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    Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    A reporter takes a new Tesla on a northeastern U.S.A. road trip. It did not go well. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/automobiles/stalled-on-the-ev-highway.html?ref=todayspaper&pagewanted=all

    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    Tesla Ss are  replacing Priuses in my neighborhood and is the trendy car du jour here in sheeple Silicon Valley, replacing last year's now forgotten Fisker love. 

    And speaking of sheeple, everyone wants the burgundy red one only , it seems, as that color only comes on the hi-po version. Roll eyes.


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    Silicon Valley doesn't often get into the 30's F where this reporter had to start shutting down his systems (including passenger heating   ).   And the huge loss in range when the batteries got even a bit below freezing is incredible.   Guess we Canadians (and residents of the more northern US states that get real winters) don't have to worry about being tempted by a Tesla in the near future....  or use it like your Lotus Elise - warm summer driving only. 


    --

    2011 Range Rover Sport S/C,  2009 Porsche 911S


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

     The Chevrolet Volt owners probably feel pretty smug now, using gasoline instead of electricity in the wintertime.  


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    Cross country driving has never been the strong suit of an electric vehicle.  I'm not impressed by the writer's naive discovery of this easy to foresee situation and then the feigned surprise justifying some mockery.

    My wife's daily driver is a Tesla Model S.  She's been driving it for about a month.  Yeah, we're early adopters and expect a few glitches early on.  The minor problems we've experienced are far from deal breakers and Tesla Motors has been responsive with their correction.


    --

    Mike

    Carrera GT + Tesla Roadster 1.5 + Panamera Turbo +  BMW Z8 + BMW 3.0 CSi + Bentley Arnage T + GT3 RS 4.0


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    They could have choose a different name for their brand "Tesla" sounds more like a vacuum cleaner.

    J.Seven


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    What a stupid test... any person with the IQ of a monkey would figure this out. EVs are for city driving and form the daily driver to commute to work within short distances for 99.999999% of owners. Coincidentally, these people also have most certainly a second car for whatever these idiot reporters are testing the EVs for. I`m glad to see some show up in Vancouver. It makes total sense, especially if you can generate your own electricity on your property.


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    Atzporsche : did you end up buying some of their shares ?  I got in again last september 


    --

     997.2 C2S, PDK, -20mm


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    Tesla says the car's electronic log disputes the writer's story with the battery not being fully charged to begin with and significant detours from the reported route being taken. 

    Oh...and Tesla?  I think that's a great name for the company! Smiley  For me it does not bring to mind vacuum cleaners at all. Smiley  http://www.teslasociety.com/biography.htm


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    The New York Times article has directly engaged one of the fundamental goals stated by Elon Musk, that the Model S is a viable replacement for the gasoline automobile; the car, unfortunately, fell short of one of its original intended goals.  

    One can argue indefinitely if the NYT reporter deviated from the planned course, or if the vehicle was fully charged; however, these are the variabilities of life, and the real world differs substantial from the strict test environment found in the research laboratory.  

    To argue that the car is a really a short distance daily driver, and not a substitute for a gasoline vehicle, again, is counterintuitive to the marketing efforts of Tesla-there is a reason why Tesla is making a large investment in quick charge facilities on the Interstate system in California and in New York and in touting the long range battery pack.  

    Tesla, itself, did drive a Model S across the United States at the close of 2012 to promote its effectiveness as a long-distance cruiser.  But, once again, if the reader was careful, one would note that the distance traveled per day averaged around 350 miles.  

    Unfortunately, real world tests that highlight the shortcomings of battery chemistry technology will relegate the electric vehicle to the status of an affluent family's plaything and not a practical substitute for the gasoline powered automobile.  With the question of adoption being raised, and the consequence of a limited market base, the longer term viability of car makers such as Tesla remain doubtful.  


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    Gnil:

    Atzporsche : did you end up buying some of their shares ?  I got in again last september 

    I wish mate, it's such an interesting stock. To be honest, I still haven't found the right platform and in October I moved back to Canada so it didnt feel right to invest right now.. I still have my BMW sitting in Germany unable to sell. It's nice to see how easily the stock is influenced though.. Takes any idiotic article, which to no surprise has been debunked as fake because the bloke took a longer route and didnt charge it properly.. I hope tesla sues, if not for false advertising then for human stupidity. 


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    Takes any idiotic article, which to no surprise has been debunked as fake because the bloke took a longer route and didnt charge it properly.. I hope tesla sues, if not for false advertising then for human stupidity. 

    How long of a detour can one take in Manhattan?  Often, the route can change because of traffic congestion, road construction, or myriad other factors.  Often a GPS unit will instruct the driver to take a longer distance route to save time.  Again, this is an example of how the real world deviates from the sterile environment of the laboratory or spreadsheet.


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    CGX car nut:

    Takes any idiotic article, which to no surprise has been debunked as fake because the bloke took a longer route and didnt charge it properly.. I hope tesla sues, if not for false advertising then for human stupidity. 

    How long of a detour can one take in Manhattan?  Often, the route can change because of traffic congestion, road construction, or myriad other factors.  Often a GPS unit will instruct the driver to take a longer distance route to save time.  Again, this is an example of how the real world deviates from the sterile environment of the laboratory or spreadsheet.

    +1.  IMO it appears that Tesla has tried to stage-manage the test to maximize the chances of a favourable review, something that most companies have learned does not work.  (well, maybe excepting Ferrari.... Smiley )


    --

    2011 Range Rover Sport S/C,  2009 Porsche 911S


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    Although I still entertain some doubts, I do think that Tesla is really onto something in this market. There are plenty of people who rarely drive more than 100 miles in a day and a 200 mile range would cover most of the exceptional days. They can always rent a car or use their other car for really exceptional long haul days.

    The real equation has more to do with the cost of battery replacement versus the miles travelled compared to gasoline along with the overall maintenance costs and vehicle lifespan. It gets very complex, but for lifespan I like to look at the two oldest cars in Jay Leno's collection; 1906 Baker electric car and a 1906 Stanley Steamer.

    If you amortize the cost of vehicle ownership over a 100+ year lifespan, it gets pretty cheap. That may sound a bit silly, but other than battery replacement there isn't very much maintenance for an electric vehicle besides the usual tires, brakes, and suspension.


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    Gladstone:

    If you amortize the cost of vehicle ownership over a 100+ year lifespan, it gets pretty cheap. That may sound a bit silly, but other than battery replacement there isn't very much maintenance for an electric vehicle besides the usual tires, brakes, and suspension.

    Has Tesla published a comparison yet between the cost of engine oil changes over a couple of years and the replacement cost of "a half-ton lithium-ion battery pack"?  
    Thought not. 


    --

    fritz


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    Gladstone:

    Although I still entertain some doubts, I do think that Tesla is really onto something in this market. There are plenty of people who rarely drive more than 100 miles in a day and a 200 mile range would cover most of the exceptional days. They can always rent a car or use their other car for really exceptional long haul days.

    The real equation has more to do with the cost of battery replacement versus the miles travelled compared to gasoline along with the overall maintenance costs and vehicle lifespan. It gets very complex, but for lifespan I like to look at the two oldest cars in Jay Leno's collection; 1906 Baker electric car and a 1906 Stanley Steamer.

    If you amortize the cost of vehicle ownership over a 100+ year lifespan, it gets pretty cheap. That may sound a bit silly, but other than battery replacement there isn't very much maintenance for an electric vehicle besides the usual tires, brakes, and suspension.

    While I agree that most individuals do not travel more than 100 miles daily; however, there are exceptions to that the behavioral pattern.  For example, consider the need to alter one's daily travel patterns because of an ill family member.  Its the unknown uncertainties that cause the most issues; one does not wish to rent a more useable car under these types of issues.  Also consider, without a sizable infrastructure buildout, recharging facilities, if the mains fail at home from acts of nature, the EV is render useless once again. While the same may be said for the gasoline powered vehicle, a quick replenishment of a gallon or two can send the car moving to the next destination.


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    Fritz; there is more to maintenance than just changing oil; but I agree that it is impossible to know what the next battery change will end up costing.  (Hopefully cheaper in the future: recycled material etc.)

    CGX car nut; I think there are plenty of households with multiple vehicles. I drive about 100k miles per year while my wife drives about 6 to 8k miles per year. The biggest problem would be that she does not actually drive enough to make use of a battery's lifespan. An ancient gas guzzling tank of a vehicle with liabliity only insurance would be sweet for her.


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    Gladstone:

    Fritz; there is more to maintenance than just changing oil; but I agree that it is impossible to know what the next battery change will end up costing.  (Hopefully cheaper in the future: recycled material etc.)

    If you discount spark plugs and drive belts there isn't so much more which is not common to both EVs and fossil-fuel driven cars, unless you want to argue that EVs won't do enough mileage to need brake disc and pad changes. 

    For recycled lithium to be a cost-reduction factor, we'd need to come up with new battery concepts to power mobile phones, tablets and cordless tools, as world-wide consumption is currently still sharply increasing. Before that happens we might instead find ourselves being held to ransom by the Chinese, if  they continue to increase their grip on the market in rare earth metals. 


    --

    fritz


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    You have to somehow side with the reporter. He wanted to show if the Tesla was a no hassle car. It is not. Having a range of 90 miles when you leave the car down to 40 miles next morning is unacceptable regardless of the conditions. Having to shut of the heat in winter is unacceptable. There will always be traffic in the areas where people can afford to buy a Tesla... And then the big unknown: how will the battery be affect by years passing by? In 5 years your battery capacity might be down by 30% or more. And there still is no replacement cost price available, but it won't be cheap...


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    Gladstone: The question of the Tesla Model S review is not the number of cars in one's household, but instead, one's ability to use the car when needed.  The example of an ill family member is but only one demonstrative of how change in an standardized routine cannot be readily addressed by even the most advanced of electric vehicle technologies.  

    The infrastructure does not exist, and even with Tesla's investment in Supercharging stations, the distance between locations is much too great and the capital expenditure to rectify this with infrastructure buildout is much too costly. 

    SciFrog is absolutely correct in his assessment.  Following is another article stating the key points of contention given by Mr. Musk: 1) there was an undisclosed detour through Manhattan traffic without taking the more fuel efficient (!?!) highway route-I thought the Tesla employed regenerative braking to recharge the battery pack; 2) the Times writer drove too fast on the highway-again, one should also travel with the flow of the traffic; and 3) the car was not properly charged-again, real-world consumers will have similar problems with charging conditions and weather.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/teslas-elon-musk-slams-new-york-times-review/2013/02/12/517c1ff2-7512-11e2-aa1...


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    CGX car nut:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/teslas-elon-musk-slams-new-york-times-review/2013/02/12/517c1ff2-7512-11e2-aa1...

     

    Some people seem to have a hard time coming to terms with life in the real world: 

     

    "In the Times review, Tesla official J B Straubel said it was “disappointing” to him that the car didn’t work as planned and added that road trips in an electric car “takes more planning” than a traditional vehicle.

    This is not the first time that Tesla has struck out against a negative review. In March 2011, the company sued the BBC for “libel and malicious falsehood” when the British car show Top Gear claimed its Tesla test car had a range of just 55 miles under track conditions, showed the Tesla Roadster overheating and that the brakes on the models they were provided did not work.

    An English court threw out Tesla’s suit against the broadcaster last February, saying that manufacturer’s estimated ranges are always affected by their driving conditions, and there was no basis for a libel claim".


    --

    fritz


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    CGX car nut:

    ..... -again, real-world consumers will have similar problems with charging conditions and weather.

    Maybe I should have been more expansive when I said our family has TWO Tesla cars -- a Roadster and a Model S.

    We are, in fact, real-world customers.  We are people who paid real money of our own to purchase these cars; not a flip, glib, condescending NYT reporter who may or may not have friends who are short TSLA stock, driving a press-pool loaner.  We have no illusions nor any sort of practical problems with battery-electric cars and their range characteristics.  We have completely adapted to what is a sensible expectation for how far and how fast to drive these cars.

    We understand the cold-temperature range issue.  After all, it was about 10 degrees F here a week or two ago.  Yes, the reported range decreases until the pack heats up from use and then remains a bit diminished depending on just how cold it is.  So what?

    My wife uses the Model S as her daily driver and always seems to have 150 or so miles left in the "tank" when she puts the car in the garage for the night.  No problems at all.

    We are "real world" users and are completely happy with Tesla.  Maybe you should buy one before projecting on others what they should think.


    --

    Mike

    Carrera GT + Tesla Roadster 1.5 + Panamera Turbo +  BMW Z8 + BMW 3.0 CSi + Bentley Arnage T + GT3 RS 4.0


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    W8MM:
    We are "real world" users and are completely happy with Tesla.  Maybe you should buy one before projecting on others what they should think.

    Mike

    Carrera GT + Tesla Roadster 1.5 + Panamera Turbo +  BMW Z8 + BMW 3.0 CSi + Bentley Arnage T + GT3 RS 4.0

    Congratulations on owning two Teslas and being completely happy with your purchase!!!

    This "real world" driver realizes that the current limitations of the Model S does not fit within my parameters of usefulness.  For example, my primary residence is a multi-family building that cannot be equipped with a charging station and my weekend home is over 150 miles away.  


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    CGX car nut:
    This "real world" driver realizes that the current limitations of the Model S does not fit within my parameters of usefulness.  For example, my primary residence is a multi-family building that cannot be equipped with a charging station and my weekend home is over 150 miles away.  

    OK, I see that your situation won't work well with electric transportation.

    The vast majority of vehicle owners don't have deal killer restrictions like yours.


    --

    Mike

    Carrera GT + Tesla Roadster 1.5 & Model S + Panamera Turbo +  BMW Z8 + BMW 3.0 CSi + Bentley Arnage T + GT3 RS 4.0


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    Logs have been published.

    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-57569364-48/tesla-releases-logs-on-disputed-nyt-car-review/?part=rss&subj=news&tag=...

     

     

     

    • Despite Broder saying that he called a flatbed truck after the Model S battery ran out of energy, the logs show that he didn't, in fact, run out of energy, according to Musk.
    • Musk charged Broder with an "obvious violation of common sense" when he he disconnected the Tesla's charging cable when its range was at 32 miles and his trip back was 61 miles.
    • The logs, Musk said, show that Broder never set his cruise control to 54 mph to save energy, as he suggested, and instead was driving at speeds between 65 mph and 81 mph.
    • Because cabin temperature can impact energy usage, Broder said that he reduced it. However, Musk claims that the temperature was turned up from 72 degrees to 74 degrees.

    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    W8MM:
    CGX car nut:
    This "real world" driver realizes that the current limitations of the Model S does not fit within my parameters of usefulness.  For example, my primary residence is a multi-family building that cannot be equipped with a charging station and my weekend home is over 150 miles away.  

    OK, I see that your situation won't work well with electric transportation.

    The vast majority of vehicle owners don't have deal killer restrictions like yours.

    Most living in Chicago, New York or downtown in any other major urban area would have similar rechargability constraints.   

    With Tesla making the logs public, it has once again returned to a she said, he said scenario.


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    I would be a perfect candidate for an electric car. And yet I can't charge it at work, I can't charge it in my city garage... So the time is not now. So we need more incentives: more HOV lanes, more city restrictions and of course more public garages offering charging stations (why not make it mandatory?).


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    SciFrog:

    I would be a perfect candidate for an electric car. And yet I can't charge it at work, I can't charge it in my city garage... So the time is not now. So we need more incentives: more HOV lanes, more city restrictions and of course more public garages offering charging stations (why not make it mandatory?).

    Did government and taxpayer dollars fund the first petrol stations?  Also consider that petrol users are subsidising, through fuel taxes, the road funds.  How will EV users pay their fair share-annual flat fee or real-time payment?


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    Some states have started to make EV pay for that (CT and VT among others?)


    Re: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway

    SciFrog:

    Some states have started to make EV pay for that (CT and VT among others?)

    One believes that Oregon and Washington have provisions in place to have EV drivers pay their fair share. 


     
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