you mean "decent performance/range/cost/reliability" coupled with "cheap" "affordable", I'd say most car companies would be only too glad to compete in that market. Including, probably in the not-too-distant future,  Tesla.

      •  because (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        radical simplicity

        if they can do to Tesla what they did to EV-1, it might set electric vehicles overall back two or three years.

        the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

        by happymisanthropy on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:21:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Actually $30k BEFORE tax rebate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BeerNotWar, radical simplicity
      You can get an EV for $30,000 after tax rebate.
      Before. Mitsubishi.
  •  within 10 years EV's will be no curiosity (5+ / 0-)

    Economies of scale and better battery tech will make it affordable (and practical) to the middle class. I have no doubt about that, those buying the Tesla today are the pioneers. It is coming, I hope to last with the current car until an EV is on the market that can match it and that won't break my bank account. I expect the market for combustion engines to pretty much collapse, sooner than most people think...

    We don't inherit the world from the past. We borrow it from the future.

    by minorityusa on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 10:49:45 PM PST

    •  The pioneers did conversions and drove EV-1s (4+ / 0-)

      Buying a production car is late the table, and while the Tesla is the most impressive EV, it was hardly the first.  Unfortunately, GM did everything they could to discourage people from leasing the EV-1, refused to sell them, and then took them away and crushed them.

      The Leaf hit the roads in Spring 2011 or so.  At this point there are so many all-electric models coming out I can't even count them out without thinking anymore.

      We joke about the number of Priuses around here (it really does seem like 1 out of every 3 cars around here is one), but it's the EVs that are popping up everywhere here in Silicon Valley as well.

      •  I know, I feel like a drone in my prius (2+ / 0-)

        because there are so many here in Sacramento.

        I am retiring in 6.5 years, so I may not get a replacement car for the Prius, but if I did, I would get the extended range electric (Volt), the best of both worlds and better gas mileage than the Prius.

        "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

        by Sychotic1 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 04:01:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The fact that they're putting up charging stations (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      splashy

      ... All over rural northeastern VT, where logging camps are literally more common than village stores, tells you the car companies are dedicated to making this a reality. Heck, the Moose River Campground now has 2 charging stations!

  •  When calculators cost $150, and cell phones $700, (14+ / 0-)

    "everybody" said they were just impractical toys for rich people. And now .....
    Hmmm... they said that about the first cars and refrigerators, too.
    Anybody arguing against electric cars for ANY reason is firmly planted in a 1950's America attitude.

    Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizzam!

    by fourthcornerman on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:00:02 PM PST

    •  That's one advantage to having rich people. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1, otto, SLKRR, BachFan, Quicklund

      Rich people are first adapters.  They will spend $60,000 on a Tesla, letting the company ramp up production to accommodate the mass market.

      "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

      by Yamaneko2 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:58:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Case in point: the HP-65 (6+ / 0-)

      I think that Hewlett-Packard calculator cost $895.  It was so expensive because it could read or write a program, yes, one program, onto a little magnetic strip that you could remove and swap around.

      A couple years alter I got an HP-25C for about $200 or so.  It couldn't do everything the 65 could, but I didn't need it to.  It did 90% of it, it was still a rugged HP model, and it had all kinds of amazing functions.  I also remember a $100 four-banger that had ONE memory storage spot, and you lost whatever you stored in there if you used the (gasp) SQUARE ROOT KEY.

      A year later that calculator was being sold at discount stores for $9.99, I kid you not.

      EVs are already getting cheaper.  Witness the newest version of the Nissan Leaf. While stripped down a little, it's $10,000 cheaper than the 2012 Leaf SL.  The 2013 SL costs a little bit less than the 12 and has a slew of improvements including an onboard charger that works almost twice as fast (6.0 vs 3.3 kW).  They saved money moving production to Tennessee for the North American market, too.

    •  are you confused? It's not EV being questioned (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yoshimi

      it's Tesla in particular.

      There will be other EVs - the FSM won't reach down and cancel all future EV work because someone had a sad over Musk's plaything. FSM also won't tell Musk he's a naught boy.

      There will be improvements from Tesla, and other EVs will come up if it's such an enduring idea.

      Technology progress is based on failure in various degrees, and improvements

  •  Anecdote... (7+ / 0-)

    My responsibility in a science class was to grade five-page papers.  One of my students was unhappy with the grade.  

    "My tutor said that this was New York Times quality writing!"

    "Yes.  That's why you got a C+.  Our standards are higher."

    "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

    by Yamaneko2 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:56:39 AM PST

    •  I suppose (3+ / 0-)

      I'd guess that part of the disconnect with that one is that you aren't paid by the student, while the tutor is.

      Have you ever seen the movie, "The Conversation" with Gene Hackman as a professional eavesdropper?

      The entire movie hinges on the tone of one word in one sentence that is spoken at the very beginning of the movie.

      I'd guess that the student didn't understand the tone of the comment.  

      It was probably a more down sounding tone, like, "Uh, this is New York Times quality writing..."  

      Streichholzschächtelchen

      by otto on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:25:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd love to get a Tesla Model S in Minnesota (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, NYFM, radical simplicity

    However, 2 real problems.

    1) No dealer here. While I could buy elsewhere, there would be no where to get serviced. While low maintenance, these cars still need some service.

    2) Cold weather. -2 outside now. Seems the range gets worse in cold weather. While I have only a 20 mile commute (each way), may want some longer trips. Still unclear what the range would be and Tesla seems to be shying away from cold weather.

    I currently have a Camry Hybrid that I like, and probably has 3-5 years more for me. However, a Tesla would be really cool. Maybe in a few years, we'll be there.

    Are you listening Elon?

  •  My brother has a Tesla. He LOVES it!!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radical simplicity

    President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

    by Drdemocrat on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:46:30 AM PST

  •  splash in a teacup (0+ / 0-)

    who cares? CNBC now a hero or something?

    Fuck Tesla, really. People carry on as if Tesla is some kind of essential precursor to non-gasoline cars. It's not - the future is coming with or without Tesla.

    It's a luxury-fetish we can start getting over now - who can afford this thing anyway, really?

    Big deal - NYT did a stupid. Look around a bit to find big stupid from CNN and CNBC.

    Tesla-man is a billionaire already - doesn't need anyone's help despite his predilection for free marketing (the reason for this whole splash in a teacup in the first place).

  •  If you can afford a Tesla... (3+ / 0-)

    you probably won't be making drives like DC to Boston. you'll probably take it out to impress your friends, drive to the golf or yacht club, go out to dinner, and take day trips. The Tesla is not a commuter car, it's a luxury toy.
    One day I imagine its technology will be put to use in cars the average American can afford. But for now it's only for rich kids on the block.
    And let me finish by saying Broder is an ass, but the story should have been fact checked and vetted before publication, not after. Sadly, no one does that anymore. Be controversial! Sell papers! To hell with facts!

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

    by MA Liberal on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:52:15 AM PST

    •  I don't know about that. It would be a great car (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund

      for a road trip to the Hamptons or other ritzy destinations if it could handle it.

      •  Yeah, but if you have a cushy place (0+ / 0-)

        in the Hamptons, then one assumes you also have a great job in Manhattan and a garage for your fancy car. And the Hamptons, while not really close, isn't all that far either.

        Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

        by MA Liberal on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 09:22:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My issue is that Mr Musk might have won the battle (0+ / 0-)

    but will lose the war.  Don't get me wrong, I think the S4 is a beautiful car and I wanted one but the number of rules one needs to drive one of these things will never compete with a dumbed down gas guzzler.

    I predict his sales will drop.  Not because of the NYTimes article but the back and forth on the driving rules.  Americans are lazy and they don't want to put a lot of effort or thought into driving.

    •  No (0+ / 0-)

      In ten years, you will likely be hard pressed to buy a new car that isn't at least a hybrid.  In 20 years I doubt you'll even be able to buy a new hybrids, it will be all EVs.  In 30 years you'll have trouble finding a place to buy gasoline as even lawnmowers would have gone to all electric by then.

      Gasoline's days are numbered.

      "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 Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 10:27:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Whinge of the year award? (4+ / 0-)
    In addition, Mr. Broder left himself open to valid criticism by taking what seem to be casual and imprecise notes along the journey, unaware that his every move was being monitored. A little red notebook in the front seat is no match for digitally recorded driving logs, which Mr. Musk has used, in the most damaging (and sometimes quite misleading) ways possible, as he defended his vehicle’s reputation.
    Those dastardly engineers!  Truth is not fair at all!  Armed only with a pathetic little notebook, how could Mr. Broder possibly compete with the nuclear option of actual logs of reality?  And DIGITAL logs, to boot!  There was never really a question of who would do more damage to their opponent, was there?  Even a RED notebook is helpless against dispassionate reality.  This was no fair contest -- asymmetrical conflict at its most blatant.  What's a poor biased reporter to do?  They should have told him they'd call him out on any misrepresentations, not report them after the fact in the most damaging ways possible.  Objective reality is far too misleading to be used in ways like that!

    Well thank you, NYT.  It's been a long time since you've given me an LOL moment.  It's a welcome reprieve from the eye rolls and head shakes.  And to think you were were once my breakfast staple.  Did you change or did the rest of us?

    ------
    Ideology is when you have the answers before you know the questions.
    It is what grows into empty spaces where intelligence has died.

    by Alden on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:28:16 AM PST

  •  Hey - new technolgies are expensive at first, ok? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, otto, radical simplicity

    Why should this be any surprise?  When color TV first appeared in 1956, sets started at around $500, which is over $4000 in today's money.   The colors were runny, the sets tended to break down, and there were very few shows being broadcast in color.  They weren't even close to as good as a set you could buy for a few hundred dollars today.    

    The way you develop a new technology is to bring it to the market and let the growth of infrastructure and use experience come into play.   In the case of technologies with a high potential social benefit, such as energy and carbon emissions savings, some support from society at large can help speed this process.  

  •  Original NYT article was not done in good faith (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, DisNoir36

    That much is as certain as certain can be as far as these things go. I do not expect the NYT to admit that, for legal reasons. But perhaps they might be forced to do so one day.

    I do not see why they would wish to continue Mr Broder's employment in any case.

  •  Is this Broder guy a car expert (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radical simplicity

    especially electric or even hybrid cars? If not, then why did the NYT allow him to write a performance-based article (as opposed to one covering its claimed features or its owners thoughts about owning one) on it since he was clearly not qualified to do that? There's a reason that David Pogue reviews electronic devices and not, say, restaurants or fashion. How was this "news that's fit to print"? There's a methodology to testing and evaluating anything that only experts are qualified to employ, and clearly Broder isn't one of them.

    Reminds me of Jerry Pournelle's amazingly silly articles on PCs back when Byte magazine was still being published, as he clearly was in over his head.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 10:24:49 AM PST

  •  John Broder = Judith Miller or Jayson Blair? (2+ / 0-)

    As far as credibility goes, John Broder is down to the same level as Jayson Blair and Judith Miller.  New York Times should let him go and fully admit their mistake.  They should also run a free ad for the Tesla for a month to make things right.

    I think Broder's work alongside the recent Keystone propaganda says alot about the New York Times.  If you missed it, check out A Siegel's excellent work on NYT's Keystone pipeline excuses.  We can't make a difference, so we shouldn't try...  What crap.

  •  Glad to see the follow-ups.... (2+ / 0-)

    I really want the company and its cars to do well. Hopefully, its success will spur further investment into EV technology, as well as infrastructure (charging stations, etc). The cooperation between Tesla and Toyota is also promising. Electric vehicles with ranges long enough to make road trips feasible are game changers, particularly if/when the prices come down to middle-class budgets, and there are enough charging station on heavily traveled routes (e.g. Sacramento to Los Angeles via I-5, various corridors on I-80).

    Tesla's factory in just a few miles down I-880 for me. Both the Model S and Roadster are beautiful cars and the people I've spoken to who own them think they're wonderful. The quick acceleration and styling makes the car sound very appealing to drive.

    I know a lot of the car's fans were a bit discouraged by the NYT review, especially after the Model S was named Car of the Year by Motor Trend recently. I am glad to see people have followed-up on the review and corrected the record.

  •  The fine print (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radical simplicity

    The electric vehicle tax credit currently

    phases out for a manufacturer’s vehicles over the one-year period beginning with the second calendar quarter after the calendar quarter in which at least 200,000 qualifying vehicles manufactured by that manufacturer have been sold for use in the United States (determined on a cumulative basis for sales after December 31, 2009)
    - http://www.irs.gov/...

    The tax credit is "non-refundable," which means that you have to have an income tax liability of at least the amount of the credit in order to use it all.  It can't be carried forward or back, either.  See Instructions for Form 8834.  

    Of course, anyone who can afford a Tesla probably has an income tax liability of more than $7500 (for 2012 married filing jointly, that's a taxable income -- after deductions/exemptions, etc. -- of about $55, 800).

    We must drive the special interests out of politics.… There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will neither be a short not an easy task, but it can be done. -- Teddy Roosevelt

    by NoMoJoe on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 11:48:19 AM PST

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