Tesla's Roadster to Meet Its End

Tesla's Roadster to Meet Its End

California owners of Priuses and other hybrids are about to get a rude awakening: as of July 1, 2011, they will no longer be eligible for the HOV lane with their yellow stickers. Those who want to get into that lane again are stuck looking for white sticker vehicles, including the Nissan Leaf, but that all-electric vehicle is severely limited in range (Nissan claims 100 miles, but search for "range anxiety" and you'll see real-life is not the same).

[Green stickers will begin being issued for plug-in hybrids in January 2012.]

For those who want an EV, not a CNG vehicle, the question is: what to do, what to do? The answer for some may be the Tesla Model S.

The Tesla Model S is the new model that Tesla will eventually put into commercial production at the Fremont, California plant that once belonged to NUMMI. As the Model S is born, the supercar known as the Tesla Roadster will die, with sales ceasing in two months as Tesla focuses on the more affordable Model S.

The Tesla was not designed or marketed as a car for the average consumer. At $109,000, only 1,650 of the two-seater sports car were sold worldwide by the end of April 2011. However, Tesla said the object of the Roadster was not pure sales, as Tesla spokesperson Khobi Brooklyn explained:
"The Roadster accomplished everything we asked of it--it served as a catalyst for the EV industry, and it has allowed us to refine electric technology for future, and more affordable EVs. The Roadster proved that EVs can outperform traditional combustion vehicles while producing zero emissions."
That said, the Model S won't exactly be affordable, either. It will come in three "range levels," 160 miles for $57,400, 230 miles for $67,500, and 300 miles for $77,400 (not including federal and state incentives).

Still, with manufacturers of more affordable vehicles like the Leaf and the upcoming Ford Focus Electric apparently thinking that a 100 mile range is the "sweet spot," those who commute a distance of more than, say, 60 miles a day total (based on information provided by asking Leaf owners at various forums) can't depend on those vehicles without a certain amount of heart palpitations daily, or a way to recharge during the day.

There is another electric, the Coda, which is supposed to launch in "late Q4 2011," but that is an unknown company, and the price is much steeper than the Leaf or Focus Electric: over $44,000. Range = a lot more money, it is clear.

Is Tesla done with sports cars? No, the company said. While the Model S will be introduced in 2012, the company promises more supercars in the future. Brooklyn added,
"The Roadster will always be the cornerstone of Tesla, and we look forward to bringing back a version of the supercar that takes full advantage of our advanced electric powertrain in the next several years."
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Ridiculous. We need much more development to produce affordable non-gasoline cars. At this point we should be looking at a hybrids, CNG and fully electric vehicles.

I read a report in Popular Mechanics that we have about 2 trillion barrels of oil left in the world. Considering we've consumed 1.2 trillion barrels since 1890, and at our current rate of increase, we have 45-55 years of oil left optimistically. This figure will fluctuate depending on how quickly we transition away from gas cars and fossil fuels, and the rising demand in India and China.

Plus, just because we have around 50 years left, doesn't mean it will be 50 years of sub-$5/gallon. Oil will get increasingly more expensive as it runs out.

My solution is two fold:

1. Eliminate all fossil fuel electric plants and replace them with Generation IV nuclear plants. Burning natural gas, coal and oil for generating electricity is just stupid, especially when we have better technology available. Gen IV plants use Thorium which creates ALOT less waste and makes a meltdown virtually impossible. Keep the fossil fuel plants as a back-up source. At the same time continue investment into renewable sources such as hydroelectric, wind and solar. Even thorium will run out someday, though it will be much later than oil and natural gas.

2. There needs to be more private investment into electric cars. Cars that run on CNG will be just a stop gap. There is no such thing as cheap and plentiful natural gas, it's either one of the other. Advocates of natural gas (like T. Boone Pickens) tout the 200 year supply figure. It doesn't take into account the cost of extracting shale gas, both financial and environmental. Either way, turning all cars to run on CNG will be pointless. We'll run into the same problem we have right now 50 years down the road.

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The biggest problem that I have with EV vehicles is while they produce "Zero emissions" while in operation. Most of the countries electric power still comes from coal fired plants. Charging your EV vehicle burns coal and therefore produces emissions.

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Thumbs on the post. And despite the coal industry's marketing, there is NO such thing as clean coal. There is one way we can make burning coal a lot cleaner, but that technology is very new and not in use.

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P.S. Good luck on the contest!

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Or they can try to figure out a way to make the body into an solar panel. Either way is fine.

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I've seen some cars with that. Solar panels can be quite costly, but it certainly would work to have the roof as solar panel that supplement additional power during the day. Every little bit will help. I do foresee hybrid vehicles becoming standard at some point in the future.

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or the hood

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I really wonder what it would be like the day there is a full change over to full electric vehicles.

That car in the pic looks pretty nice.

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It appears to be a temporary solution unless nuclear power plants are used to provide the electrical energy.Much more energy is used to manufacture the electric cars and a lot is wasted on the grid to charge the battery which are highly toxic,& difficult to dispose of safely.It's a catch-22 for me at this point with some of the current studies being done.

"electric cars of today can produce higher emissions over their lifetimes than gas powered equivalents."

http://island-adv.com/2011/06/electric-cars-likely-produce-higher-emissions-over-their-lifetimes-than-gas-equivalents/

..."Emissions from manufacturing electric cars are at least 50 per cent higher because batteries are made from materials such as lithium, copper and refined silicon, which require much energy to be processed"

and who would we be dependent on for getting the lithium and graphite from ?.Found this article to be interesting as well

http://skeptoid.com/blog/2011/06/17/electric-cars-not-really-green/

**sure the car looks sporty & not all that green to me except for the cost $$ and environment .

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Tesla (the man, not the company) had an electric car that charged wirelessly...this was long ago. There is no "hard to find solution". The problem is making money on an alternative solution, not merely finding one. We could switch our power to wireless, allow cars to get power wirelessly while driving/anytime, and power all of our electricity with wind/hyddro/nuclear. But how would they regulate the wireless electricity? How would anyone make money on this? The problem is not finding a solution, but finding a lucrative one. We have ways to cleanly burn garbage to provide electricity to a whole city just off the landfill there. Why don't we? No one gets rich from that. The only way we solve the fossil fuel problem is to find something else not in abundance to replace it. Finding something that provides free energy and is renewable or will last nearly forever goes against our human nature.

Nikola Tesla's work should have changed the world. Greed is why it didn't.

Some cool info: http://waterpoweredcar.com/teslascar.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla

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Been reading about Tesla myself again. The car thing looks to be a sham http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_electric_car. However, the fact that he had a way to transport electricity wirelessly combined with the fact that we have electric cars is enough for me to think there is no reason the end result I mentioned above isn't possible.

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I don't know how effective it would be but I was always keen on the idea of generating electrical power into a cell through a combination of cycling and solar seeing as I live in Arizona.  I know the watts produced isn't a major amount but if your are going to exercise get some charging in as well.  That coupled with brake charging alongside a shift to using power generated by solar, wind, geothermal, etc. and we could move faster towards a more Earth friendly road.

This is of course the optimist in me but the realist knows profits and costs will be what matters to all the politicians that could actually help make things out for the betterment of everyone.  So I digress but we all should just do our part when and where we can.

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