Grand Award Winner: Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S sets the standard by which all future electric vehicles will be measured. It's faster than any other street-legal EV: The Performance edition, propelled by motors that generate a peak 416 horsepower, darts from 0 to 60 mph in a Porsche-rivaling 4.4 seconds and hits a top speed of 130 mph.
The family-size sedan also travels farther on a charge than any electric car in history—up to 300 miles on the optional 85-kilowatt-hour battery—and recharges three times as fast as the industry standard. It's not clear how many Americans will pay the Model S's $59,000 to $107,000 price tag, but Tesla thinks so highly of the car that it's betting the company on it: The carmaker has stopped building its famed Roadster and now produces only the Model S.
TESLA MODEL S
Range: Up to 300 miles (with 85-kWh battery)
Seats: Five adults, two children (with optional jump seats)
Price: $59,000 (base) to $107,000
Far, Far! to expensive for most people. Other companies could put in more batteries and charge more exacly like Tesla does but it won 't be good for large orders and hopes of mass production. Just look at how little cars were sold by their previous model.
Not even one mention of how this car can become a $60k brick if you let it sit for more than a few weeks? Seriously? In case you are unaware, the batteries and design of this car are horrible! They've had owners go on 3 week vacations, leaving their car with a full battery at home, and come back to find they cannot even push the damn thing out of the garage. The idea of an electric powered car is not something I see as insane either. I'd like to have competition in the market. I really would. But why is it that we are having to subsidize anything? Especially this sub par (to put it kindly) engineering that isn't worth the materials it takes to produce it? What we need is to get the EPA and DOT out of our private citizen's car market and see what happens. I can guarantee you that you'd see more light weight, more efficient cars without all the add-ons that increase a cars weight, contribute to decreased life span, and make absolutely no ecological sense. Seriously, why is their a limit on the CO2 that an engine can produce? Sure, you hate CO2 for some insane reason. BUT!!!, CO2 is the natural combustion product of an ECONOMICAL ENGINE!
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"For example, a Model S battery parked with 50 percent charge would approach full discharge only after about 12 months. Model S batteries also have the ability to protect themselves as they approach very low charge levels by going into a “deep sleep” mode that lowers the loss even further. A Model S will not allow its battery to fall below about 5 percent charge. At that point the car can still sit for many months. Of course you can drive a Model S to 0 percent charge, but even in that circumstance, if you plug it in within 30 days, the battery will recover normally."
The Model S represents significant progress in affordability. Tesla's previous car, the Roadster, had a base price of over $100,000 and was a small two-seater. The Model S has a base price of $50,000 after tax credit, and is a large/full sized sedan, capable of seating 5 adults (and 2 additional children in a fold-down rear-facing third row).
The Roadster has sold over 2,400 units worldwide.
By contrast the Model S has passed 13,200 reservations already (each requiring a $5,000 deposit for the regular version and a $40,000 deposit for the Signature Series).
That fits the pattern of other forms of new technology, where the first version is very expensive and has limited sales, followed up by price drops and higher sales, with a "virtuous circle" of higher production levels enabling economes of scale that cause lower prices, lower prices which in turn higher sales that cause even more economies of scale, etc. The first DVD players cost more than $1,000 and did not have the small size, high speed, and reliability that today's sub $100 models do.
@SgtB, you complain about the "bricking" issue. But in order to "brick" a Model S, you have to be so wilfully, persistently, foolishly negligent as to defy belief. A car is for nearly everyone the second most expensive purchase in their lives, not obtained lightly or treated carelessly. Electric cars are meant to be plugged in when not in use. Tesla cars especially, and the manual specifies this. Not exactly a huge burden or hassle, just plug the thing in!
The car will alert its driver with increasing level of alarm when it is low. Why, then, would you park it in your garage and refuse to plug it in, refuse to do what is essential to keep it in good working order? Or, why would you drive it to the airport, say, and leave it unattended for weeks with no arrangements to care for it? Even with that, the car can detect when its charge level is reaching critical lows and goes into survival / hibernation mode, eventually pinging you with text mesages, and finally contacting Tesla HQ which will try to get in touch with you and as a desperation last resort send a rescue crew to give it a charge if the car is physically accessible to the public. If failing all that you've gone out of your way to destroy your car and arrange so that no one can rescue you from the consequences of your folly, it's on YOU.
It's like refusing to EVER change your oil in an internal combustion engine, blithely ignoring the lights, alert tones, alarms from high heat, and even the smoke from the engine, and THEN acting all indignant and surprised that you've destroyed the engine with a four or even five figure replacement cost, and blaming and dismissing the nature of internal combustion engines rather than your own irresponsibility.
The 300 mile plus range is a step forward. Combine that range with solar recharge stations and were on the move. I know that is far from perfected but so far it looks like the best means forward.
The Tesla S seems to be a very nice car. But the reason it will never achieve commercial success/profitability has nothing to do with any automotive conspiracy. It simply is based on the fact that the general American automobile consumer does not embrace the idea of paying $100K for an EV that provides less value than an equivalent IC engine powered car costing only $50K.
Unfortunately, the Tesla car company is losing over $150M per year. And within another 12-18 months the company will be bankrupt. However, once they go through bankruptcy, the Tesla car company will no longer exist, but the the Tesla company itself will still exist as a technology development company. Tesla will continue to make money developing technology for OEMs like Toyota or Mercedes-Benz.
Can you please explain what you mean when saying “EV that provides less value than an equivalent IC engine powered car”? Without something to review/compare your statement to, your statement can only be taken as opinion and nothing more. It just won two major awards (Automobile of the year –Automobile Magazine, Motor Trend’s Car of the Year), not to mention other awards, for being a great car! Not a great electric car, just a great car that happens to be electric. In what areas is it lacking when compared to an ICE car of similar price? What car are you comparing it to in the $50k price range?? The only thing that comes to mind is range per charge vs. per tank. And even those aren’t that far apart. (But again I would need a car to compare it to.)
The reason why this is an innovation is because until the GM EV-1 back in the 1990s, there had been a nearly 100-year gap in research between internal combustion engines and electric vehicles. And look how far we've come in just the last 15-20 years.
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