Friday, April 8, 2011

The Tesla--Caught In Its Own Coils?

Shown is the very sexy Tesla roadster. It is apparently stranded off Cape Cod for lack of an extension cord long enough to plug in and recharge. But damn, it looks so good. In fact I think it's the sexiest little car I've seen since before I wrapped my red Porsche 924 turbo around a welcoming oak tree 25 years ago.

But there seems to be trouble in Lotus Land (no, not that Lotus). BBC's great car show, Top Gear recently drove and reviewed the Tesla. The guys are hilarious, and they love their cars--especially sports cars. They are also unafraid to praise or pan a car, or specific items about that car. And surprisingly for Brits, they have no green weenie agenda, and will praise a gasoline-fueled car for its virtues without feeling it necessary to make comparable comments about a hybrid or pure electric vehicle. Remember their show about the Bugatti Veyron? If I remember correctly, the Veyron gets about 2 miles to the gallon and the sticker price starts at $1,705,000.00.

The Tesla Corporation (aka Teslobama Motors) unreservedly claimed that their car would get 200 miles on a charge. The boys at Top Gear drove the car the way any self-respecting sports car driver drives. Which is to say, they drove it hard. Tesla must have been using Grandma driving in a straight line on a clear highway at 40 mph. The boys got something more like 55 miles. I realized that means that if I drove that car from my mountain greenery home into Bakersfield (great curves and hairpin turns combined with uphill/downhill excitement), I would make it to the Caliente post office before I had to stop and call my daughter at work downtown to come and pick me up because I ran out of juice. But the car would look so sexy sitting in front of that 1890's style post office.

The upside is that I would merely have to hitch a ride back to the car the next day after it has charged for the necessary 16 hours. The boys at Top Gear simply recommend that you buy two Teslas so you can drive one while the other recharges. That's dry British wit for you. We taxpayers have already invested $500 million in subsidies for the development and marketing of the Tesla, which sells for a highly-affordable $100,000. Senator Barack Obama was one of the leaders in Congress who touted the advantages of this green oil-saver.

Obama and the green weenie gang are always yammering about "the poor" and occasionally "the middle class." Well I hate to tell Mr. Obama this, but even though we paid the taxes to build and market this little beauty, most of us will never be able to buy one. Guess who can. Answer: The rich. For them, the car won't really cost $100,000. There are massive tax deductions for purchasing an all-electric vehicle, from the lowly golf cart to the magnificent Tesla. The problem is that first you have to have the kind of income that would justify a $100,00 automobile that could then be deducted from your income taxes the following year. Everybody reading this article who can do that, raise your hand. I thought so.

The boys were very complimentary about the car. They loved its acceleration and handling. They found its relative silence a bit eerie, but got used to it quickly. And since they didn't have to drive the full 55 miles, they made that comment as a jocular side issue. They were fulsome in their praise of the car's appointments. And since they don't subscribe to the "eat the rich" philosophy, they were being ironic when they suggested buying two.

But like most rich feeders-at-the-public-trough, Tesla founder and lobbyist Elon Musk is entirely humorless. He also has nearly-unlimited funds for hiring ambulance-chasing lawyers (preferably chasing ambulances that can't travel more than 55 miles). So rather than take the whole thing good-naturedly, Musk went public with his fury. After calling the show's report "false," Musk went on to say: "The fundamental thing with Top Gear is that the show was about as authentic as a Milli Vanilli concert (he's showing his age), but the problem is most viewers don't know that." He also announced that the company would be suing the BBC and the producers of Top Gear. Lighten up, Musky boy.

Neither Top Gear nor the BBC has apologized and both are ready, willing and able to defend any lawsuit. The BBC specifically said "we stand by the program and will vigorously defend this claim." That will be no problem for Musk. When he loses every round in the trade libel suit (or whatever his grounds are), he can simply go to the Department of Justice and have Eric Holder file a suit based on denial of due process, or disparate impact, or denial of equal protection, or discrimination against Tesla's black employee, or something. To hell with the law, this is a matter of principle (or considering the amount of money Musk is making with the help of the American taxpayer, principal plus interest). I have an idea. Let's eat Elon Musk!

34 comments:

AndrewPrice said...

This should be interesting, though having recently seen this episode again, there is no way any lawsuit can prevail. They are very careful about what they say and it's all easily proven.


For those who don't know what Top Gear is, here's a review I did of the show a couple years ago: Top Gear Review.

It's well worth checking out. FYI, the review has a link to a portion of the same show Lawhawk is talking about, where they looked at the car of the future, which runs on hydrogen -- very impressive stuff.

T_Rav said...

Hell hath no fury like a greenie CEO scorned. (snicker snicker)

Joel Farnham said...

I believe Elon Musk made a tactical and a strategic mistake. Now, if it goes to court, the Tesla will be on everybody's radar along with Car & Driver magazine wanting to make a name for themselves. This level of scrutiny that he, the green weenies and Obama cannot stand at this point in time.

There are several things that can never be legislated. One thing is PI. The number used in figuring out circles in geometry. Another is the laws of physics. Despite that, congress critters seem to think that it must be legislated before something can exist. Or legislate that God exists or doesn't.

Just because God said, "Let there be light." doesn't mean Obama can say, "Let there be an electric car that can drive over 200 miles." and it will be so.

Obama => Most Stupid President Ever!

If they used their own money, I would be laughing. Since they used my money, I am pissed off!

StanH said...

Typical dumba$$ liberals, another great example for thinking (conservative) America to observe.

I’m with Joel, it would be funny if it were their own money, since it’s ours, I’m pissed.

Writer X said...

In the words of our dear President, "Just trade it in!"

Yeah, tell that to the guy who just lost his job and can't find another one.

Cute car. But so is a Red Rider wagon, although the red rider wagon is, apparently, more dependable.

LL said...

Could you daisy-chain Teslas and tow half a dozen in and then use them in series? It would work fine for an outbound trip but the run back up the mountain might be on foot...

OR tow a trailer with a LOT of batteries on it?

See, there really IS a green solution.

Tennessee Jed said...

interesting, Hawk. Yet another great example of . . . what, lunacy? Hope 'n Change, baby!!!

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Britain also makes an exception for "information for the public good" which is kinda like our "public figures" exception. So the chances of a successful lawsuit are somewhere between zero and none. But as we both know, that doesn't stop wounded souls from trying.

BevfromNYC said...

Well, I raise my hand 'cause I could afford one. Of course I would be living in it with a roommate to split the loan and electric bills. Is there a back seat? Maybe another roommate could live there. We could get them to pay 1/2 for the whole back seat, then I would only have to pay a 1/4...

Anyway, is this one of those "subsidies for the wealthy corporations" I keep reading in comments on Huffpo that the Left yammer on about?

LawHawkRFD said...

T_Rav: There are a couple to go with that. "Every pan is a puff," and "I don't care what the the public thinks of me, as long as they think of me."

BevfromNYC said...

LL "Could you daisy-chain Teslas and tow half a dozen in and then use them in series?"

Yeah, Or you could do kind of like what they used to do with the Pony Express. Have Tesla corrals about every 100 miles or so. You just have to turn one in to get a new fully charged one! It could work. I think this may be a new emerging "green" business. Now where's that Commentarama grant application? What do you think, $100M? That should be enough for a start up, right?

T_Rav said...

LawHawk, I think that last one is Barack Obama's personal motto. Or if not, it should be.

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: Car and Driver is typical of fanzines for car aficionados. But unlike Top Gear, it receives a large part of its revenue from the manufacturers it's reviewing. They'll damn a real dog, but the Tesla isn't a dog. It has just been a bit overhyped, and the boys poked a finger in its eye.

I have no envy of the rich, so if I see some guy driving a Tesla, I'll think: "Good for you. You can afford $100,000 for a car that will only go 50 or 60 miles on a charge." Of course, logically, I would only be saying that in Beverly Hills where the trip from home to Rodeo Drive is about 2 miles.

Like you, I resent my tax money (ostensibly taken to help the poor and needy) being spent on cars for rich guys with tax accountants who can get the car for them for free.

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: Ditto. And I still think the car is sexy as hell. But I don't think I'll be buying one anytime in the near future.

LawHawkRFD said...

WriterX: I think a whole lot of people got pissed off at that remark. But it's funny how little it got played in the MSM, isn't it? They went on for months about George Bush I being amazed at the scanners in a grocery store. How could he be so out of touch? But Obama is a man of the people. Pffft.

LawHawkRFD said...

LL: I'm picturing the wagon train of Teslas on Caliente Road, headed down the mountain. I'm also picturing the locals lobbing boulders down on them. If you aren't driving an SUV, a four-wheeler, or a very big car with big wheels, you ain't getting home after about an hour of rain or snow.

Regular gas is now over $4.00 a gallon here in the hinterlands, but at least your car will get you somewhere. But even under the best of conditions, you can't make it to Bakersfield in a Tesla. And we haven't even talked about the power failures that could take charging time from 16 hours to two days.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: There's no back seat, and the trunk would hold your purse, and that's about it. But then, after buying one of these little beauties, what need would you have for a purse?

LawHawkRFD said...

T_Rav: I wish I had thought of that. Perfect campaign slogan for Obama.

rlaWTX said...

it's cute!

since the idea of thesis is starting to stress me out (despite being a year away) maybe I should quit grad school and "invest in the future" with one of these... do you think they' let me pay it out at $100 amonth???

BevfromNYC said...

LawHawk - Tesla Express can start out like the transcontinental railway. We will start at each side of the country and over a period of years, build the business to evetually meet in the middle where we can have our "golden spike" moment!

Then we can develop "spokes" that go North/South! It's a plan though I think we might need maybe 3/4 of billion. I mean we have to buy all those extension cords...

T_Rav said...

rlaWTX, wait until your thesis is two months or less from being due and then you have to defend it...just saying.

Patti said...

law: like most things really purty and slick, they lack depth (of a gas tank!). still, shur is purty, even on the side of the road.

(troll over at notawonk! come have some fun with "heather"!)

rlaWTX said...

gee, thanks, T_Rav!

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: Only if you're an illegal immigrant or a friend of Obama's from the South Side of Chicago. If you're both, you can have two for the price of one.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev; And instead of the golden spike, we'll have the golden electrical outlet. That should get us lots of publicity. And we already have the Chinese laborers ready to build.

LawHawkRFD said...

T_Rav: Or maybe she could just borrow one from a certain Columbia alumna who now lives in the White House. It doesn't need defending because anyone who critiques it negatively is a racist.

LawHawkRFD said...

Patti: Just like a pretty woman with no depth. You don't have to talk to it. LOL I'll wander on over. I was away from the computer with a client with an emergency. Sorry to be so long responding.

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: Relax. Maybe you'll get lucky like I did. The chairman of the committee was my favorite instructor.

rlaWTX said...

2 for the price of 1! I like that - unfortunately, I do not have the right disposition to be a friend of O's and my family has been in the US too long for the illegal alien path...
I guess I'll just keep working and going to school and contributing to the tax base instead.

Besides at 55miles - I could only get to Andrews, Lamesa, Notrees, Tarzan, Big Spring, Patricia, Crane... not even to Kermit!!!

Actually, my Practicum scares me more than thesis - I regularly wonder what I was thinking when I started this process!!!!!!!!

happy weekend, y'all!

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: You'll pass it all with flying colors. I got to liking it so much that after my BA, MA and JD, I told my wife I thought I might go to med school even if I can't stand the sight of blood. She is now my ex-wife. LOL

rlaWTX said...

Lawhawk - LOL!!!
I've turned this 2yr program into 7yrs - by the time I'm done... then I'll be done!!!

I like classes; I don't care for grades (more precisely - things that must be done FOR grades!)...

BevfromNYC said...

LawHawk - What do you think of ElecSpress for the name of our venture?

Golden Outlet Day. It could even become a national holiday...I like it....

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: Don't worry about grades either. One of my TA's at Cal was looking over my grades, and described them as the craziest roller-coaster he had ever seen. I made it through anyway. I will admit, though, that even at Cal in those medieval times the professors looked at the quality of your work and I honestly don't believe any professor ever graded me on my political opinions. And I said some pretty outrageous things even back then.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: I was thinking of Teslax, but it sounded too much like something that doesn't have anything to do with electric cars. You came up with LawHawkRFD, and that worked out well. so I'll go with yours.

I wish I could still be around for the entry in the history books: "Two geniuses, one from each coast, transformed America in 55 mile increments, creating the nation's second-largest industry--ElecSpress. Playing on government programs, the two green wizards managed to turn $3 trillion in government incentives into a $50,000 business, operating with a mere two employees and 50,000 government advisors. One company started from San Francisco, the other from New York City. The lines met in Hooseywatsit, Oklahoma, home of the last operating oil well in the United States. The celebration of the installation of the Golden Outlet was attended by luminaries from all over the world, not the least of whom was the President of the United State, Sasha Obama. Also attending was Malia Obama, CEO of the largest industry, General Electric. The founders stated that without the ability to pay zero taxes, they could never have succeeded. The two Obamas applauded heartily."

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