Tesla Motors Inc Accused Of Siege Mentality For Power Stations In UK

Tesla stockBlomst / Pixabay

Beyond Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s production of a near perfect car, the Model S Sedan, is an image of a company that wants a brighter future. Its CEO, Elon Musk, is viewed as a pioneer who is looking to make the world a better place. But according to Ecotricity, a UK utility company that both builds windfarms and operates an “electric highway” of charging points alongside the country’s highway, Tesla is trying to muscle the company out of six of its best-located charging sites.

With Tesla making deliveries of its Model S with right-hand drive, the company now needs to gets its “supercharger” network up and running. Tesla is expected to open the first part of the network next month. In the last year, Musk was appointed as the electric vehicle “tsar” in the UK last year and just three months ago Musk entered into an agreement with Ecotricity to help Tesla build its charging network in the UK. Details of the deal are not known due to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

The existence of a proper charging network in the UK makes the Model S a great buy given the tax credits available to potential customers and the size of the nation makes it possible to motor around nearly anywhere on a single charge. Tesla’s largest market outside of the United States is Norway, a nation of similar size and affluence.

“Shock and disappointment”

However, Dale Vince, the founder of Ecotricity, has just come out as saying that he received a “very dark” and “brutal” email from Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) on Sunday informing of Tesla’s designs on a number of his sites that he is calling a “smash and grab.”

He is also accusing Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) of trying an end around with a company that has signed an exclusivity agreement with Ecotricity based on information it gleaned from the partnership between Tesla and Ecotricity. As a consequence, Ecotricity has sought an injunction against Tesla using this information.

“We are shocked and disappointed that a company like Tesla, with its aura of new world technology and challenger brand status, could behave in such an old world way – shame on them and shame on Elon Musk,” said Vince in a statement.

A Tesla spokesman said the company had received the injunction and would “respond accordingly” but did not elaborate further.

Effect on Tesla stock

Presently, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has over 100 “superchargers” in service throughout the United States, Germany, France, Austria, and most recently China. These “superchargers” are capable of providing a full charge in just a half an hour rather than the more typical overnight charge. Musk has said that these will be solar powered in the UK and that Tesla will begin making cars for the European market in Europe in the not so distant future.

While it might shock some readers that Tesla is bullying others and may hurt ultimately hurt it’s images, investors seem to like the idea of Musk being capable of doing business with “lead pipe cruelty” and his willingness to play hardball. Tesla is trading at $205.85 up $6.40 or 3.21% after this news broke.

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About the Author

Brendan Byrne
While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at theflask@gmail.com

96 Comments on "Tesla Motors Inc Accused Of Siege Mentality For Power Stations In UK"

  1. How about looking a little farther ahead down the road and stop focusing on the bumper in front of your nose? Maybe THEN you’ll understand what I’m saying.

  2. Allan Theobald | Jun 4, 2014, 6:20 pm at 6:20 pm |

    Mac that is complete nonsense. EV cost more money up front even after the tax rebates which is why they sell poorly. Just like solar any saving come far in the future if ever. No amount of pretending can change the proven facts. If a new cheaper battery eventually is developed then maybe the numbers will change.

  3. You like jumping to conclusions, don’t you? It makes you feel good, even when you’re wrong. I consider any environmental benefit a side-effect but your previous arguments about methane hydride an extinction event waiting to happen.

    As I said before, the savings I would have received from a BEV with the range capability of a Tesla Model S would have paid for a brand-new sports coupe to have fun with in only 4 short years.

  4. Allan Theobald | Jun 4, 2014, 2:12 pm at 2:12 pm |

    So now Mac we see that this is really all about global warming. Well you are welcome to your beliefs on that but your analysis on costs is wildly inaccurate. Yes gas costs money but the extra upfront costs of the EV greatly exceed any savings. As I said my two new Honda Accords are great cars that cost 20k each and the equivalent Ev’s will cost nearly twice as much. Most people just can’t afford the difference based on a computer model for global warming that has been shown to be wrong for 20 years.

  5. Allan, have you noticed that it costs nearly $50 for every fill up today? If not more? Unlike ICE drivers, a BEV driver can start each day with a full charge at $5 to $7 and not have to worry about finding a fuel station for the rest of the day.

  6. Before you stuff your foot in your mouth, take a look at how many Ford F-150 Raptors, King Ranch and other high-end models are on the road–especially in Texas and the desert Southwest. It’s a lot more than just the top 1-2%.

  7. Allan Theobald | Jun 2, 2014, 9:36 am at 9:36 am |

    Mac haven’t you noticed that there is a gas station on almost every exit of the freeway? The car is a tool for humans not the other way around. In your case after dozens of posts I still can’t tell what your agenda is. You don’t own a Tesla yet you think it’s very important to the world. How can something that costs 100k matter at all? It is a hoax that is perpetuated by posters like you and the dishonest media. The Tesla is a very good EV period. The price and built in EV limitions means that it will be a niche car for rich people. That’s it. Everything else is propaganda. If and when the grand new cheap battery is produced then we can reassess the situation. Until then it is what it is.

  8. The key word is claims to have a new technology. Until it arrives it’s just talk. By the way Mac middle and upper middle class people don’t by 65k cars as toys. that would be the top 1-2 % and there just aren’t enough of these people to make a significant difference.

  9. And yet again it is your microscopic view–tunnel vision if you will–that is preventing you from seeing what is happening. Tesla does have a new technology–a change in their rate of charge–but a third party has already promised a new battery technology that not only allows even faster charging but also a higher ‘energy density’–about twice that of the best available today–and claims it will be readily accessible within three years. With Tesla only just breaking ground for its Giga-factories this month, they could easily adopt that new technology and manufacture these higher-density batteries in quantity before anybody else.

    And as for your, “Even at 40-50k the Tesla will remain an option only for people making over 100k…,” whatever gives you that idea? We have people even today buying $65,000 pickup trucks as toys–and they’re certainly making over 100K in most cases. A $40,000 car? Child’s play for almost everybody but the poorest–who typically don’t buy “new” anyway. The $20K Honda Accord may be superior to some–but just like now they’re more popular with street racers than everyday drivers. Even the Ford F-150 sells more in a given year than Honda sells their Accords–for twice the price.

  10. Allan Theobald | Jun 1, 2014, 9:15 pm at 9:15 pm |

    Mac what are you talking about. Tesla has no new battery technology. Even if they make it cheaper and mange to bring more modest priced car to market it will have no serious impact on anything. True middle class people can not afford an extra car and so only a small number of EV’s will be sold in comparison to the much cheaper and flexible ICE cars. Even at 40-50k the Tesla will remain an option only for people making over 100k which eliminates 80-85% of the buyers. The 20k Honda Accord will be superior at half the price.

  11. … Except that what for you appears to be “obvious truth” is patent fallacy when you consider everything you said could NOT be done, IS being done right now and will be done even better within three years.

    As I’ve stated many times in this discussion, my only argument with you is in semantics; you insist on declaring the impossible, when it has already been proven possible.

  12. Allan Theobald | Jun 1, 2014, 7:12 pm at 7:12 pm |

    Falling back on the obvious truth seems like a sound policy. Fusion will come some day and until then fossil fuels will keep the world prosperous.

  13. By the way, that 2,000 mile drive in the black coupe in the middle of summer? That was in 1980, when Texas was suffering 100°+ temperatures in the middle of a drought. I STILL didn’t need to run my AC because the air was dry enough I hardly felt it. Let the vent run outside air and keep the windows cracked about 2″ and I was perfectly comfortable–and getting 25mpg with a V8.

  14. How much range do you lose, idling with an ICE in rush-hour traffic in LA? What’s bad for the goose is bad for the gander in your example and you’re certainly not gumming up your cylinders with an electric. SOME ICE cars have difficulty idling for extended periods and need to be ‘blown out’ to make them run smoothly again.

  15. By the way, who needs a “belief system” to recognize what’s right in front of our eyes?

  16. And now you fall back onto your oldest argument, which has already been refuted many times.

  17. Allan Theobald | Jun 1, 2014, 5:54 pm at 5:54 pm |

    Yes it’s best power source except that it isn’t because it can’t be easily stored in large tranportable quantities. Ev’s have been around for 100 years and batteries are limited by their chemical properties. I do think someday it will be solved but probably not until the fossil fuels run out in a few hundred years. So be happy photosynthesis stores so much energy.

  18. Blind too, I see. Not my fault you didn’t seem my acknowledgement of shorter life span. However, it wasn’t petroleum or coal that gave us our vaccines, other than helping their distribution. Electricity–generated by water which has been a primary power source for millennia–could easily power railroads just as it powered the telegraph before coal was used to fuel them. Granted, steam came first but by the 1920s Steam’s day was already over, holding out for more and more power while catenary electric almost ruled the day even on the Norfolk and Western and Virginian railroads on their steepest grades where Steam simply didn’t have the horsepower. And now, those big diesel engines today do nothing more than drive a generator–that drives the electric motors on a minimum of four axles with nearly every locomotive built, offering smooth, steady power to every wheel.

    My point, which you have adamantly tried to divert through these last several postings, is that electric is the best possible power for transportation, though I have clearly acknowledged that AS YET, the batteries cannot match the range of the typical ICE on a per-recharge basis.

  19. Allan Theobald | Jun 1, 2014, 4:45 pm at 4:45 pm |

    I can’t quite figure out your belief system. I can agree with some of your longings for the past but you seem to have ignored that the average life expectancy was 40, millions of children died from simple but untreatable diseases, everyone was infected with many parasites, millions starved to death anytime there was bad weather. I do however like the idea of people being self sufficient. I too would love to have seen America in 1600 or Rome but today’s world is all we have.

  20. ” Never have so many lived in prosperity and security…” Really? “Prosperity and security”, … “so many…” You are so lost, my friend. The few who really do have “prosperity and security” are the ones driving our country AND our world into the pits of despair. The rest either live in poverty or are headed there due to the efforts of those few. Sure, we have the veneer of prosperity in this country–with how many millions out of work and unable to find jobs? How many having to do worse than ‘common labor’ just to survive? How many flat DEPENDENT on government handouts? (And before you bring it up, I am quite aware of how many refuse to work to get those handouts as well.)

    In many ways life was better before the power of steam was discovered. Sure, it was a hard-scrabble life, but you were dependent only upon yourself–what you could grow and hunt for yourself–where people didn’t steal your land because they had a ‘better use’ for it. No, while I agree our lives would probably be shorter without fossil fuels, life would be so much richer for the living.

  21. Allan Theobald | Jun 1, 2014, 1:28 pm at 1:28 pm |

    Mac you have a very sad distorted view of the world. Never have so many lived in prosperity and security and almost all of this is the result of western culture’s harnessing of fossil fuels. Without fossil fuels you and almost everyone else on the planet would be poor and living short unpleasant dangerous lives. I suggest you open your eyes and count your blessings my sad little friend.

  22. Better do some research on that, Allan. The extinction event took a mere few hundred years at most, it was the recovery that took a long time.

    Most people today don’t care about anyone or anything but themselves, they couldn’t care less if there’s a future–even as they breed like rabbits to smother this world even more.

    Oh, no. I’m fully aware of the advances we’ve made over the last 500 years–and more specifically the last 200 years. Prior to the 18th century, we pretty much had to get along with the world. Sure, we could create great mansions and some few could live a life of luxury, but even they could do nothing about the weather–in fact, most big storms came almost totally without warning even as little as 75 years ago. However, we learned fast and saw how each new technology could make life easier and communications faster. It wasn’t all that long ago that even this conversation would have never taken place–especially in a public venue. BUT, that technology has a drawback.

    “Have faith” is almost anathema; mankind is a most destructive species. Things don’t “work out” unless we do something to help it along. Prior to that we suffered and adapted. The problem today is that we no longer want to adapt; we want the world to be what WE want it to be and hang the fact that the real physical universe is bigger than this tiny speck of dust we call our planet. Yes, the name of our planet is “Dust”, “Dirt”, “Ground”; some even call it “Terra” or “Terra Firma”. Well, if we keep going as we are, it will be a lifeless ball of dirt again, with our inheritors a completely different species that might learn a lesson from us. Or not.

    And yes, there is something we can do about it: We can change our ways. Will we? Unlikely. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. At least a few people understand that.

  23. Allan Theobald | Jun 1, 2014, 1:49 am at 1:49 am |

    Mac first of all it’s not remotely understood and these changes took place over thousands of years. No one is going to take this seriously. People care about their families, jobs, and saving for retirement and are not about to listen to dire predictions of doom and gloom. You behave as if mankind has not made any advances in the past 500 years. You need to relax and have some faith that things will work out as they always have. Besides there is nothing you or anyone else can do about it anyway.

  24. So now you make assumptions based on an apparently incomplete report (by the way, you didn’t cite your source or any of the references ‘linked’ in your cut-and-paste.) What IS understood is that it was a methane release that triggered it. What isn’t understood, yet, is what happened after. After all, HOW many years did it take for life to recover and emerge again from the seas?

  25. Mac some of us are not fooled by mere company announcements but actually wait to see real results. The lower priced car will only be significant if it can deliver a 250 mile range for that lower price. Currently Tesla can not make this car since the lower priced batteries don’t exist. Therefore I reserve the right to be skeptical this can be achieved since the battery plant has yet to break ground and because Tesla themselves knows nothing about LI battery production.

  26. So now you are worrying about an event that no one remotely understands. Here by the way is what a simple search found. Note the fourth paragraph which points out the theory is not compatible with the known evidence. The doom and gloom is boring.

    However, only one sufficiently powerful cause has been proposed for the global 1.0% reduction in the 13C/12C ratio: the release of methane from methane clathrates,[47] and carbon-cycle models confirm it would have been sufficient to produce the observed reduction.[109][112] Methane clathrates, also known as methane hydrates, consist of methane molecules trapped in cages of water molecules. The methane, produced bymethanogens (microscopic single-celled organisms), has a 13C/12C ratio about 6.0% below normal (?13C ?6.0%). At the right combination of pressure and temperature, it gets trapped in clathrates fairly close to the surface of permafrost and in much larger quantities at continental margins (continental shelves and the deeper seabed close to them). Oceanic methane hydrates are usually found buried in sediments where the seawater is at least 300 m (980 ft) deep. They can be found up to about 2,000 m (6,600 ft) below the sea floor, but usually only about 1,100 m (3,600 ft) below the sea floor.[113]

    The area covered by lava from the Siberian Traps eruptions is about twice as large as was originally thought, and most of the additional area was shallow sea at the time. The seabed probably contained methane hydratedeposits, and the lava caused the deposits to dissociate, releasing vast quantities of methane.[114]

    One would expect a vast release of methane to cause significant global warming, since methane is a very powerful greenhouse gas. Strong evidence suggests the global temperatures increased by about 6 °C (10.8 °F) near the equator and therefore by more at higher latitudes: a sharp decrease in oxygen isotope ratios (18O/16O);[115] the extinction of Glossopteris flora (Glossopteris and plants that grew in the same areas), which needed a cold climate, and its replacement by floras typical of lower paleolatitudes.[116]

    However, the pattern of isotope shifts expected to result from a massive release of methane does not match the patterns seen throughout the early Triassic. Not only would a methane cause require the release of five times as much methane as postulated for the PETM,[15] but it would also have to be reburied at an unrealistically high rate to account for the rapid increases in the 13C/12C ratio (episodes of high positive ?13C) throughout the early Triassic, before being released again several times.[15]

    A 2014 paper has found strong evidence for a bacterial source of the carbon-cycle disruption: the methanogenic archaeal genus Methanosarcina. Three lines of chronology converge at 250 mya, supporting a scenario in which a single-gene transfer created a metabolic pathway for efficient methane production in these archaea, nourished by volcanic nickel. According to the theory, the resultant super-exponential bacterial bloom suddenly freed carbon from ocean-bottom organic sediments into the water and air.[117]

  27. If I were as childish as you about this article, I would ask you the same thing. However, since your reading comprehension appears lacking I will repeat myself:

    “Tesla has announced that they are working on a less expensive model, to compete almost directly with the Volt and the Leaf in price,” which means while the price is high NOW, it won’t be in only three years or so. Meanwhile, those people who CAN afford the Tesla–or an Audi A8 or whatever–can buy one now well within their luxury car budget.

  28. Who is the one making exaggerations here? It is established fact that one of the biggest extinction events in world history was due to methane hydrates–methane ice under the oceans suddenly melting and erupting into the air. The evidence was discovered in some of the deepest ice cores brought to surface only a couple years ago. This information has been readily available and publicly reported–on FOX as well as other networks and scientific papers.

    Oh, and FOX went out of its way to distance itself from that report, stating that the statements are those of the individual reporting them and not the network’s.

  29. Mac please stop the end of the world doom and gloom. This kind of exaggerating convinces no one.

  30. Mac how old are you? Do you realize that buying EV ‘s actually costs more money not less. It’s pretty much the same math as solar energy. The start up costs are much higher and the savings if any come far down the line. The average consumer isn’t interested in spending more now to maybe save a few dollars in ten years.

  31. After you referenced them, I looked them up and read about the ‘suspected’ amounts and the hazards of accessing them. Nearly every article I read emphasized how dangerous mining them would be while another article pointed out that these same methane hydrates were the cause of at least one global extinction event that killed almost 80% of life on this planet. At over 12x the greenhouse reaction in our atmosphere, a single BP-style leak could well be what kills mankind. Again, are you willing to risk that?

  32. No, I am promoting an ELECTRIC car to save money; it’s primarily coincidence that the Tesla is the best of what’s available and the best typically costs more–for a while. Considering that you bought your kids almost certainly Brand-New Hondas means that you could probably easily afford a Tesla for yourself if you had any real interest–which you obviously don’t.

    However, since Tesla has announced that they are working on a less expensive model, to compete almost directly with the Volt and the Leaf in price, then if that car has essentially the same range and charging capabilities (really wouldn’t need that big infotainment stack and fabric/vinyl is good enough for upholstery) for that price, then it would certainly be the superior BEV even over the Model S–if all you want is basic transportation without the luxuries.

  33. Now you sound like Paul Erhlich and you know how accurate his predictions were. Mac the methane hydrates are going to come out so you better get used to it and no mass extinction is going to occur. The modern world is built on economic growth and economic growth is built on fossil fuels. Some day we will have fusion but until then the world will use what it has to use.

  34. Let me get this straight. you are promoting buying a 100k car as a way to save money? Mac what college did you go to? I recently bought my college age children each a Honda Accord. 20k for each with excellent milage and performance. No EV even comes close and that Mac is a fact.

  35. Personally, I’m not promoting the Tesla as a way to save petroleum–to me that’s a side benefit. I’m promoting it as a way to save MONEY, since electricity costs on average 1/6th as much per mile.

    But I will argue whether our petroleum supplies are virtually limitless or not; when we started pumping it over 150 years ago it was thought we’d never run out–in fact, many saw no purpose for it since whale oil was so plentiful. Where is whale oil today? Where are the whales today? With each generation, human demand for fuels has gone up at a near-logrithmic scale. Our world is a finite place and we will reach the point where our small planet cannot meet our needs. We’re nearly there now.

    So, how do we solve the problem? Do we eliminate the demand, or do we find some alternative that is less destructive overall? Or do we do both? How? Maybe you’d like to live in China right now, where the government is about to confiscate something over 1 BILLION cars and destroy them because of the pollution levels in their cities. Do you really think the Communist party will pay anything for those cars they crush?

  36. And if those Methane Hydrates aren’t mined very, VERY carefully, we’ll have an extinction event that WOULD destroy human society, if not the human species in its entirety. A ‘spill’ like the Exxon Valdez could be enough to do it. A “leak” like the BP rig in the gulf WOULD do it. You’re counting chickens before they hatch, my friend. The potential is there for exactly what you say, but with it comes huge risk. Are you really willing to take that risk?

  37. Mac you are something. There is enough natural gas and methane hydrates to last for many many decades. Even you agree with this so there is no acute energy shortage. Besides the Tesla and Ev’s don’t really save anything because largely fossil fuels are used to create the electricity. Promoting the 100k Tesla as a way to save resources is a scam since the batteries also use huge amounts of scarce resources and then leave toxic waste. Modern life is built on the transforming use of energy. No form of energy is perfect but without it we would all be poor.

  38. Hey your a good looking guy. I think I saw you at the North County Discount WhareHaas the other day buying a piano. Only rich people buy 7,000$ piano’s.

  39. Methane hydrates are NOT gasoline, are they? What is their energy density as compared to gasoline? Better? Worse? Can they be stored in the same tanks? Will they pump as readily? What is their evaporation rate? And quite honestly, 100 years worth at today’s usage rate might be only 50 years worth by 2020 if other countries adopt motor vehicles at anywhere near the rate that China has over the last decade. In other words, there are no constants when you’re talking about a finite resource.

    You want hydrocarbons? I strongly recommend you get Exxon/Mobile and the other oil companies to put money into space travel and pumping ships to fly to Jupiter and Saturn and retrieve their methane gasses and hydrocarbon seas. Because by the time they manage that, we’ll have probably run dry on this little speck of dirt.

  40. You disgust me.

  41. Theobald, you make me sick! You one percenters are all alike.

  42. Have you heard of methane hydrates? There is enough for over 100 years.

  43. Ah, so the truth comes out. You really don’t WANT change because it could mean the downfall of your own business if you can’t change quickly enough. Nearly every time that a company has resisted change, saying, “It’s the way we’ve always done things,” that company has disappeared. I suggest you prepare yourself for change and adapt, before the industry passes you by.

  44. I wouldn’t bet on 50 years if I were you; the possibility stands that we’ll reach a point where petroleum reserves will be held for that specific purpose–reserved for military use only.

  45. No Ray . I don’t mind change but what i do mind are people who have never run a large business who think that ideology is more important than reality.

  46. Hey, Theobald, to me you sound like a person who doesn’t like change. You probably think recycling is a waste of time and does nothing good for the earth, right? How about you climb out from beneath that rock you live under and while you’re at it stop dragging your knuckles on the ground. It makes a REAL annoying sound.

  47. Vulpine fossil fuels are still going to be the predominate source of energy for the next 50 years. That is a fact. My question to you was whether you support single payor heathcare.

  48. “Since you don’t own a Tesla why are you so committed to this cause/car?”
    Because it IS the future, in one way or another. Liquid fuel costs WILL go up, no matter what kind of liquid fuel you choose. Gasoline and Diesel are again at or near $4/gallon while LPG and CNG don’t give the same energy density per gallon, meaning you get much LOWER fuel mileage using them. Straight hydrogen may have a higher energy density, but we’ll be paying for the infrastructure to be installed should we go that way and a hydrogen fuel cell is STILL electric–with the added risk of hydrogen leaks in a collision. At least for now, battery electric is the most viable replacement for ICE and likely to offer ongoing lower operating cost for the foreseeable future.

    You’ve also finally managed to make a viable deduction about long-range driving with the Tesla; while it is CAPABLE of doing it, it does require a shift in driving habits to do so. As you say, it’s not the BEST tool for the task–yet. But again, changes coming in the near future can change that. 400 mile range and 30-minute charging to full are reportedly just around the corner. The fast-charge capability will strictly be limited by how much current the vehicle’s wiring and batteries can handle without overheating, and since those batteries are really capacitors with no liquid element, they’re capable of handling some pretty serious current.

    As far as healthcare insurance is concerned, believe what you will. The problem there is that everybody needs it because only a very few (the 1%) can afford it without insurance.

  49. Since you don’t own a Tesla why are you so committed to this cause/car? Driving a Tesla across country is like using a fork to eat soup. It’s not the right tool. Cars after all are just tools for people. No amount of wishing can change the fact that the Tesla is forced to waste a hour recharging for every 225 miles it covers(plus follow an exact inflexible course) while many ICE cars can go 400-450 miles and refuel anywhere in 5 minutes. Next are you going to tell me that you believe single payor is the best form of healthcare.

  50. Thank you for confirming my statements; while you’re attempting to show me up as a “fanboy”, you’re proving yourself a zealot through your own statements. While SOME so-called subsidies are gone, by no means are all gone, and that still doesn’t eliminate the fact that they ARE making some profits–enough to expand the business to a second vehicle model.

    Your argument about range and ‘refueling’ limitations is specious–the simple fact is that the Tesla has been able to make trips from the east coast to the west and vice-versa in as little as three days of driving using only the existing Supercharger network–far faster than the typical driver makes such a trip. And by no means were they traveling at excessive speeds. In an official ‘speed’ run by Tesla itself, two Model S sedans, accompanied by a pair of ICE support vans, made that run through a sandstorm and TWO blizzards back in January with absolutely no issues while one of the ICE vans had to be abandoned at the side of the road due to a breakdown, its crew flying ahead to Chicago to pick up a new van. That pretty much gives the lie to your “significant range and refueling limitations”.

    I don’t deny that you have to plan your trip; but any GOOD driver WILL plan their trip ahead of time to account for fuel, food and rest. You may need to stop a little more frequently with the Tesla’s range about 1/3rd less than an ICE, but that’s hardly significant when some ICE cars can’t even go that far on a single 16 gallon tank. And when you consider the simple fact that you’re NOT paying for gasoline on that trip, the cost of the trip itself falls through the floor. If you assume for your sake a 300 mile range between refueling for an ICE (leaving ¼ tank as reserve) and assuming a 16 gallon tank AND assuming $3.50 per gallon, a trip of 3,000 miles is ten fill-ups of 12 gallons each, or 120 gallons, totaling $420 just for fuel–$420 you DON’T spend when charging at a Supercharger station every 200 miles with a Tesla. Yes, the overall trip MIGHT be a bit slower than taking the same trip with an ICE, but you’ve already saved over $400 that you would have had to spend on fuel.

    So really, neither vehicle is all that limited. Different, yes. Limited. Not really.

  51. Mac you need to learn when it’s time to stop. You have not refuted any of my points. Tesla owns no significant battery technology. Yes they have lost money on every car they have sold. They received temporary money from other car companies from a mandated law but that is now gone. Here are the profit margins of the other companies:

    Automotive earnings for the maker of BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce vehicles fell to 9.2 percent of sales in the fourth quarter from an operating profit margin of 10.6 percent a year ago. For the full year, BMW’s auto margin was 9.4 percent, compared with 10.1 percent at Audi and 6.2 percent at Mercedes.

    Yes EV’s have significant range and refueling limitations. If you can’t admit that then you really do have a serious case of the Tesla Insanity. The big car comanies have ceded the EV’s to Tesla for now because they are in business to make money.

  52. UM hello – Ecotricity tries to block the roll out of free for life UK Supercharger network by squatting on free-for-now swipe-card bait and switch exclusives on key motorway service locations.

  53. I know the difference between a reasoned argument and opinion based on a lack of data; yours is seriously lacking. This latest statement from you shows that you rely on assumptions, not fact, for your arguments.

    Let’s start with your first argument here:
    * “Surely you know that Mercedes, BMW, and Lexus have nice margins of around 10%”

    Do we? Have you read the quarterly reports? Have you gone into the financials of these companies? While I’ll grant that your 10% figure sounds nice, I can wager that some models have a significantly higher profit margin than others. I can also wager that other models–especially a couple of BMWs, get almost zero profit. Meanwhile, American-branded pickup trucks carry anywhere from 25% to 50% profit margin, which allows those brands to build cars that do lose money on each sale, like the Chevrolet Spark and the Fiat 500e which loses US$14,000 on each sale.

    * “Tesla on the other hand loses money on every car they sell.”

    And where did you get this information? According to their own quarterly reports, they MADE something like $300M in profits last year; that’s not ‘losing money on every car they sell.’ As I stated before, Musk wouldn’t continue pumping money into the company if it were operating at that kind of loss.

    * “This technology has been around for years and is not owned by Tesla since they don’t make the batteries. Yes they bundle the already made batteries but that hardly qualifies as a major innovation.”

    For the moment, you are correct; they buy the batteries from somewhere else. However, their battery packs themselves are NOT made by someone else. They designed their packs to use the cells they purchase and assemble those packs themselves, with their own control systems and software. So you’re really only half right. How those batteries are monitored and maintained IS a major innovation in automotive use. That said, they’re in the process of breaking ground on their own so-called ‘Gigafactory’, at which point they’re no longer buying the batteries and reducing the cost, which will subsequently reduce the overall price of their cars.

    * “… that doesn’t change the fact that it has serious limitations compared to an ICE vehicle.”

    WHAT ‘serious limitations’? With that statement you imply multiple problems that should make the vehicle almost worthless, yet for 99% of the time it has NO limitations at all. Please elucidate. You’re repeating yourself without backing up your statements.

    What I have done so far is refute every one of your arguments. Yes, I have acknowledged that it is not “perfect”, but it is nowhere near as lacking as you insist and is far more capable than any all-electric car that’s gone before it–including the General Motors EV-1 of the ’80s which its ‘owners’ so loved. While I will grant that for some purposes the 265-mile range seems restrictive, once the Supercharger network is completed, almost any long journey is eminently possible and since most long journeys are taken on the Interstate highway system, it’s only logical that these Superchargers be placed on or adjacent to the Interstate highways.

    And while I will grant my next statement is conjecture, if we assume that Tesla’s next few models are only as successful as the Model ‘S’, there will be more demand for Supercharger stations in each and every city across the nation. Meanwhile, any current owner with a garage or parking directly adjacent to their home is capable of charging a typical day’s worth of driving overnight with multiple charger options available at purchase to include a rapid charger that gives a full charge in about 4 hours for those who need that much. An AEV is NOT as limited as you wish to believe.

  54. Mac you need to learn the difference between a reasoned argument and what you feel about something. By your own admission you can’t afford to own a Tesla. So exactly why do you have strong feelings about this issue? Surely you know that Mercedes, BMW, and Lexus have nice margins of around 10%. Tesla on the other hand loses money on every car they sell. No one is lying about EV technology which really amounts to Li ion battery technology. This technology has been around for years and is not owned by Tesla since they don’t make the batteries. Yes they bundle the already made batteries but that hardly qualifies as a major innovation. As I told you I like Tesla Cars and might buy one as an extra car but that doesn’t change the fact that it has serious limitations compared to an ICE vehicle. Some day the battery technology may improve but so far that day hasn’t arrived which is why so few people buy EV cars.

  55. Well, since you refuse to answer the question, “what are these sacrifices you insist people would have to suffer with a BEV”, I have a new one.
    Exactly WHICH Mercedes, BMW and Toyota models have “high profit margin”, and exactly what is that profit margin? I’m willing to bet that I can name three other products that have much higher profit margins than those three brands.

    Objective? Yes, I’m objective; I refuse to let ANYBODY lie about a technology, however. That includes you. You’ve insisted over and again that Tesla’s technology CAN’T do things they’ve already done and that their future technology CAN’T do things they’re planning it to do. That is the lie.

  56. Mac you are exhibit A for the Musk disciples. No problems concern you because you are positive the supreme leader Elon will lead you to the promised land. I have no problem with that but you should just admit you have left the realm of objective posters. I truly love your description of the one “advantage” that Tesla has over Mercedes, BMW, and Toyota. You state that Tesla doesn’t have to “waste” money on those high profit margin ICE cars but instead can solely focus on the money losing Ev’s instead. That is an amazing statement. Yes start ups are hard and profits come later but then most starts ups don’t have a market cap of 20 billion while still losing money.

  57. You should pay more attention to your own words, Allan, as your arguments have become nothing more than attacks on the messenger simply because you have run out of legitimate arguments. When you say, “… there will be few sales and zero profit…” you flat ignore the fact that they already have orders for the equivalent of 3/4ths of last year’s total Model S sales which pretty much saturated their then-existing production capacity. Bringing a second assembly track on line doubles their overall capacity.

    Meanwhile, anyone with a modicum of entrepreneurial studies knows that any ‘profit’ you make in the first few years MUST go right back into the business to expand capability–which means that “no profit” argument is simply due to growth projects. After all, Elon Musk would not continue dumping his own capital into something that couldn’t even pay for itself. The amount of growth we are seeing from Tesla simply proves that there is profit in electric vehicles and that the demand is high enough to bring new products on line. So, “… there will be few sales and zero profit…” turns out to be an uninformed opinion based on irrelevant or non-existent data.

    You seem also to ignore that Tesla is even addressing the battery cost issue–I certainly doubt that you are unaware of the battery “gigafactory” breaking ground this years–and in fact, within just a few weeks of this moment. And if Tesla makes its own batteries, obviously the Big Boys simply won’t enter the EV market unless they choose to build their own battery factories. Simple logic, my friend.

    You see, Tesla has one advantage over the established automobile companies: It doesn’t have to waste money maintaining old product lines while trying to create an all-new one. Those “well capitalized car companies” rarely are able to claim significant profits. A few hundred million earned on one model has to pay for the several hundred million lost on other models. The proof of this is the fact that with every American auto maker right now, their pickup truck lines are effectively paying for all their other products. General Motors, in some areas listed as the world’s #1 automaker, is now losing every bit of their profit over the last couple years just to pay for all the recalls–the repairs to badly-built vehicle from every brand and model they’ve put out over the last 15 years or longer. They wasted so much money in designing the Volt that the model likely will never make a profit on its own and the company is praying that the Cadillac version, selling supposedly for 3x the price, will realize enough profit to start balancing the books. In other words, GM can’t afford to capitalize a BEV project.

    Ford has the advantage of being the most profitable US brand at the moment–but even they’re having their problems. Their highest-profit product is about to lose half of its profit margin–or get so high-priced that it becomes unaffordable to its intended customer base. Ford’s reliability ratings aren’t all that hot either, despite the fact they’re more popular across some product lines. While Ford’s trucks seem pretty reliable on average, almost none of their other products can make that same claim. I personally know of no one who is 100% satisfied with their Ford-built automobile–not even the Mustang. And with their truck prices about to jump another $10,000 or so (or lose 50% of its profit margin by not making that jump) Ford can’t capitalize a BEV project either.

    FCA–Fiat Chrysler Association–(or whatever the ‘A’ stands for) also has its problems, though they seem to be coming out better than Ford or GM at the moment. They’ve made steady progress on almost completely changing Chrysler’s product lines and improving on them. Those improvements become visible when you realize that their Ram division has seen higher growth than any other truck brand while even JEEP is growing faster than ever with new products and dropping their less popular models. Chrysler’s cars are also seeing a growth in sales, typically higher than any competing brand. Meanwhile, Fiat’s Italian models and brands such as Fiat itself, Maserati and even Alfa Romeo are starting to appear on American shores after a 40-year hiatus. While I don’t expect the Fiat-branded models to be super-popular, they are already starting to compete with BMW’s Mini and other niche models.

    FCA is also the only brand who has admitted that in order to meet CAFE’s mandated economy ratings, they will have to adopt hybrid in one manner or another, so there’s at least some possibility that they will find a way to create a profitable BEV; the Fiat 500e is NOT one of them.

    So it appears that all those other automakers have created their own barriers to challenging the Tesla on its home track. In fact, the next nearest competitor currently appears to be a young Dane attempting to design and build a BEV supercar which he claims will be faster than the Tesla Roadster, have longer range than the Tesla Model S and carry all-wheel-drive for better handling while still holding its price down to that of a top-end Tesla. The Dane is saying a lot but his prototype, while having the power and performance he claims, doesn’t yet have the range–managing only about an hour or two of hooning around at most in his modified BMW. In other words, it seems far more likely that another startup is more likely to compete–probably to be bought out by one of the established brands once it proves itself.

  58. Mac your post exposes the zealotry of the Tesla faithful. You are not an informed consumer but rather an active member of the Tesla SS who faithfully regurgitates the companies press releases as gospel. Surely you have noticed the model X remains very expensive and as such there will be few sales and zero profit. If you look at the underlying math the simple truth is that Tesla will never generate significant profits unless the cost of the battery can be dramatically reduced. Until that time they will keep selling cars at a loss or break even. Unfortunately however if the battery costs do drop then the big boys will quickly enter the EV market and offer buyers wonderful Merceds,Audi’s, and BMW’s. Keep in mind Tesla has created no barrier to prevent the entry of the major well capitalized car companies.

  59. Ah, so you’re changing the discussion now. Ok. According to their current sales record, I would say there ARE enough buyers; Tesla can’t build enough cars fast enough. While I’ll grant that orders for the Model S have finally slowed down (but not stopped), orders for the Model X now exceed 14,000 for certain and have probably exceeded 15,000–roughly 3/4ths of last year’s entire Model S run. Demand is at least reasonably high and the car seems to meet the needs of the majority of its owners.

    And even that ‘flexibility’ argument is subjective, since your primary argument up to now has been its OTR range which rarely comes into play in daily driving.

  60. Mac no one is trying to change you are take away your choices. But the discussion about Tesla is really about whether there are enough buyers like you to support the valuation of the company. It’s sort of like choosing to be a vegan. It’s your choice but not one that has found wide spread adoption. Most people like meat and most people like their cars to be more flexible than an EV.

  61. By the way, you do realize that you didn’t answer the question: What are these “sacrifices” you insist people would have to suffer?

  62. I’ve been out there–if you’re talking California. I drove from Las Vegas to Los Angeles and San Diego on at least a monthly basis and never had to travel at a speed where I was not comfortable. I typically drove at or below the speed limit on the freeways with no issues. Don’t even TRY to tell me I can’t do something I’ve already done. So what if they’re passing me on one side or the other? If I’m staying in the right lane except to pass or in the next lane over where there are frequent on- and off ramps then I’m staying out of the idiots’ way. Oh, and you simply haven’t tried driving in and around Washington, DC in rush hour, have you? I admit California interstates can be bad, but it’s really no worse than the beltway around DC at any time during the day.

    You say I’m making mistakes, ” you inadvertently point out the real problem. The ICE cars can go 400 miles without a worry…” but you ignore the fact–INTENTIONALLY ignore the fact–that I’m not only aware of it, but actually find that MORE of an issue, not less. I said my JEEP was capable of 400 miles–with a 21-gallon fuel tank. Most cars now run with 16 gallon or less fuel tanks, relying on EPA ratings to get that supposed 300-400 mile range. SOME cars actually claim a range of 500 miles or more, do they realistically achieve it? Can YOU sit down in your car and drive a minimum of 10 hours non-stop without rest of any sort? Don’t you get hungry? Don’t you get thirsty? Don’t you need to hit the rest room? What about those cars that carry a mere six gallons in the tank?

  63. However it does decrease to over all range by like 12-15% which would be significant on a long round trip to LA from SD especially if you got stuck in traffic. My point here however was that if I owned a Tesla I would not use it to go up to LA because it would be too restrictive on my travel options. The distance is 120 miles each way with no side trips. Yes I could supercharge but that would be inconvenient and add another wasted hour to the day trip. This is far from an rare event for most drivers in SoCal and clearly shows why most buyers see the Tesla as an extra around town car.

  64. “…it’s hot much of the year in LA so two hours in traffic means heavy use of the AC.”

    Your AC has to overcome the heat being generated by your ICE.
    Relative to ICEs, Teslas probably generate little to no heat therefore it’s AC will not have to work hard.

  65. Mac come on out here and try going less than 70. Its actually dangerous since you will have cars going 80 passing you on both sides. You have made a large error in logic by comparing ICE refueling anxiety to EV range anxiety. Surely you have noticed that there are gas stations within a mile or two anywhere you go versus a handful of charging stations. The refueling is not comparable and for you to claim this only shows your true zealotry. In your own manifesto you inadvertently point out the real problem. The ICE cars can go 400 miles without a worry while the Tesla with a full charge is limited to one 225 spurt and then 30-40 minutes per 125 miles or 60 minutes charging and another 225 miles. So now add up the math. In an ICE car you can go almost 800 miles in 10 hours with one stop for gas. In the Tesla the same ten hours get you 600 miles and almost an empty battery(and this is a best assumption with perfect spacing of the supercharging stations and no wait to charge. As more Tesla’s get on the road this will become a huge problem. I mean think about how often you have to wait to pump gas during regular hours. This is no big deal when refueling only takes 5-7 minutes but waiting to recharge will be a deal breaker for almost everyone). Some people don’t object to this and then a Tesla works for them but most people expect more from a 100k car.

  66. “Where i live everyone goes 73-75 on the freeways right past the cops.”

    No, not “everyone”. The majority, maybe; but then, they don’t get the EPA-stated fuel mileage either, do they?

    All you’re doing now is playing with semantics. “Can’t” is definitely NOT true! Whether it does or not is up to the driver. For all your arguments, I see gasoline-engined cars stranded on the side of the road for lack of fuel and other ‘foolish’ reasons all the time right on I-95 (where most, but not ‘all’ drivers exceed the speed limit). Your argument about, “This means you can go three hours on a full charge so stop claiming fours hours,” is just as foolish. Just because you CAN get 400 miles out of a tank of gas, do you always push yourself to that limit, or do you stop for fuel when you reach the ¼-tank mark? I’ve managed 350 miles with my Jeep with over 50 miles remaining according to the computer–but I certainly don’t push for that extra 50 miles unless I simply cannot find an open gas station. The ‘four hours’ is NOT a meme started by Tesla’s marketing department, it is a logical deduction based on range and speed. TESLA did not make that statement, I did.

    Do I expect people to drive 60 just so they can get that range? No; people will drive the way they want to drive unless they’re given no choice–and even then they’ll try to find a way around it. SOME people–not all. I personally consider it a challenge to exceed a vehicle’s EPA stated miles per gallon. I’ve found it ridiculously easy by simply keeping my speed down to an easy-to-calculate average. Oh sure, when I was a stupid kid I ran 85 mph all the time–at least, when I had a car capable of it. But after I ran out of gas a couple times I learned to A: Not trust the fuel gauge and B: Slow down so you can reach a gas station when you hit that ¼-tank mark. I almost never drive at 70 mph any more, though with a more aerodynamic vehicle I might–once I determined its range at my typical driving speeds. After all, if I can make a ’96 Camaro exceed 32mpg on the freeways, I should be able to get better than posted range out of an equally sleek Model S. But until I drive one, I won’t know.

  67. I say it because it’s true. Where i live everyone goes 73-75 on the freeways right past the cops. The safe Tesla range is around 225 miles because only a fool would risk running out of juice. This means you can go three hours on a full charge so stop claiming fours hours. This is the objective truth. Do you really expect people to go 60 just so Tesla can claim four hours of driving. The four hours is a meme stared by Tesla’s marketing dept. Mac you are a Tesla advocate which is fine and not a bad thing to be. However Tesla is a business and as such everyone should approach the stock with the rose colored glasses removed.

  68. Why do you insist on saying, “can’t”? Four hours at highway speed (does NOT have to be speed limit to be ‘highway speed’) of 65 mph is 260 miles which is within the stated range of the 85kwh Model ‘S’, albeit tight. Currently, Tesla’s Supercharger network attempts to put them 200 miles apart, which gives you room for cushion in the event there is added drain and Tesla’s clearly-stated intent is to have the Superchargers no more than 100 miles apart on all major arteries. They may not necessarily be located on the highway itself, but any hotel/motel, restaurant chain or other service facility would gain customers by having one placed on their property and listed in the Supercharger database. BUT…

    You continue to focus on ONE SINGLE ASPECT of automotive ownership and that one aspect is the LEAST USED aspect–long distance driving. I’ll admit that my own driving routine is unusual–that’s because I and my wife now telecommute–we have no need for typical commuter-style transportation. However, there are occasions when one or the other of us needs to drive to a client’s or in to an office location and to be quite blunt, my Jeep doesn’t get the greatest gas mileage in city conditions–albeit no worse than the typical full-sized pickup truck people are buying today. Those trips for me consistently exceed the 40-mile stated BEV range of the Chevrolet Volt and frequently exceed the 100-mile stated BEV range of the Nissan Leaf.

    The Volt has the advantage of carrying a 6-gallon fuel tank which would extend the range ‘hopefully’ to 300 miles–but that makes it no better than the Model S for absolute range and still costs more to drive on any given road trip. You’d still have to stop every 200 miles for fill-up with that tiny tank. Sure, the Volt costs less up front and I won’t deny it has its fans, but I’m not one of them. It’s over-engineered and under-capable for its price. If I’m going electric, I’m going full electric. I’m not you.

    The Leaf could–just–meet my automotive needs as strictly a commuter-style car; as long as I didn’t decide to drive to the in-Laws in it. Without question I would have to stop to recharge it at least once going up and possibly more often as Nissan dealerships or charger-equipped parking facilities tend to locate near larger communities which are typically about 40 miles apart where I live. I might be able to drive from Wilmington, DE to Trenton, NJ or Baltimore, MD on a single charge with one, but I’d really be shaving it fine to get on into New York or Washington, DC which are the more typical destinations. And trying to go either northwest or southeast of Wilmingon (my example city, not where I live) would put Lancaster, PA before Harrisburg with Harrisburg very near the limit of range and anything south of Dover, DE is effectively inaccessible. ONLY a Tesla with its 200+ mile range would make such trips doable–for now.

    You’ve also chosen to ignore the repeated statements that BEV range can be extended. Tesla reports plans to push 400 miles with upcoming technologies and at least one battery company is reporting an ability to double current capacity (energy density) in a smaller package. In other words, your anti-BEV arguments, while somewhat valid for today, are completely invalid for cars built in as little as 5 years from now if not sooner. You’re ignoring that this is the infancy of BEVs, not a fully-mature technology. It’s not a stop-gap. It’s not a dead end. It’s only the beginning.

  69. I don’t take 40 minute bathroom breaks driving to LA and keep in mind it’s hot much of the year in LA so two hours in traffic means heavy use of the AC. By the way I like Tesla’s and might buy one but then I have three cars already. Alan you are a serious enthusiast which is a compliment. Interesting people have interesting pursuits.

  70. Alan Dean Foster | May 25, 2014, 1:12 pm at 1:12 pm |

    1) The supercharger (as with the majority of sc’s) is right off the freeway exit. I presume you do take a bathroom or snack break on most such drives?
    2) Actually, sitting in traffic in a Tesla for a couple of hours is a far better option that doing so in an ICE vehicle. Because unlike an ICE that continues to burn fuel when idling, a Tesla uses only the minimum (and it is minimal) necessary to run accessories such as the a/c or media system. Furthermore, unless you choose to program creep into the Tesla’s system, when the car stops, it stops. No need to keep your foot on the brake (unless going up or down hill). Plus, regenerative braking is great in stop-and-go traffic. Learn it, and you hardly ever have to actually step on the brake pedal.

  71. In this case the “game changer” is not the Tesla but rather the battery technology which Tesla doesn’t own. But as you must know Musk has changed his story line from new technological battery advances to merely an economy of scale. If this battery does get made then Mercedes, BMW, and Toyota will be making great competing cars very quickly. My main premise is that the media and Tesla bulls have greatly distorted the current and potential value of the company. Currently they are a 20 billion dollar company that loses money and owns no IP barrier to prevent the other big car companies from entering the space any time they choose.

  72. Driving to LA is a challenge enough without the hassle. In bad traffic going to the charging station is no simple thing plus getting stuck in taffic for two hours or more is a serious problem with an EV. I never have said it can’t be done but only that the vast majority of people would make a different choice.

  73. Alan Dean Foster | May 25, 2014, 11:34 am at 11:34 am |

    The battery price is of course the key to all of this.
    If Tesla’s Gen III model (under design) can indeed sell for $35,000 (as planned/hoped), people will be presented with a “normal” family vehicle with fuel costs one-fifth or less than what they are paying now, enormously less maintenance, that they can fuel at home.
    That will “game change” the entire global automotive industry.
    The model S is, of course, too pricey to do that. But a $35,000 car that seats four adults could do so.
    And yes, fracking has already become a game changer.

  74. If they can lower the battery price it could happen but it will not be a gamer changer. It will just be another good form of transportation with good points and some bad points. When you say a game changer what exactly does that mean anyway? Fracking is a game changer.

  75. Except that you can”t drive for four hours at the actual highway speeds(70-75) in a Tesla. As for possible improvements that’s great but all what we can go by is the current specs. When the Tesla was tested under realistic conditions 70- 75 mph with AC in many conditions the true range was ofter much less than 265 miles. I’m not saying 265 miles can’t be done but it requires the type of planning as described in that famous NYT test drive which is much different from normal driving conditions.

  76. Do you even KNOW the chemical makeup of the Lithium batteries in a Tesla?
    You also make an assumption about the charge, assuming it will remain unchanged when even Tesla has announced an upcoming change to get a full charge (not just a half charge) in 30 minutes or so by simply upping the voltage again. This is one of the advantages of the DRY lithium polymer batteries which act more like a capacitor than a battery per sé. And that range is 265, not 225 under ‘normal’ conditions. Yes, I do accept that driving conditions can reduce that range–like driving uphill, excessive heat, excessive cold, idiotic driving–any of these can affect it, but the point is that *with the exception of longer OTR trips*, the Tesla has the best range of any BEV currently on the market.

    Also, it is an NHTSA recommendation that a driver stop every couple hundred miles for an hour to keep from getting over-tired for safer driving. An hour’s stop ever four hours is not that big a deal. If it is, the driver is the one with an issue, not the vehicle.

  77. It’s not the lack of infrastructure that makes long trips impractical but rather the chemical nature of Li ion Batteries. Tesla enthusiasts twist themselves into pretzels trying to make a cat a dog. After the first 225 miles the Tesla becomes very impractical unless the driver is willing to subordinate his time and needs to the limitations of the battery. A half charge adding 125 miles in range takes 30-40 minutes and a full charge with another 225 miles takes almost an hour. This is a fact and no words can change this reality. Most Americans are not willing to spend 100k on a car with such drastic limitations.

  78. How many times do I have to tell you the same thing, Allan? Obviously the infrastructure isn’t in place to make long trips really feasible… yet. But it is coming. Meanwhile, for nearly every other purpose where a sedan or coupe will serve, a BEV such as the Tesla will serve. Aside from that, it is very possible for an 85KWH to make a coast-to-coast or border-to-border journey in both the east and the west–though we all know more is needed to make it less stressful for those who do have such worries and Tesla is working on that in every market he’s entered.

    I don’t deny I’m an enthusiast; I’ve been looking forward to this technology for decades and this is but the beginning. No, it’s not “hard to go less than 75”, if you drive smart you can drive any speed you want–as long as you stay out of the way of those too-fast idiots. I know many who consider New Jersey drivers insane and I won’t necessarily disagree, but I have no problems driving at my preferred speed even on the Garden State Parkway. Heck, I even get to pass one or two on occasion. I drive a Jeep Wrangler, by the way–certainly not something built for speed. I also average between 21 and 23mpg on the freeway with that Jeep. It’s only rated for 19 by the EPA.

  79. Alan Dean Foster | May 24, 2014, 2:33 pm at 2:33 pm |

    Didn’t say you were being spoilsportish: I understand you have real concerns about range. So…

    Aside from the fact that there are a zillion general places to charge between L.A. and San Diego, as well as in both cities,note that in re Tesla, the San Clemente supercharger (right off the I-5) is now open (http://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger/sanjuancapistrano)

    Not only does that kill any SD-LA range anxiety…you fill up for free.

  80. Alan I’m not trying to be spoilsport and I fully support the right for each person/family to make their own choices. But range anxiety is a real issue and it will begin to enter one’s mind after 150 175 miles if you aren’t pretty close to home or known destination with a charger. I live in San Diego and I could not use the car to drive up to LA and be free of worry. That’s why for almost all buyers it’s a second car.

  81. Mac based on your answer I would have to put you into the enthusiast column as well. I agree that most normal driving doesn’t occur at freeway speeds but when talking about long trips freeways almost always are used. In CA it’s hard to go less than 75mph. Look I’m not trying to spoil your fun and the Tesla is a great short-medium distance car. My beef is about the countless article that claim it’s a practical car for long distances or that it’s the car of the future even though it costs close to 100k OTD.

  82. On the other hand, you’re guilty of making too many assumptions in just this one comment.
    A.) 75 mph — 90% of my driving never reaches freeway speed limits and where I live the limit is either 55mph (Delaware) or 65mph (Maryland) on I-95. I typically stay at or below 65mph on the freeways, no matter how high the speed limit goes.
    B.) AC in heat — Ok, I’ll grant you that one, in the heat of summer. Still, I once drove a black coupe from Las Vegas, NV to Chattanooga, TN in the middle of summer without needing to turn on the AC until I reached Memphis. Since this was the time of 55mph speed limits on all interstates, at 62mph I achieved 25mpg between LV and Fort Smith, Arkansas with a 318c.i.d. V8 and averaged about 22mpg for the entire 2000 mile drive even after I turned on the AC. You see, it was the humidity that forced me to turn it on, while through AZ, NM and TX I ran with the windows down only about 2″ to let air move through the cabin.

    So what you call “normal conditions” might be normal for you, but won’t necessarily be normal for me. Ever since the EPA required putting gas mileage estimates on window stickers, I’ve managed to exceed those estimates by a minimum of 20% with every vehicle I’ve owned. It’s not that I ‘hyper mile’, but rather that I just drive sensibly. Even with all stops, I average 50mph or better on every long trip I make, which means planning stops for fuel and food is very easy for me.

    I’ll grant the Tesla is not the ideal car for everyone, but it comes close to being an ideal car for ME.

  83. Alan Dean Foster | May 24, 2014, 11:38 am at 11:38 am |

    Nice to have a polite, sensible on-line discussion for a change.
    1) My wife and I only need one car. I don’t think a couple with one car qualifies as “extreme enthusiast(s)”. Sensible, maybe.
    2) I make a single drive over 150 miles maybe once a month. Aside from the fact that the car comfortably handles a drive of over 200 miles on a charge, one could debate endlessly whether at your specified mileage the “needs of the car start to take over from the needs of the owner”. I’ve never (yet) used a Tesla supercharger, but I have charged overnight at hotels, and during the day at shopping centers. The car is not impacting on my travel.
    3) You keep referring to the model S as a 100k car when the base price is 69k (before incentives). That’s scarcely removed from a Cadillac, let alone a Mercedes, Audi, or BMW. What’s the market for those cars?
    4) No, the electricity at home certainly isn’t free. But where I live it is (depending on what your local power company charges), anywhere from one-fifth to one-seventh the cost of petrol. A number of Tesla owners have solar systems…so for them, it is free (let’s not amortize the cost of solar systems here).

  84. Mac I don’t need to say much because you pointed out most of the issues in your post. Your only error is believing you could freely use the Tesla on 200 mile round trips. The media always falls to point out that under more normal conditions like 75 mph and use of the AC in heat the range drops down close to 200 miles. This issue will force you to plan your trip around the car.

  85. Alan maybe I should have used the word extreme enthusiast but I have to call you that because you stated the Tesla was your only car. This means for any trip over 150 miles the needs of the car start to take over from the needs of the owner. Yes 1500$ is a bit of money but not very significant for buyers who can afford a 100k car and for most people the inconvenience of planning one’s life around the needs of an EV far outweighs the money. Besides most cars are recharged at home an the electricity isn’t free. I strongly suspect the total number of buyers willing to pay 100k and sacrifice so much for the sake of a car is rather limited.

  86. Too many sites have links like those simply because those links pay for the website (and maybe makes the author a little profit, too). Personally, I ignore them simply because they’re so obvious.

  87. “… willing to make these sacrifices and choices based on the specifications of a car…”
    This is where I question your argument. Exactly what “sacrifices” are you talking about?
    Before you go placing me in that same pigeonhole you’ve placed Foster, let me add that I do NOT own a Tesla more because I can’t yet afford the up-front price of one, but that I’m very strongly interested in the lower-priced model they’re forecasting. For an all-electric vehicle my needs go well beyond the range of General Motor’s “Voltec” technology and while the Nissan Leaf might meet about 75% of my driving needs, it’s still not enough; I will easily put 150 – 200 miles on my existing car on one of my ‘casual driving’ days. I simply don’t want the so-called “range anxiety” under those circumstances. But the Tesla covers that distance with power to spare, making it a near-perfect choice for everyday driving and if I really needed to, I could deliver pizzas and simply not have to worry about fuel mileage.

    So really, what are these “sacrifices” you insist people would need to suffer?

  88. Waaaa Waaaaaa Waaaaaaa

  89. Alan Dean Foster | May 23, 2014, 8:49 pm at 8:49 pm |

    1) Avoiding paying for gas is not a hobby…unless you define a hobby as something that saves me US$1500/year (we won’t talk maintenance savings here). Nor, I suspect, is it a hobby for buyers of the Renault Zoe, Toyota Prius, or Nissan Leaf, among others.
    2) The car starts at US$69,000, though UK prices will plainly be different. How different, we’ll see soon.

    3) At the starting price mentioned, plus Federal tax credit of up to $7500 (some states offer additional credits), it is calculated between 20 and 15% of US car buyers could afford the car.
    4) There are over 13,000 reservations for the model X SUV, due out early in 2015.
    5) The Gen III Tesla sale price is projected to be around $35,000. That will be the game changer.
    6) Time will tell.

  90. Look Alan you can afford a Tesla so you are clearly a smart person. I mean no disrespect but in truth the Tesla and avoiding paying for gas has clearly become sort of a hobby for you. Hey it’s America and you have that right and in truth you would probably find my hobbies equally strange. My point here is that the number of people like you that can afford a 100k car and are willing to make these sacrifices and choices based on the specifications of a car are very limited. The price of the stock on the other hand has projected that there are hundreds of thousands or even millions of buyers willing to take on the Tesla as a sort of hobby. It is that projection that i reject. I think after the first wave of buyers has passed there will be no sustainable demand unless the price can be dramatically lowered without reducing the range.

  91. Alan Dean Foster | May 23, 2014, 6:44 pm at 6:44 pm |

    Your figures are pretty accurate, but your take on the situation is not. The Tesla is my only car (I haven’t bought petrol in seven months) and it charges every night in my garage. As to long distance travel, there seem to be an awful lot of “zealots” taking 1000 mile+ trips all over the U.S.
    Yes, you do have to plan such trips around the charging stations…assuming you want to use only the (free) superchargers. However, more and more hotels and resorts have or are installing J1772 and similar chargers that provide 30 miles/hr. of charge: a good rate during a nice dinner; plenty if you’re staying overnight.
    Any RV park can charge a Tesla, too. Or any electric dryer outlet.
    You have your range figures right, but there are far more charging options available than folks realize. And no Tesla owner I know drives cross-country at 55 mph.

  92. No it’s the same propaganda that all the media reports. They repeat over and over that the supercharging stations allow for quick re-charges that make long distance travel practical. Then the shell game begins by only talking about the quick charge option pretending that this 20-30 minute charge gets you a fully charged battery and another 250 miles. But in truth a full charge takes closer to an hour and the quick charge only gets you about another 125 miles of range. When you put these two facts together it’s immediately obvious that long distance travel in a Tesla will be restricted to zealots who are willing to plan their trip entirely around the major limitations of the battery range.

  93. What a trashy site this is. No legitimate website has those moronic scam ads on the side about $30 ipads, etc.. Why does this site get the top link from Google finance anyway?

  94. This is a non-story. Musk’s China-Supercharger-buildout instructions were ‘spend $ as fast as possible without wasting it’ and likely the same in UK … The Brits just are not used to the aggressive pursuit of market creation Tesla represents. If anything this is awesome news … Lead, follow or get out of the way.

  95. Alan Dean Foster | May 23, 2014, 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |

    Correct. However, maybe it’s just poor reporting, and not propaganda.

  96. As always the article promotes propaganda about the charging time. The superchargers do not give a full charge in thirty minutes but rather somewhat more than half a charge meaning 125-150 additional miles.

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