Tesla S

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Tesla S

Postby Offshore » Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:54 am

I usually don't get excited about a car. I've been driving a Prius since 2008. It suits me.

The more I read about the Tesla S, the more I find myself getting excited. What excites me is that it has performance, it uses no gasoline, it's big enough to seat my family and the base model is 49k (still a lot). They want 5k deposit, which is fully refundable (1 year wait).

Does anyone have any information, either good or bad on the vehicle?
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Re: Tesla S

Postby nisiprius » Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:12 am

Saw some documentary in which Elon Musk was telling long-faced investors about how much money he'd taken from them and how far he was from having anything to show for them.

I gather the company has partially recovered since then, but the degree to which this is a real company with a real product in real production, versus--remember the scene in "Tucker" where they are trying to show the car at an auto show or press conference or something, and the car is behind the curtain and the curtain is going up, and the Tucker people notice that the car is actually on fire?

Is it real, or is it just another Tucker or another DeLorean?
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Re: Tesla S

Postby Taylor Larimore » Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:15 am

Tesla:

I remember many years ago when I was a young man riding in a Jitney to Miami Beach, there were two well-dressed businessmen in the back seat discussing the new Tucker automobile with its advanced engineering (a central headlight turned with the steering wheel) and how smart they were to invest in the company. I had no money to invest, but wanted to. When I returned home I told my dad about the overheard conversation and that he should invest in the Tucker Corporation. The company went bankrupt after producing 51 cars.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_Tucker_Sedan

I hope the Tesla is more successful in the very competitive automotive industry.

Best wishes
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Re: Tesla S

Postby prudent » Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:30 am

If you buy a car from a brand-new automaker I think you would need to be prepared to deal with reliability problems and long delays getting replacement parts. Hopefully that would not be an issue but there should probably be an expectation. There's a lot of new technology in that car and it would be amazing if Tesla got everything right this early.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby Blue » Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:33 am

A beautiful car, but stories like this would give me pause Two week old $100k electric car catches fire and burns down mansion
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Re: Tesla S

Postby hsv_climber » Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:04 am

Blue wrote:A beautiful car, but stories like this would give me pause Two week old $100k electric car catches fire and burns down mansion


It was just a bad Karma...
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Re: Tesla S

Postby Random Musings » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:27 am

After 8 years, the battery warranty expires. I wonder how much that runs?

At $50K plus for these vehicles, I can't get too excited yet. The Roadster (essentially an electric Lotus Elise) has a great 0-60, but top-end limited. However, that can't be bought in the U.S. anymore (I think airbags aren't up to our standards). Plus you will pay roughly 2X for the honor to use electricity.

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Re: Tesla S

Postby texasdiver » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:07 pm

Kind of feels like the people who bought $10,000 plasma TVs when they first came out when they could have waited a couple of years and bought a better one for 90% less money.

I see two possible scenarios for electric cars in the next decade.

Scenario #1: They will indeed become the next greatest thing in which case mass produced cars that are faster and better than the Tesla will be flying out of China by the hundreds of thousands.

Scenario #2: They will remain a niche product and become left by the wayside by other technologies such as hybrids or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Either way, dumping $50 grand into a base model Tesla seems like a bad bet. On the other hand, if you have the money to burn and just want a cool car, what the heck. It's not really any different than dumping a wad of money on a Porsche. All expensive cars are bad investments.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby mmmodem » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:31 pm

I'll admit, I'm pretty excited about the Model S too. I don't drive a Prius because the math says I am better off driving a conventional car than a hybrid. I will never recoup the costs of the hybrid system and continued battery replacements. Ditto for the Model S but sometimes you do things for the passion of it, for the passion of the environment and for the passion of your soul. Or for passion of the HOV lane access. If I could afford it, I would without a doubt purchase the Model S. I like Elon Musk and what he stands for in Tesla. I mean this is a guy with millions of dollars and he sinks a good portion of it on many highly risky ventures. Why? I personally think he does it for the love of it. Again, if I could afford it, I'd buy a ticket into space on his other lofty enterprise.

But you can't buy a Model S right now. You have to put a down payment and wait. Remember the Tesla Roadster? People put a down payment on that too. A year later with no car, they were told the price had increased significantly. I want to support Tesla but I wouldn't want to throw my money away on vaporware. Besides, the third model is supposedly coming up next with a more palatable $30k price point. I'd recommend you wait until you can go to the Tesla store at the mall and drive away in the Model S.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby thomasbayarea » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:50 pm

Offshore wrote:I usually don't get excited about a car. I've been driving a Prius since 2008. It suits me.

The more I read about the Tesla S, the more I find myself getting excited. What excites me is that it has performance, it uses no gasoline, it's big enough to seat my family and the base model is 49k (still a lot). They want 5k deposit, which is fully refundable (1 year wait).

Does anyone have any information, either good or bad on the vehicle?


I drove the Model S sometime ago. Superb car in every aspect. Performance, beauty, elegance ... and it seats 7. I don't think that battery technology is the gating item here. The battery, electric drive, transmission and other mechanical components are relatively simple designs.

As I see it, there are only two problems -->

1. Production: it may or may not ever be made in volumes. You may have to wait a long time before you get it.

2. Service: Low production cars have more problems than mass produced vehicles.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby thomasbayarea » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:55 pm

texasdiver wrote: All expensive cars are bad investments.
Only if you don't know what you're doing.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby stratton » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:57 pm

Prius plugin would give most of the advantages of an electric vehicle, but still retain the range advantage. Evidently the plugin version has about twice the battery capacity so shorter in town trips can be electric only.

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Re: Tesla S

Postby texasdiver » Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:57 pm

thomasbayarea wrote:
texasdiver wrote: All expensive cars are bad investments.
Only if you don't know what you're doing.


I meant 'expensive NEW cars'

I expect there are many vintage autos that can be good investments under certain circumstances, which certainly doesn't include daily commuting. But we aren't talking about that sort of thing here.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby travellight » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:39 pm

I put my 5K deposit down for the Tesla S last November. Will be following reviews on this...
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Re: Tesla S

Postby Driver » Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:03 am

I saw one on the road last weekend. It looked good. Be careful not to let the battery drain down completely. It can affect the performance of the battery and will not be covered by warranty.

*edited to correct grammar
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Re: Tesla S

Postby midareff » Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:44 am

Recency bias at its best. Buy one, put it the garage and store it for 50 years. Should be worth plenty then.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby nisiprius » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:04 am

Driver wrote:Be careful not to let the battery drain down completely. It can affect the performance of the battery and will not be covered by warranty.
Seriously? They don't put in anything to prevent that from happening?

I think there's going to be a huge difference in battery life and reliability between the true electric cars and the hybrids. The Prius battery is never less than 50% or more than 85% charged, i.e. it only uses about 1/3 of the battery's full charge. You can afford to do that in a hybrid where the range isn't directly related to battery capacity, but I don't think people would accept the battery price of a pure electric car that had a battery three times as large as needed to drive the advertised range--or a range that's 1/3 of what you'd get by using every single coulomb it's got. The marketing people certainly wouldn't accept it!

The batteries in hybrid cars are babied. The batteries in pure-electric cars are certain to be abused. They'd better be able to take that abuse or there are going to be a lot of drivers facing $20,000 repair bills for new batteries.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby pjstack » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:17 am

An old saying:

"Be not the first to take up the new nor the last to cast off the old."

I speak from experience! I paid $80 for a hand held calculator (about the size of two packs of cigarettes, no memory, just add,subtract, multiply, and divide).

Paid $2,000 for a VCR (RCA SelectraVision).

$1,000 for an IBM Selectric typewriter modified to be used as a printer for a TRS-80 computer.

Seemed like good ideas at the time! They all worked OK.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby Valuethinker » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:48 am

Tesla could easily wind up as the Bricklin of its generation.

It is more than likely that the successful electric car will come from an existing car manufacturer NOT a new entrant.

It's not like the computer industry where a disruptive innovation can be mass produced by a small company. The car industry is 100 years old, and whilst propulsion and other technologies change, that change is incremental, primarily, rather than revolutionary. GM was the world's largest car company in the 1930s and it is still in the top 4-5 (VW, Toyota, GM I think, in that order).

Buying into a new technology, from an unproven startup which is heavily subsidized in its funding, is just very high risk of getting stuck with an orphan of little or no resale value, plus difficulties servicing.

If you want to go the electric route, you'd be better off with something like a Chevy Volt-- GM will be in business in 10 years time (in some form or another), the technology is not completely dependent on electric charging stations which haven't been built yet, etc.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby nothlit » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:58 am

nisiprius wrote:
Driver wrote:Be careful not to let the battery drain down completely. It can affect the performance of the battery and will not be covered by warranty.
Seriously? They don't put in anything to prevent that from happening?

Apparently not.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby texasdiver » Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:40 am

of relevance to this thread, here is a new article in this morning's Slate magazine on this exact topic

http://www.slate.com/articles/technolog ... long_.html
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Re: Tesla S

Postby indexfundfan » Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:38 pm

I have the Leaf and after 18k miles and 16 months, I haven't detected any battery capacity loss.

But battery life could be a big issue in hot climates (think Phoenix). There have been reported early battery capacity losses on the MyNissanLeaf forum:

http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... 11714df407
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Re: Tesla S

Postby lightheir » Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:12 pm

I think most everyone here can agree that buying a Tesla is for enthusiasts and early adopters.

It's pointless to compare the Tesla cars with the mass-produced hybrids and EVs on the road today, which while are still niche, aren't anywhere as niche as the Tesla.

I'd go so far as to say that if you even briefly hesitate at dropping $50k cash for an 'extra' car that's for enjoyment and entertainment (not a car you need for work commuting or family), you shouldn't be looking at the Tesla. It's really for folks who would otherwise be looking at similarly priced roadsters and other 'luxury entertainment' vehicles. I know Tesla's trying to market it so that it's more mainstream accessible, but that's still a world away.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby letsgobobby » Thu May 09, 2013 2:51 pm

Now profitable, so to speak.

And Consumer Reports says it is the "best car ever." wow. that's saying something from that source.

http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intellig ... -car-ever/

And Motor Trend Car of the Year, so an driver's car, too.

It sure is pretty. Still too rich for my blood, but it's fun running numbers on my 12,000 yearly commuting miles which costs me $2000 or so. throw in another 8000 miles if we did all our day trips in this instead of the Prius and we'd be saving another $1300 or so. $3300 a year, over a ten year lifespan is $33,000. Electricity costs not zero, but at 8 c/kwh, not a lot.

Anyone buy one yet?
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Re: Tesla S

Postby mbenz1997 » Thu May 09, 2013 3:16 pm

I saw...reviewing the financials, I couldn't help but nibble at the stock. I rolled the profits from the speculative portion of my portfolio into a handful of shares. I'm a terrible market timer, but incredibly patient :happy i don't know what percent of your portfolio you buy shares to speculate with, but this amounts to less than 1% of mine.

I've been trying to take a model S for a test drive for a while; demand is so high, it's been tough getting an appointment. I live in Houston, and have seen a few in the streets.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby tfb » Thu May 09, 2013 3:27 pm

letsgobobby wrote:And Consumer Reports says it is the "best car ever." wow. that's saying something from that source.

http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intellig ... -car-ever/

And Motor Trend Car of the Year, so an driver's car, too.

Today's headline: Tesla Surges After Posting Profit; Value Exceeds Fiat’s.

Tesla’s market capitalization surpassed $8 billion, exceeding the $7.8 billion for Turin, Italy-based Fiat SpA (F), the majority owner of Chrysler Group LLC.

Bubble?
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Re: Tesla S

Postby scouter » Thu May 09, 2013 3:34 pm

A friend of mine in L.A. drives a Tesla S. He's had it about six months and loves it. He recently posted a photo of Jay Leno driving past him in his 1929 Bentley, giving him a thumbs up. I'll update this post as I hear more feedback from him.

As to the financial sense in driving a Prius, I've been driving one for 7 years. I estimate that it saves us about $750/year in fuel, over the similar non-hybrids we looked at. We've kept all of our cars for 15 years minimum, so projected lifetime savings of $11,250, possibly minus $500 - $1k for a battery replacement before the 15 years are up. Consumer Reports tested a 2002 Prius in 2011 with 200,000 miles on it, and it performed like new:

http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/20 ... forms.html
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Re: Tesla S

Postby Offshore » Thu May 09, 2013 4:54 pm

So, a friend of mine took delivery on his model S and insisted I drive it (I didn't put up much resistance). I have to say it was thrilling! I mean, it has torque...bigtime!
It's a contender in the high end, specialty market.

I guess I'm too practical to cough up the dough. I suspect every time I drove the car I would imagine what my retirement could have looked like. :happy
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Re: Tesla S

Postby danwhite77 » Thu May 09, 2013 5:06 pm

A friend of mine gave me a ride in his model S a few weeks ago. It's cool, there's no denying that. I wouldn't buy one, but it's a neat toy. He's been driving his for three months now and wakes up excited to drive it. That said, he bought the performance package and all of the potholes in our area (there are many) have been an issue. I also understand that replacing the battery down the road is extremely expensive.

But that's the Boglehead in me providing an editorial! Bottom line, he enjoyed blowing the money on it and it's cool.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby ryuns » Thu May 09, 2013 5:17 pm

The review and the "profit" are good news in my book. I won't be investing in them, but I've been rooting for them for a long time.

Not saying that anyone here was doing this, but it does seem like a lot of people feel compelled to examine this as if it was a purely practical purchase, while they clearly don't do that when someone buys a BMW. Heck, if you wanted a nice toy, might as well get one with the refinement of a BMW and the performance of a Porsche that is almost maintenance free and does better than 10 mpg. As for me, if they sold the Honda Fit EV and I actually had a garage to charge it in, that'd be something I'd consider.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby jaap24 » Thu May 09, 2013 5:43 pm

Went out with my neighbor and drove his Tesla recently - not really being a car guy I was surprised at how excited I was with this car. The low center of gravity and the incredible torque of the electric motor is a very different driving experience, even compared to high end conventional cars. No need to downshift or spool up the turbos, just INSTANT power when you hit the accelerator. Going from 55mph to 75mph is incredible. Cool car, too bad I "can't" afford it :happy
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Re: Tesla S

Postby Randomize » Thu May 09, 2013 5:45 pm

danwhite77 wrote: I also understand that replacing the battery down the road is extremely expensive.


I saw a quote from Nissan's CEO a few month's back that the Leaf battery would likely cost "hundreds, not thousands" to replace/refurbish when they start to expire in 10 years. Who knows how Tesla batteries will compare with smaller Nissan ones but it's not like replacing a head gasket or transmission (or whatever) on a regular car is cheap either.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby lightheir » Thu May 09, 2013 5:56 pm

I actually see a good number of these (pretty much on a daily basis, usually multiple times per day) here in Norcal near where Tesla is headquartered.

Yes, they're priced at luxury car zone, but they're not insanely priced for what they are. They don't cost much more than the Porsches that might have been otherwised purchased by these same buyers.

And while it's true that this is still a very new technology with ample risk and early adopter costs, I do think Tesla's crossed a huge hurdle in getting this car out to more than trivial numbers of people. With the inevitable cost decreases in coming years, you're looking at the car of the future.

People made the same exact complaints I see above about the Prius, and how it was going to flop because the battery would fail, it was too expensive, too ugly, too new, would catch on fire, etc. Apparently most of those naysayers were wrong, as the Prius has and continues to do extremely well and ushered in an entire new generation of hybrid cars. While it's too early to say that the Tesla is going to be as successful as the Prius in terms of widespread adoption, I do feel that we're seeing the car of the future in its prototype road-ready model right here, right now.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby travellight » Thu May 09, 2013 6:30 pm

I had reserved a Tesla and drove one in January. I let go of my reservation because I wanna buy one used in a few years. I just don't need a new car now.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby BigFoot48 » Thu May 09, 2013 7:02 pm

I'm really enjoying driving our new Ford C-Max Energi, which is a plug-in hybrid. I've gone as far as 25 miles on the battery alone and driving a battery powered vehicle is really a pleasure. It cost about $0.70 to recharge it after that 25 mile trip, BTW. Consumers gave the C-Max Hybrid "only" an 83 rating.

I have wondered if our great grandparents may have owned an electric car, and here we are with one!
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Re: Tesla S

Postby nisiprius » Thu May 09, 2013 7:14 pm

Saw my first Chevy Volt "in the wild" on the road last weekend. That's all, just saw it on the highway, didn't have a chance to talk to the owner or anything.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby 4nursebee » Sat May 11, 2013 7:02 am

I am a fan of the company and think they can change the face of transportation. Because of this I am an investor.

In another 9.5 years I hope to post my story for the haters back here: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=106653
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Re: Tesla S

Postby dratkinson » Sat May 11, 2013 6:17 pm

BigFoot48 wrote:I'm really enjoying driving our new Ford C-Max Energi, which is a plug-in hybrid. I've gone as far as 25 miles on the battery alone and driving a battery powered vehicle is really a pleasure. It cost about $0.70 to recharge it after that 25 mile trip, BTW. Consumers gave the C-Max Hybrid "only" an 83 rating.

I have wondered if our great grandparents may have owned an electric car, and here we are with one!


Baker Motor Vehicle:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baker_Motor_Vehicle
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Re: Tesla S

Postby livesoft » Sat May 11, 2013 6:53 pm

I saw a Tesla S in the neighborhood and wondered what kind of car it was, so this thread enlightened me.

In other news, I filled my spouse's car up with gas today and saw a Prius getting a fill-up for the first time in my life.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby snyder66 » Sat May 11, 2013 7:57 pm

They will not change the face of anything with $90,000 electric cars!
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Re: Tesla S

Postby mmmodem » Sat May 11, 2013 8:38 pm

snyder66 wrote:They will not change the face of anything with $90,000 electric cars!

Baby steps. Few could afford horseless carriages when they first came out either. Hopefully, the Model T equivalent comes out soon.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby momar » Sat May 11, 2013 8:47 pm

snyder66 wrote:They will not change the face of anything with $90,000 electric cars!

You should have told Toyota and Mercedes that before they licensed Tesla's tech.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby BigFoot48 » Sat May 11, 2013 8:54 pm

The 1906 Baker Landolet electric car referenced via a link above was priced at $4,000, which would amount to $100,646 in todays dollars, so the price of luxury electrics hasn't changed all that much! Of course, the definition of luxury has.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby scouter » Sat May 11, 2013 9:31 pm

livesoft wrote:I saw a Tesla S in the neighborhood and wondered what kind of car it was, so this thread enlightened me.

In other news, I filled my spouse's car up with gas today and saw a Prius getting a fill-up for the first time in my life.


Yea, I usually gas up about every two weeks and it costs $20-22. The guy on the other side of the pump putting $75 into his pickup usually gives me a dirty look. Hey, I love pickups, I just don't need one that bad!
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Re: Tesla S

Postby Valuethinker » Sun May 12, 2013 3:41 am

4nursebee wrote:I am a fan of the company and think they can change the face of transportation. Because of this I am an investor.

In another 9.5 years I hope to post my story for the haters back here: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=106653


Quite frankly, you are mad.

Electric cars, or rather zero emission at the tailpipe cars, are the wave of the future. Come they will. (cue a long argument about what 'zero emission' means-- I am not going to have that here, it's outside Forum rules and it's counterproductive in any case).

My own bet is that what EVs will excel at is being 'second vehicles'. A series of rent by the hour machines parked on urban streetcorners, that zip us around nicely for all those sub 15 mile journeys that we do. (turn it around, logically that should be our first car, and the second car ie the highway cruiser, is the one we rent when we need to). So dense packed cities like New York, London, Tokyo, Shanghai, Paris etc.

What an EV is is disruptive. It changes our notion of what a car is, and how we use it. There's little or no mileage in simply making an expensive version of an existing car (although that's a necessary step on the road).

A very high end sports car? Not likely. That's a 'proof of concept' vehicle however you slice it. EVs aren't a success until one can, like the Prius, turn to a volume car and say '1 million sold'.

Betting anything other than 'play money' that Tesla will either be the company that makes that car OR get bought by one of the big boys for its brand/ technology seems to me a real long shot, with any number of things that will and can go wrong-- think Delorean, or Bricklin.

Think of all the early PC manufacturers that are gone: Atari, Commodore, Southwest Technical Products, Altair.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby sschullo » Sun May 12, 2013 9:41 am

mmmodem wrote:I'll admit, I'm pretty excited about the Model S too. Besides, the third model is supposedly coming up next with a more palatable $30k price point. I'd recommend you wait until you can go to the Tesla store at the mall and drive away in the Model S.


Yep, that's what we are doing. We already have the leaf and love it. Right now, with home solar panels, we have no power, gasoline, oil and filter changes saving us about $5000 per year in home and transportation energy costs.
The ICE is for long trips, but that's sits in the garage most of the time.
“It’s what you learn, after you know it all, that counts.” - John Wooden
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Re: Tesla S

Postby BigFoot48 » Sun May 12, 2013 10:10 am

Interesting article/review on the Fiat 500e being sold in CA. The lease option looks attractive if someone wants to dip their toe into an electric car, and can fit into this one! http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323744604578471110585778862.html?mod=WSJ_LifeStyle_Lifestyle_6
Meanwhile, the sweet, nursing-baby-cute 500e is an absolute Godzilla of a lease deal. Thanks to Fiat taking a 10-grand haircut on each one—thanks, Fiat!—California car buyers can lease one of these puppies for $999 down and $199 a month. You can buy one outright, too: the base MSRP is $32,500, but that's before the $7,500 federal tax credit, an additional $2,500 California tax credit and a $2,000 Fiat credit. I feel nakedly incentivized.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby fareastwarriors » Mon May 13, 2013 1:49 am

What a beauty... I wish I can get one. But I need few more years.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby sambb » Wed May 15, 2013 4:51 pm

can one believe that it is cheaper over 5 years than a car of half the cost? I would like to see an objective economic analysis of it.
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Re: Tesla S

Postby btenny » Wed May 15, 2013 5:09 pm

Now if you guys really did your homework you would all see that a "electric bike" is the fastest way to get to work and the cheapest..... See here.

http://www.evworld.com/urban.cfm?newsid=38

Bill
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