“Mr. Edison, I don’t want to deal with plugging it in…just give me a bee hive and I’ll make my own candles”
Yes, change is hard. Yes, prototypes or first editions don’t work exactly the way you want to. But get used to it, because as cool as dinosaurs are, things change and good technologies help us immensely (i.e. light bulb).
And with the Tesla Roadster, the future isn’t some fuzzy, hazy thing. It’s right here and it works.
I’ve heard some grumblings from the engineering squad. Let’s go over them and rationalize, shall we?
- This is a glorified Lotus Elise. And for the price tag, why wouldn’t I buy an Elise?
First, new things are a bit more expensive than they would otherwise be if they were old technology. And we are used to this, and I know people deal with it. Oh really? Don’t we rationalize away why a PS3 is so expensive because really all it is is a glorified Blu-Ray player? I mean I can get a PS2 for less than half the price. In fact, I can get it in silver if I wanted. And essentially, it does the same thing. Play video games. But, that won’t stop people from upgrading their systems, until soon the PS3 is the console of choice.
Both an Elise and a Tesla do the same thing: get you from point A to point B. But, like the PS2 and the PS3, there is enough different between the two cars to justify the difference in price. So, if you want an Elise (fast car, Lotus reputation, decent mpg) then you probably want it for different reasons than you want the Tesla (fast electric car, new concept, zero-emissions). The differences between the Elise and the Tesla are pretty obvious; so, you won’t be fooled when you get home and plug in your car.
- The performance is nothing new.
Let’s go visit Mr. Edison again. All he did was create light. That wasn’t anything new. I can have tons of candles around my room and generate just the amount of light I need to say, write the Declaration of Independence. But then again, having so many candles in your room causes quite a fire hazard–in the same way that having so many gas generated cars helps exacerbate environmental health hazards (i.e. smog and asthma). So, when Edison made his lightbulb, wouldn’t you say, that it was a forward-thinking move? And the performance was something new, since the actual thing causing the light was new. (Yes, I realize that electric lightbulbs can’t run without electric plants which then cause pollution. But, for simplicity sake, let’s figure that if you are on board with the Tesla, then a wind-power electricity generation is pretty groovy to you too).
So for the Tesla, the performance is something new. True, a fast car is nothing new. But, they made a fast car that runs on a electricity and a battery. That is new.
- All that time, and this is all we have? Thanks Tesla
If you have ever been an administrative assistant or intern, you know that daily you are creating miracles. Your boss comes over and says, you see this document, I need it all to fit on one page (letter) and it needs to have 1 inch margins, and these three lines, they need to be bold. Don’t forget, minimal editing! Oh, p.s. it’s 4000 words.
Welcome to Tesla’s problem. They had a list of specifications they had to meet: zero to sixty speed, electric drive train, batteries, weight, design, interior, appealing to the mass audience, etc. etc. In my mind, lists like this create challenges. Maybe that’s why we have schools of engineering. And I trust that these engineers have mad problem solving skills. And when we come over and ask for something else, they go…oh ok, we’ll do that too. And then they take the blueprints, they cross them out and they go…oh great. Well, finally, only 6 years later (not even) Tesla has created a mass marketed car…without a mandate from the government like when we had to get man on the moon. The space race took every available inch of our engineering people-power and we got there. So Tesla had a team of engineers, let’s say orders of magnitudes smaller, and they completed quite a checklist and kept costs pretty decent. Stop your grumbling.
This is a website for the discerning consumer. Part of being discerning is understanding that you may have to make some compromises in some aspect of design or performance to get something else that you want. This shouldn’t mean we shouldn’t demand more. Yes, the Roadster should be improved, but as is, I think it gives the car market a pretty strong showing for the electric car. Hopefully Tesla, like any good company, will note the things that should improved and improve them.
So, should you get a Tesla Roadster? Well, if fast cars or roadsters are your thing, I’d say test drive it. The performance and engineering feat is pretty cool. Also, unlike the PS3, the Tesla comes in tons of colors, one of which will totally suit you. Remember, a Tesla Roaster is a fast, zero-emission car which also saves you money on your gas bill. Our demand (and purchase) will help mainstream this car so that when the Chevy Volt comes out, we will show that we’re ready for our gas-free future.
*The Livermore Bulb outlived it’s manufacturer; it’s a Shelby Bulb if you are curious.