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.