Archives for August 28th, 2013
We are pretty much immune to the green bug, but electric and hybrid cars are steadily conquering the world and proving to be good solutions to our mobility problems. However, the Republicans still haven't heard about this and are sticking to the old ways, criticizing president Obama for his support of green energy and electric automobiles.
In a recent Facebook post, Sarah Palin picked up where Mitt Romney's campaign left off, calling the Chevy Volt and Tesla “losers.” She was, of course, exploiting the media opportunity created by Fisker's recent financial problems and rumored bankruptcy.
Here's the full statement made by Palin on April 5th on her Facelbook page:
Once again, the American public lost when the Obama administration attempted to pick “winners and losers” in the free market. Today the electric car company Fisker Automotive, which received nearly $200 million in taxpayer money, is laying off three-fourths of its U.S. workers.
The Anaheim, CA-based start up has failed at pretty much every level – especially when it comes to the company’s ultra expensive luxury electric hybrid, the Karma (what a name!), which is assembled in Finland and received a green-energy loan to transition the assembly to the U.S., something that never happened.
This losing tax-subsidized venture joins other past losers like the Obama-subsidized Volt that gets 40 miles per battery charge, or like the Obama-subsidized Tesla that turns into a “brick” when the battery completely discharges and then costs $40,000 to repair
This is really just the latest manifestation of the administration’s crony capitalism as their green energy buddies benefit from this atrocious waste of taxpayer money. Americans really need to get outraged by these wasteful ventures. As we’ve seen time and time again, We the People are always stuck subsidizing the left’s “losers.”
So what’s the solution and where do Americans go with our outrage? Stand up against the crony capitalism and elect only those who understand and will let America’s marketplace dictate economic successes, instead of letting politicians (some who have never run any business nor even worked in the private sector) choose free enterprises’ winners and losers. Take a stand, friends. Nothing will change unless you do.
- Sarah Palin
By Mihnea Radu
2012 Tesla Model S Signature
It looks like Tesla may just have done it again.
Compared to Nissan’s challenged public responses to hot-weather range-loss problems in its Leaf electric car, a recent move by Tesla to offer free Supercharging to early buyers of the 60-kWh version of its 2012 Model S looks like brilliant customer relations.
Or at least it looks brilliant to me. I’m set to take delivery in December of my own all-electric Tesla Model S luxury sport sedan.
And after a surprise e-mail from Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] earlier this week, I’m a really, really happy customer right now.
Here’s the story.
I put down my deposit more than three years ago, so I’m pretty early in the queue (reservation P 717, out of 13,000 outstanding as of last week).
My number came up in August, and I chose my battery size (60 kWh, the middle of three alternatives) and color (green), specified the options I wanted, and signed my purchase agreement on September 5.
One of the options supposedly available to me at that time was Supercharging: the onboard hardware and software required to use the network of ultra-fast charging stations that Tesla had been teasing for months–though it hadn’t then officially unveiled any details.
According to Tesla’s website, Supercharging was to be standard on the 85-kWh Model S, optional at a price “to be determined” on 60-kWh cars like mine, and unavailable on the base 40-kWh version.
But I didn’t see a Supercharger box to check on my purchase agreement. No problem: Since I knew little about Supercharging, and the price had not yet been determined, I wouldn’t have opted for it any case.
Then, on September 24, Tesla officially unveiled the Supercharger system. The big news was that the charging service would be free for all Model S owners equipped with the hardware to handle it.
Four days later, I got an e-mail announcing the price of the Supercharger option for my 60-kWh car: $1,000 for the hardware, plus $1,000 for software testing and calibration.
But, the e-mail continued, “Since you are an early reservation holder and booked your 60-kWh Model S before complete Supercharging information was available, we planned ahead to build your Model S with Supercharger hardware at no additional cost to you.”
2012 Tesla Model S Charging Connector
The testing and calibration, however, would still cost $1,000. Did I want my Supercharging hardware enabled at that price?
I mulled that one for a while. Though I don’t often make long cross-country trips, it would be nice to have the option.
It seemed a waste to have the Supercharging hardware in the car, but unusable. And, frankly, I didn’t want to miss out on the full Tesla experience.
So, what the hell? I clicked the “Add Supercharging ” box.
Four days later came the e-mail that shocked and delighted me.
“After revisiting some of the explanations we used on our website and in our Design Studio the past few months, we feel as though it was not as clear as it should have been regarding the requirement to activate Supercharging on 60-kWh battery cars.”
“As a result, we are going to waive the entire fee to enable Supercharging on your 60-kWh Model S. You will now receive free, unlimited Supercharging on your car at no additional cost.”
Tesla Supercharger fast-charging system for electric cars
“We apologize for the confusion. We thought our explanations were clear, but they were not clear enough.”
To be honest, I was never confused about the Supercharger option.
But I will happily accept Tesla’s largesse, and take it as a very positive sign for the future: This is a company that clearly wants to keep its customers happy.
Now, about that Model S service program….
David Noland is a Tesla Model S reservation holder and freelance writer who lives north of New York City. This is his fifth article for High Gear Media.
By David Noland
CAPTIONS ON | OFF
The conflict between the New York Times and Tesla Motors over a stranded Tesla Model Sis getting complicated.
The row started after reporter John M. Broderreviewed the cold weather, long distance driving capabilities of the Model S. In his article on the Times’ Automobiles section, Broder remarks that the vehicle went dead after only 185 miles, 80 miles less than its EPA estimated range of 265 miles per battery charge. Broder went on to blame the lithium-ion battery, which are reported to have problems holding charges in lower temperatures. Coming from a prominent publication such as the Times, this mostly negative review was a significant blow for Tesla, causing the company’s stock to dip. Tesla CEO Elon Musk reacted with a scathing series of rebuttal tweets, providing screenshots of contrasting data logs from the reviewed Model S’ computer, and calling Broder’s review completely “fake.”
So, who is actually wrong here?
According to both Tesla and Broder, Tesla provided specific instructions on how to drive the Model S for 200 miles between supercharging stations; namely, to keep the speedometer at 55 mph and minimize use of the battery-draining climate control. Broder states that he complied with Tesla’s requirements — setting the cruise control at 54 mph and turning down the heat despite the chilly temps. However, 29 miles from the Norwich, Connecticut charging station, he claims the Model S was “limping along at 45 mph” before it came to a complete halt five miles short of the station.
However, Musk argues that the car’s logs prove a different story. According to Musk and Tesla, the data indicates that Broder drove between 65 to 81 mph, never reaching the 45 mph snail’s pace he claimed. Also, the cabin was kept at a comfortable 72 degrees, even increased to 74 degrees at a later point in the trip. Musk also remarks that Broder did not fully charge the vehicle during any of his three charging station visits, even disconnecting the Model S when it showed an expected range of 32 miles, when Broder planned to drive 61 miles.
Today, the Atlantic Wire is questioning the validity of the logs provided by Musk and Tesla Motors. In a blog post published this morning, Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan tried to reach Elon Musk for comment on these accusations, as well as a request to “open source the driving logs” and other data. Musk was unavailable at the time.
Wanting to be an alleviator of our gas guzzling ways, utilitarianism has been one of Tesla’s main goals. Wired contributor and EV1 engineer Chelsea Sexton remarks, “The day-to-day experience EVs offer is so much better than gas cars for 95% of driving. Long-distance road trips are among the last 5% of usage scenarios.”
Ironically, it was a little over a century ago that this circumstance was reversed. Steam and electric cars that appeared at the beginning of the automobile age outsold all petrol-powered vehicles, until combustion engines became more stable and gas became more abundant for long distance trips. Now, at its resurgence, the electric vehicle has to face a similar challenge as its early gas-fueled cousins.
Even if Broder’s review turns out to be false, Tesla Motors may have already shot itself in the foot. What perhaps is most intriguing about this fiasco was the amount of care required (not merely recommended) by Tesla in order to drive the Model S the 500 miles it initially logged. By just taking this into consideration, Broder correctly reports that Tesla billing the Model S as a “casual car” ready for a road trip is a bit of a stretch. If the typical road-tripping consumer needs as much detailed instruction as seen in both Tesla and Broder’s account, the extinction of the gas-powered car might be a little further off.
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With the Model S already enjoying success on the luxury market and the Department of Energy loan paid in full nine years early, Tesla Motors is looking to offer a totally new electric car.
Aware that the Model S is too expensive for most people, Elon Musks says his company is working on an affordable EV that could rival Nissan’s Leaf model. Although the low cost Tesla is far from being developed, Musk promises the car will eventually see the light of day.
“With the Model S, you have a compelling car that’s too expensive for most people,” he said. “And you have the Leaf, which is cheap, but it’s not great. What the world really needs is a great, affordable electric car. I’m not going to let anything go, no matter what people offer, until I complete that mission.”
In addition, Musk said the affordable Tesla will hit the market in three to four years with a range of about 200 miles and a price tag of under $40,000. The 2013 Tesla Model S can be had for at least $60,000 while the current generation Nissan Leaf costs almost $29,000.
Story via DetroitNews
Oil does indeed make all of us laugh out loud, but currently, it’s not an amused type of laugh, but more of a ‘we’ll soon get rid of you’ kind of complacent laugh, as most automotive news headlines of the last two weeks have been dominated by the launch of the Tesla Model S – a real milestone in the history of the EV. It is the first genuinely good-looking, practical, luxurious, fun to drive and, most importantly, desirable electric car to have ever been built.
However, it wouldn’t have come along if it weren’t for the car bearing the ‘LOL OIL’ number plate, the Roadster. After selling 2,300 of them, Tesla gained both the confidence of potential buyers, as well as various US institutions, being granted a $465 million loan, along with other forms of government aid, which helped the California-based manufacturer to bring the Model S to the global scene.
In a few years time, though, and with the launch of more and more clean alternatives, we think that ‘LOL OIL’ will take on a different meaning, as we will finally begin to wean ourselves of oil, while finally and full-heartedly embracing the task of not damaging our planet any more, as well as repairing the damage we have already caused.
2012 Tesla Model S
Well, they made it!
Tesla Model S-driving trio Peter Soukup, Tina Thomas and Luba Roytburd successfully arrived in New York City after almost five thousand miles of driving coast-to-coast.
After starting in Portland, Oregon on December 26, the team drove down the West Coast, before cutting across Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, South Carolina, and then up the East Coast.
They announced their arrival in NYC with a Tweet on Monday.
“If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere and we made it! Electric Road Trip S successfully finished in NYC, final mileage 4887!”
The team then thanked Tesla and Elon Musk for “an amazing car”.
Over the course of the journey, the team made use of several different charging stations, including Tesla’s own Supercharger network, for speedy charging and shorter stops.
Musk himself tweeted about the trip, suggesting that by the end of 2013, “it will be Superchargers all the way!”.
Congratulations to the team for reaching their goal. With a few more rapid chargers along the way and electric car range rising all the time, we doubt it’s the last such trip we’ll be hearing about over the next few years…
You can read the team’s own report on the Electric Road Trip S blog.
George Blankenship, Tesla’s VP of worldwide sales and ownership experience, recently took the opportunity to allay future Model S customer concerns with an update on the electric family sedan.
With production scheduled to commence in mid-2012, the first 1000 units built will be part of the North American Model S Signature Series. In acknowledgment of these initial models, they’ve been deemed “limited edition” and will come with their own unique badges and special options. All North American Model S Signature Series sedans will have the big 300-mile batteries.
We’ve long heard the Model S will start at $57,400 with the smallest 160-mile battery. Blankenship also disclosed the 230-mile battery will add another $10,000 to that cost, while the 300-mile battery will be a not unsubstantial $20,000 on top of the base price. As an incentive, a federal $7500 tax credit is being touted, and state governments may have their own financial perks for supporting alternative propulsion. Final MSRP and option prices are due this summer.
With the 300-mile packs expected off the line first, the 160- and 230-mile batteries will follow later in 2012. Left-hand drive deliveries to Europe will also begin in late 2012 and right-hand drive applications for Europe and Asia will follow suit in mid-2013. Tesla anticipates a grand total of 5000 sedans produced in 2012 at the NUMMI plant in Fremont, California. By 2013, the EV builder will be targeting an annual total of 20,000.
A few months ago, we found that Tesla expects the 20,000-unit production mark to bring them to profits. Stay tuned as we continue to follow the progress of this much-hyped electric sedan from Silicon Valley.
By Benson Kong