Monday, March 30, 2009

TESLA #215 Second impressions

Bottom line is "I love this car, but..."

I am back in Madrid and left the car in the garage. It gurgles as it charges, it charges from the wall in a bit less than 40 hours.

It is obvious that this kind of electric car has a real bright future in front of it. 1/This kind of acceleration will be very very very popular.
2/It cost $1,80 to fill up my tank ( 1c per mile, 180 miles on a tank)
3/ There is ONLY ONE MOVING PART (the rotor) in terms of mechanics

Put these together and you start seeing why this, when economically mass produced, this is going to be a formidable car for the masses. Tesla is apparently working with Daimler-Benz on equipping the Smart. They also have announced plans to market a Sedan. I wish they worked with Mercedes to do a limited series 55,the powerful stuff. Or better work with Porsche on a great speed car. Or why not, work with the french, Citroen comes to mind (I drive a Citroen Gran C4 with the family in Madrid) for a great finished interior that is affordable. Heck, ANY car company will do.

Because it is clear to me that Tesla is not a car company, yet. The car feels like a sports car, which it is, but finishes in the interior are non-existent. I long for the Turbo lush interior, and that should tell you something :). I cut my finger on a unpolished bolt. Taking out the rooftop MANUALLY feels weird in this age of transformer cars (my father in law drives a VW EOS). I have already LOST the freaking bolt.... Finally there is the fact that the cloth rooftop just flew away at 50mph because I didn't lock it right. It was my fault, but there are way too many opportunities for a jackass like me to get it wrong.

Even for all these version 1.0 flaws seeing the car drink at the electrical plug in my basement (picture) gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. This is it, I forget the flaws, they will sort it out. By themselves or with someone else. This is here to stay. This is a marvel of technological proof. Tesla really has cracked the technological problem of delivering enough amps, and quick enough to really let the rotor engine roar. This "rolling acceleration" feel, as they advertise it, means that at low speed you get overwhelmed and at high speed you finely control the speed of the rotor with quick burst of energy.

It is as fun as the Porshe Turbo on highway but in the streets of Atlanta it replicates and surpasses the Turbo in terms of fun in acceleration. It is like having the turbo on, all the time at any moment at any speed. Rejoice, the future is good.

This is an amazing product and it was no mean feat to get in the streets. They are no car company, yet. The Sedan feels like a hail mary pass, it may work, I hope it does. After all they got the Roadster in my garage. I thought I would never see this car. Thank you for that.


Andrew Meyer said...


Roy Russo said...

I was going to ask you to let me drive it, but then I saw the color.

Did you buy a pink shirt to go with it?

Marcf said...

Hey Roy,

tell me, didn't Reagan play Tarzan?

Roy Russo said...

Indeed, but he never drove an orange car. He rode a horse! ;-)

Marcf said...

The horse was John Wayne, not Reagan, Reagan was the monkey thing, thumping his chest going "Oioioiiiiii!" moving from tree to tree while in his underwear. Very green. Of course he was quickly one upped by the monkey man himself, George W of the Jungle, living proof that evolution does not in fact exist and got stuck at "stupid monkey". Sheesh...

I gotta calm down.

Roy Russo said...

I don't know anything about John Wayne... that's for you old guys. Reagan had a horse... "Little Man"

I can't believe we're discussing RR (note the same initials as me) and his horse. Let's go back to talking about how Carter was an idiot.

Ben said...

This car is a lot of fun, granted I barely fit into it! It is tiny and very orange. It is a grown up remote control car, makes the name noise in fact. I think Marc took a picture of me trying to get in, we had to take the roof off.

Andrew C. Oliver said...

Holy crap, Roy and I agree: bad color. But I'll still drive it. I bought him a pink shirt ;-)

One question: 40hrs????? WHA??? That is a major buzz kill. Wheeee... well I get to drive again in 2 days???

Marcf said...

Whatever, my father in law was driving it yesterday, taking care of it while I am away and people starting following him home. They wanted to see the car up close. Guy drove a DeLorean...

OBloodyHell said...

This car is a retarded design concept from the get-go -- it's clear it followed the Lame Ass Italian Sports Car Design manual from the start.

You can tell just by looking at the car that visibility at the 3-5 o'clock and 7-8 o'clock positions suck.

That, plus the stupid $40k battery "bricking" problem is just flat out retarded. "Oh, but that's inherent in the battery design"? So what? It only means that this tech isn't ready for popular distribution. A car needs to be able to sit for an extended time without becoming a total waste of money. BECAUSE IT HAPPENS. People have accidents, they get laid up in the hospital. The have to go away for an extended time. They need to attend to other details in life... but no, you have to BABYSIT this idiotic car to make sure its batteries stay charged.


Marcf said...


While I agree that a 40k battery that needs to be replaced makes it un-affordable for mass, why the hate? it still remains that this is a fantastic car. It has now been 3 years and it sits in Atlanta while I live in Madrid, so your points on sitting and bla bla just are not valid from experience. I am considering the S may wait for the SUV. The driving experience is like nothing you experience everyday.