Tesla electric supercar may be delayed
'Not yet fully within our grasp', says ex-CEO
Tesla Motors, the widely-lauded California company behind the Roadster high-performance electric car, may have run into problems.
The Roadster - possible teething troubles?
The Tesla Roadster is planned to be one of the world's first true all-electric cars for consumer users, as opposed to specialist machinery such as milk floats or forklifts.
The $100,000 Roadster is powered by a Li-ion battery pack, delivering supercar acceleration, distinctly ordinary top speed, and normal range. Its main snag - assuming it achieves the projected specs - is that it will take hours to charge up again once the battery runs flat, which will seriously limit its usability.
But the Roadster itself emits no pollution whatsoever into the atmosphere. If charged up using cleanly-generated electricity (somehow) it is completely green, and yet fun to drive and sexy to look at. This has led to a large number of pre-production reservations being placed with Tesla. Wannabe Roadster-drivers include the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the founders of Google.
The first cars are supposed to be delivered this autumn. However, car-crazy news site Jalopnik yesterday posted an email it had obtained, sent out by Tesla founder Martin Eberhard to the various wealthy would-be owners who have stumped up large sums for a place on the delivery list.
"Naturally, the question on many Tesla customers' minds is 'When will I get my car?'" writes Eberhard.
"The short answer is: We are still planning to start production of the Roadster by the end of next month... We have a good chance of meeting this goal, but to be fully transparent, I want you to know that while it is within our reach, it is not yet fully within our grasp."
Not actually a very short answer.
Eberhard goes on to say that crash testing and durability testing are the only remaining things to be accomplished. He is "confident" about the crash testing, having carried it out on previous prototypes.
He then expounds briefly on durability testing, which "includes both the mechanical components of the Roadster and also the software that controls everything from door latches to battery cooling... we will soon enter the next phase of durability testing that incorporates all previous fixes. The results of this testing are critical to the schedule".
This could lead one to speculate that there are issues with the lifespan or reliability of the battery pack, which Eberhard hopes - but isn't sure - his team has fixed. That was always going to be one of the main hurdles Tesla had to jump.
He also reveals that he is no longer CEO of Tesla, the company which he has personally grown "from two people in a tiny office in Menlo Park to 250 people spread around the world".
Eberhard will now become "president of technology". In this role he will "focus on the final details of the Roadster and on advancing Tesla's leadership in our core technology. I will also be able to spend more time with you, our customers".
The Tesla board has yet to find anyone suitable to become the new CEO, but Michael Marks, former Flextronic chief, has agreed to act in the interim. Marks is down to get one of the first Roadsters, and is a Tesla investor.
The full text is at Jalopnik, here. ®
Truth about BIG OIL and BIG COAL!
1. If you correctly charge a L-ion battery power vehicle it will last up to
100,000 miles or more. As was mentioned before if you run the battery down and charge it up continually it will last. The L-Ion battery is 90% recyclable. Thats why electronics stores have customer service boxes to deposit them.They don't just throw them away when they cant charge eventually. In fact old battery packs from the cars can be used for MANY APPLICATIONS THAT USE LESS POWER.
2. If we used Wind,Solar,Geothermal,SolarThermal,Methane and Hydroelectric power correctly we would not need the MASSIVE OIL REFINERIES/OIL TANKERS/OIL DELIVERY/GASOLINE DELIVERY trucks and MASSIVE COAL MINING/POWER PLANTS that we have today(which as we have seen KILL INNOCENT people). What was the last wind power or solar plant that killed people?
If we use those sources for energy and even if we have to use a small amount of nuclear or bio-fuels to power our nation can you not see THE BENEFITS from that?
Do you NOT SEE the opportunity for JOB CREATION for an extended period of time that decreases the cyclical or man-made causes of global warming?
3. Imagine trains transporting us at unheard of speed on magnetic rails using 100% clean energy. Imagine trucks that can delivery real payloads with electric power Newton Trucks/UK , Phoenix SUT.
ITS TIME TO LET GO OF BIG OIL(which yes has reached its peak) and BIG COAL(which is the #1 contributor of mercury pollution in the world). The time of the Internal Combustion Engine with its ridiculous cost structure and complexity thats simply not needed should END!
The sad thing is that WE CONTINUE TO MOVE TOO SLOWLY THEREFORE HARMING THE EARTH WE LIVE ON.
IT SHOULD HAVE DEVELOPED 30 or 40 years ago. If NASA used it in the 60's why did that research NOT REACH THE EVERYDAY WORLD.
Working with Lotus
It can actually take quite a while to convert what is basically a Lotus into a production car. The Toyota MR-2 Mk1 was basically a Lotus Elan (possilby a Lotus 90, never released, but basically an Elan, maybe, or something) chassis with a rather wizzy engine and accessories that were developed by Toyota. That one took just over ten years. Albeit with an oil crisis delaying the project...
If they do half as well as they did with the MR2 MK1, I'm getting one, although maybe 18 years like I did with the Mr2.
I read a review of this little fella in the Sunday Times In Gear mag a few weeks ago, it was written by Jay Leno as Clarkson was on holiday (I don't quite follow that thinking but I digress). Anyway, about halfway through Leno's evangelising about how wonderful this car was it occurred to me that he'd never actually seen one let alone driven one. The entire article was based on all the bumph he'd been given by Teslas marketing department making it a big free 2 page ad for the car. This all now makes sense as the car doesn't live up to it's claims so there's no way he could have actually reviewed it.