Nov 14

Tesla Model S nabs Motor Trend 2013 Car of the Year award

 

By Philippe Crowe

Just as publications and other knowledgeable industry watchers differed from negative pundits in loading up the Volt with positive awards in its first full year, 2011, this year the Tesla is more or less following along in the Volt’s tracks.

Earlier this month, the start-up manufacturer was – like the Volt was – named Automobile magazine’s Automobile of the Year, and now not two weeks later, it’s been named – like the Volt wasMotor Trend’s Car of the Year.
 

model-s_on a dais 

 

Can we say it again for good measure? So much for political leaders inferring Tesla is a “loser.” The company’s S Model actually surpassed the Volt’s winning of 2011 COTY considering that Motor Trend’s panel of judges for the first time in recent memory unanimously named it to its top honor.

Tesla says it considers this one of the automotive industry’s most coveted awards.

The unanimous vote was given by a panel of Motor Trend judges and guest judges, and Tesla says they are considered by some to be among the savviest and toughest critics in the industry.

“Our aspiration with the Model S was to show that an electric car truly can be better than any gasoline car, which is a critical step towards the widespread adoption of sustainable transport,” said Elon Musk, Tesla Motors co-founder and CEO. “Nothing illustrates this more clearly than winning Motor Trend’s Car of the Year by unanimous decision against a field of exceptional competitors.”

The 2013 field of competition included entries from the whole automotive industry; it was initially narrowed to 11 finalists including the Porsche Boxster, BMW 3-series, Lexus GS, and Subaru BRZ.

With a rigid body structure, nearly 50/50 weight distribution and a remarkably low center of gravity due to its skateboard chassis design, Tesla says the Model S offers the responsiveness and agility expected from the world’s best sports cars while providing the ride quality of a luxury performance sedan.

The Model S offers 40-kwh, 60-kwh and 85-kwh battery options; the 85-kwh variant achieves an EPA-estimated range of 265 miles. Tesla says all three batteries use automotive-grade lithium-ion cells.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 62


  1. 1
    James McQuaid

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (6:13 am)

    Congratulations to Elon Musk and everyone at Tesla Motors, Inc. on their continuing success.


  2. 2
    Dick The Bruiser

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (6:30 am)

    The real car guys have spoken, and they don’t include Mitt Romney.


  3. 3
    smithjim1961

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (6:36 am)

    Congratulations Tesla!


  4. 4
    Mark

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (6:45 am)

    It’s an awesome car! Seats 7, has an awesome range and shows what real luxury is all about! I can also buy two volts for the same price. Wish them all the best but I will stick with my volt.


  5. 5
    Mark Z

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (6:51 am)

    After driving Model S for over 300 miles in the past 5 days, I can say it is in the luxury class with acceleration that is heart stopping. The handling makes you one with the road. The regenerative braking is flawless and so powerful that the brake lights turn on. There is much to talk about, but I will wait until the story is written about the delivery. There is so much data on the web, at the award sites and at Tesla Motors web and forum pages that any question can be answered with a quality Google search. At this point, I will conclude that the Signature Performance Model S is deserving of every award the car industry can bestow. It performs better than during my test drives earlier in the year. They took the time to get it right, and the best is yet to come with ongoing improvements and added features through software updates.


  6. 6
    koz

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (7:21 am)

    Mark Z:
    It performs better than during my test drives earlier in the year. They took the time to get it right, and the best is yet to come with ongoing improvements and added features through software updates.

    This cannot be overstated and I hope GM is paying attention. The new paradigm will be cars that , in several ways, get better with age. Batteries will improve and replacements will be better than the original. More importantly, software will improve. The control and infotainment systems , two very distinct systems in Tesla’s model, will will be improved. People will demand the new features on their old cars. GM can choose to ride this wave or be pushed down by it.

    I know, I know people are scared that software upgrades cannot be done without “issues”. Some issues are inevitable but all software has issues, including that on my 2012 Volt. The driving control software is locked down and all changes are treated with much higher level of caution and testing. The control and interface functions are well defined and software programmers do pretty dang good with well defined functions. For those that are still too fearfull, I’m sure upgrades will be optional outside of fixes.


  7. 7
    koz

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (7:23 am)

    Dick The Bruiser:
    The real car guys have spoken, and they don’t include Mitt Romney.

    Too funny, too true and not enough +1′s too give


  8. 8
    Mark Z

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (7:56 am)

    The Model S updates are pushed out through the 3G network (included for now) and one update will be WiFi for those who want to pay less if they start charging for the 4G network (coming.) User selectable creep was added recently and the Model S owners are prioritizing their lists of suggested improvements and additions daily. Model S is like a first generation computer product, it needs software improvements and new features to keep the drivers happy.


  9. 9
    MrEnergyCzar

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (8:01 am)

    The people love the car but the oil industry hates it… I hope the small battery version gets over 100 real world range (not EPA)….

    MrEnergyCzar


  10. 10
    Loboc

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (8:28 am)

    MrEnergyCzar,

    In my neck o the woods, the oil companies are all for EVs since they use NG to recharge.


  11. 11
    Fredo

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (8:49 am)

    I read somewhere that the commute distance for 75% of North American is less than 40 miles. This number was used by GM to size the battery. A bigger engine without a bigger battery would not benefit this trench of population.
    In addition, if the Turbo engine has a better efficiency, it means less heat for cold weather and increased mpg.


  12. 12
    Steve

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (9:19 am)

    Congratulations, but at the price it sells for, it’s not even a consideration for me.


  13. 13
    Dylan

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (9:31 am)

    Just makes the wait for the Gen 3 platform that I might actually be able to afford that much harder.


  14. 14
    kdawg

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (9:45 am)

    I think the Model S is a great BEV (a bit pricey, but we know how that debate goes).
    However, my biggest hold-up from buying a Tesla isn’t the price or range limitations, but the serviceability. I live in Michigan. What happens when this new technology has a problem? With my Volt I can push an OnStar button, and take my car to 5 different Chevy dealers in my area. With Tesla, not so much. When GM or Ford makes a luxury BEV (or even just mid-grade one), and the cost is ~30K after incentives, I’ll consider one.


  15. 15
    kdawg

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (9:52 am)

    koz,

    koz: This cannot be overstated and I hope GM is paying attention. The new paradigm will be cars that , in several ways, get better with age. Batteries will improve and replacements will be better than the original. More importantly, software will improve. The control and infotainment systems , two very distinct systems in Tesla’s model, will will be improved. People will demand the new features on their old cars. GM can choose to ride this wave or be pushed down by it.
    I know, I know people are scared that software upgrades cannot be done without “issues”. Some issues are inevitable but all software has issues, including that on my 2012 Volt. The driving control software is locked down and all changes are treated with much higher level of caution and testing. The control and interface functions are well defined and software programmers do pretty dang good with well defined functions. For those that are still too fearfull, I’m sure upgrades will be optional outside of fixes.

    I wonder if GM has done a cost study on the return on investment of designing the Volt & ELR with future upgrade-ability (hardware & software). Downside is the price will go up and possible loss of sales, upside is you could sell software/hardware upgrades. Would people expect free upgrades or pay for them? How much would they be willing to pay for an upgrade? Can GM make money in this “app-style” business model?


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    Dylan

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (9:59 am)

    kdawg:
    koz,

    I wonder if GM has done a cost study on the return on investment of designing the Volt & ELR with future upgrade-ability (hardware & software).Downside is the price will go up and possible loss of sales, upside is you could sell software/hardware upgrades.Would people expect free upgrades or pay for them?How much would they be willing to pay for an upgrade?Can GM make money in this “app-style” business model?

    With how much a political punching bag the Volt was, I think the bigger question is GM willing to stick its head out again for a decent BEV? Say what you will about the focus and leaf, but when the general public see that BEV’s only have range of 70-80 miles in an eco box no one is going to take them seriously except the hard core EVengelicals. Tesla (and maybe to a lesser extent the Toyota Rav 4 made by Tesla) are serious EV’s that i think the general public can at least start to buck the trend and think that maybe electric drivetrain’s are the automotive future.


  17. 17
    BLIND GUY

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (10:15 am)

    Congratulations Tesla! I really want Tesla to be an American success story. With a plan in place, it seems that growing pains are the biggest hurdle right now for Tesla JMO. With a Volt in our garage, I am now satisfied to wait years for an affordable BEV to eventually replace our beloved Volt with enough range to satisfy our around town needs. We’ll see what happens.


  18. 18
    George S. Bower

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (10:18 am)

    Quite frankly I am tired of having to “update” so much software so often. It gets to be a big pain in the ass. Soon we will be required to download a firmware update for our toothbrushes.


  19. 19
    Jackson

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (10:20 am)

    The car may be great, but don’t forget that the real issue is whether or not the company can cut it. Automotive history contains notable examples of great cars which never made it because the startup companies which fielded them couldn’t survive. Can Tesla field a meaningful fleet with no dealership servicing network to speak of? Can they float a car business with hired-out general manufacturing in other countries? (Yes, I know what Tesla has planned, but this presupposes that the company can survive long enough to get there).

    Tesla has redefined what a car can be, but can they also redefine the whole business model behind the manufacture of cars? And particularly with cars priced beyond the reach of most buyers? Accolades are great, but the S story is just beginning.

    Sorry, color me skeptical, for now.


  20. 20
    mfennell

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (10:32 am)

    I share some of Jackson’s skepticism but I’m still super impressed with the Model S. The really telling thing is that reviewers are making serious comparisons between it and equally or higher priced BMW/Mercedes/Audi/Porsches. It’s an awesome car on its own merits. It happens to have a plug.


  21. 21
    unni

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (10:36 am)

    Now GM has a standard to break for ELR. Lets see how GM will do it :-)

    Again its very impressive that Tesla came with a car and shows directions for big car companies and ask them the change over a time.

    Again, Once the world was full of dinosaurs . The ones adapted change went through transformations and others died.


  22. 22
    kdawg

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (10:42 am)

    George S. Bower: Quite frankly I am tired of having to “update” so much software so often. It gets to be a big pain in the ass. Soon we will be required to download a firmware update for our toothbrushes.

    A firmware update isn’t fun, but look how many 2011/2012 Volt owners wanted the “hold mode” upgrade. GM didn’t design the first model year cars to be able to upgrade to this. If they had, how much would that have cost, and how much would people have paid for the upgrade? What about an upgrade that gives you 40 more miles of range? What about an upgrade that lets you use a wireless charger? What about simple apps that can do things that a DashDAQ does (or analog gauges)? You know me, I love all the bells & whistles. And I don’t want to be cemented into a design if it’s avoidable. I’m very happy w/my Volt today, but if tomorrow they came out w/some major upgrade, I would be lying if I said I didn’t want it.


  23. 23
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    Nov 14th, 2012 (10:48 am)

    Sorry, color me skeptical, for now.

    I’m a tad skeptical for many of the reasons you cited but also for one other: What is Musk dies (heavens forbid) or otherwise no longer leads the company?


  24. 24
    George S. Bower

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (10:54 am)

    kdawg: A firmware update isn’t fun, but look how many 2011/2012 Volt owners wanted the “hold mode” upgrade.GM didn’t design the first model year cars to be able to upgrade to this.If they had, how much would that have cost, and how much would people have paid for the upgrade?What about an upgrade that gives you 40 more miles of range?What about an upgrade that lets you use a wireless ?What about simple apps that can do things that a DashDAQ does (or analog gauges)?You know me, I love all the bells & whistles.And I don’t want to be cemented into a design if it’s avoidable.I’m very happy w/my Volt today, but if tomorrow they came out w/some major upgrade, I would be lying if I said I didn’t want it.

    Just call me cranky. I’ve been a slave to computers in the last week. Lucky I’m retired and I have extra time on my hands. I swear pretty soon we all will have to spend 8 hrs a day keeping up with computers.

    That’s why I think google has a good biz plan. Put all this software up in the cloud and let them take care of the updates.


  25. 25
    Loboc

     

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (10:56 am)

    kdawg: A firmware update isn’t fun, but look how many 2011/2012 Volt owners wanted the “hold mode” upgrade.GM didn’t design the first model year cars to be able to upgrade to this.If they had, how much would that have cost, and how much would people have paid for the upgrade?What about an upgrade that gives you 40 more miles of range?What about an upgrade that lets you use a wireless charger?What about simple apps that can do things that a DashDAQ does (or analog gauges)?You know me, I love all the bells & whistles.And I don’t want to be cemented into a design if it’s avoidable.I’m very happy w/my Volt today, but if tomorrow they came out w/some major upgrade, I would be lying if I said I didn’t want it.

    The current automobile business model is not ‘upgrades’ but ‘options’. Do you really want to add in future-proofing (at a higher consumer price point), or, have them trade-up every 3-5 years? I think they make more on the trade-in model. :)


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    stuart22

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (11:06 am)

    I’m not one of the skeptics as to whether Musk can build a competent sales and service network for Tesla – look as what he has done to dispel the BEV issue of limited range and long recharging time: more battery and the network of Supercharging stations.

    My biggest nightmare is to see Tesla, supported by US government loans, become successful and then get bought out and taken over by a Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, or another foreign entity. I don’t know if my fears are warranted as I do not know the terms of these loans, but it sure would be a disaster if America helps turn Tesla into a world class car company that suddenly becomes another strong foreign competitor to our own domestic manufacturers.


  27. 27
    Bobc

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (11:08 am)

    Jackson,

    I think Tesla has already planned for this eventuality. They are already shifting the service paradigm. If their cars include such features such as extensive use of run flat tires, electronic suspension and wheel alignment, radar braking and cruise control . The only serviceable items would be body work, glass replacement and tire changes. Everything else can be by wireless software downloads and uploads, I suspect Tesla will have a server farm dedicated to fleet observation and management.


  28. 28
    kdawg

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (11:21 am)

    Loboc: The current automobile business model is not ‘upgrades’ but ‘options’. Do you really want to add in future-proofing (at a higher consumer price point), or, have them trade-up every 3-5 years? I think they make more on the trade-in model.

    I don’t know, that’s why I posed it as a question. Has GM done a cost analysis, and is there a profitable business model? The current model is one of the past, from a time where cars had little or no computers. It’s a different world today. (Tesla just put a big touchscreen in their car.. no buttons.. lots of customization) If there’s money to be made, then it would be worth it. EV drive-trains will last longer than ICE ones, IMO. (and going much farther into the future)…. remember the skateboard concept. Buy your drive-train and then just upgrade (or change) the top compartment for what you want/need.


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    Nov 14th, 2012 (11:25 am)

    Bobc: I think Tesla has already planned for this eventuality. They are already shifting the service paradigm. If their cars include such features such as extensive use of run flat tires, electronic suspension and wheel alignment, radar braking and cruise control . The only serviceable items would be body work, glass replacement and tire changes. Everything else can be by wireless software downloads and uploads, I suspect Tesla will have a server farm dedicated to fleet observation and management.

    There’s a lot of electronics that can have problems. And what if your problem is that you car can’t connect to a network?

    I think I’ll wait ~10 years before considering a Tesla (if they still exist)

    If I lived in California, I’d be less concerned, but still concerned based on how far it was to a Tesla service station.


  30. 30
    Jackson

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (11:25 am)

    Bobc,

    Sorry, but things break outside of all planning and failure anticipation. The phrase “What can possibly go wrong” has become an ironic one for a reason.

    There are innovative things that Tesla could do (rolling repair shops built on semi trailers and who knows what else), but it will cost money. A wounded GM, with a larger established business to fall back on, and an existing dealer network, is light years ahead of any startup; the Volt and other offerings from existing companies hold a distinct advantage if only for this reason.

    And then, production size and capability will always have a profound effect on final cost …


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    Nov 14th, 2012 (11:26 am)

    George S. Bower: That’s why I think google has a good biz plan. Put all this software up in the cloud and let them take care of the updates.

    Not a bad idea if my Volt could maintain a 4G (5G in the future) connection at all times.


  32. 32
    jeffhre

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (11:33 am)

    Jackson: Can Tesla field a meaningful fleet with no dealership servicing network to speak of? Can they float a car business with hired-out general manufacturing in other countries? (Yes, I know what Tesla has planned, but this presupposes that the company can survive long enough to get there).

    Good question about the dealer network, but Tesla’s cars are now built in Fremont California.


  33. 33
    Jackson

     

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (11:39 am)

    kdawg: A firmware update isn’t fun, but look how many 2011/2012 Volt owners wanted the “hold mode” upgrade.GM didn’t design the first model year cars to be able to upgrade to this.If they had, how much would that have cost, and how much would people have paid for the upgrade?What about an upgrade that gives you 40 more miles of range?What about an upgrade that lets you use a wireless charger?What about simple apps that can do things that a DashDAQ does (or analog gauges)?You know me, I love all the bells & whistles.And I don’t want to be cemented into a design if it’s avoidable.I’m very happy w/my Volt today, but if tomorrow they came out w/some major upgrade, I would be lying if I said I didn’t want it.

    Some upgrades will always require new hardware, The inductive charger is a prime example; as is the improved battery.

    What I suspect is that at some point GM will do a cost analysis based on what aftermarket battery and other hardware upgrades would cost them in terms of new sales, verses making the upgrades available through the company at a given cost. It might be worth it in the long run to keep aftermarket concerns depressed by providing the upgrades themselves, to the level where impact on new sales is minimal. It is a very complicated question with lots of variables, and the solution is not an urgent one. I think we’ll just have to wait and see, perhaps for a very long time.


  34. 34
    Mark Z

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (11:48 am)

    Bobc:
    Jackson,
    I think Tesla has already planned for this eventuality. They are already shifting the service paradigm. If their cars include such features such as extensive use of run flat tires, electronic suspension and wheel alignment, radar braking and cruise control . The only serviceable items would be body work, glass replacement and tire changes. Everything else can be by wireless software downloads and uploads, I suspect Tesla will have a server farm dedicated to fleet observation and management.

    Unfortunately, Tesla Motors did not include a tire repair kit. It is available at extra cost from their web site. My wheel alignment is a bit off and the Tesla Motors service center technicians do not have updated settings for their alignment rack. Others who have the problem are also reporting too much turn to the right. There are no radar brakes in use with the cruise control. Don’t forget brake replacement service, however with regenerative braking, it shouldn’t be often.

    The vehicle is required to be serviced every 12,000 miles or every year, whatever occurs first. If you refuse, the warranty is void. Yearly service cost is $600 per year plus $100 to have Tesla Motors drive to your location. The discount plan costs $2400 for four years and includes unlimited visits from the Tesla Rangers who can come to your home or office to perform most maintenance and warranty repairs.

    http://green.autoblog.com/2012/10/15/tesla-model-s-requires-600-annual-service-plan-to-keep-warranty/

    The above article mentions that non-Tesla service voids the warranty. The service center did mention to me that alignment could be done by others without affecting the warranty, however the latest settings are not available.


  35. 35
    nasaman

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (11:50 am)

    Jackson: Sorry, color me skeptical, for now.
    fotomoto:
    I’m a tad skeptical for many of the reasons you cited but also for one other: What is Musk dies (heavens forbid) or otherwise no longer leads the company?

    IMHO, Tesla has reached the point that —if they either wanted to (or were forced to) shut down— someone like Bain Capital would likely acquire the company, something like Bain did with Sports Authority and Staples. (Are you paying attention, Mitt? You could make $billions from Tesla!)

    Actually, I’m kidding about Bain — forgive me for indulging in very dark humor. But I’m genuinely thinking that 1) an established major automobile manufacturer (Toyota?) or 2) savvy, well-healed investors such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett or Larry Ellison, or 3) a combination of 1) and 2) could very well acquire Tesla Motors and continue its climb to the status of major car manufacturer/brand.

    /The same could also be said about SpaceX, which could easily become a major aerospace company


  36. 36
    Texas

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (11:53 am)

    Talk about adding insult to injury – first losing the election by a landslide and now this?! The GOP is going to need medication for their depression.


  37. 37
    Noel Park

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (11:55 am)

    Jackson: Sorry, color me skeptical, for now.

    #19

    Me too. +1


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    Nov 14th, 2012 (12:01 pm)

    stuart22: My biggest nightmare is to see Tesla, supported by US government loans, become successful and then get bought out and taken over by a Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, or another foreign entity.

    #26

    It wouldn’t bother me a bit, and I’m as loyal of and American car buyer as anybody. Look at the wonderful experience Benz had with Chrysler, LOL. As long as we get our money back…………..


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    Nov 14th, 2012 (12:06 pm)

    Mark Z: The above article mentions that non-Tesla service voids the warranty. The service center did mention to me that alignment could be done by others without affecting the warranty, however the latest settings are not available.

    #34

    Great.


  40. 40
    Noel Park

     

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (12:07 pm)

    Same answer as yesterday. Tesla – Schmesla. Go Volt!


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    Nov 14th, 2012 (12:08 pm)

    Mark Z,

    Yikes! I had no idea about these extra costs.


  42. 42
    James

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (12:36 pm)

    Noel Park:
    Same answer as yesterday.Tesla – Schmesla.Go Volt!

    Seriously?!!! Really?!!!

    I’m surprised by you and Jackson today. Without Tesla, we wouldn’t have Volt.

    Remember that both Bob Lutz and John Laukner, considered the fathers of Volt, named Tesla
    as their inspiration and impetus for dreaming up Volt.

    A bigger question should be: Why does Tesla inspire when other more funded and hyped attempts
    at electrification have fallen on their faces? The answer may very well be that, just like in the case of PayPal, Elon Musk was genius enough to identify a real need, and a unique new way of filling it.

    Anyone who studies the uber successful finds that these are the ingredients for mega success. The little Roadster that some saw as just another kit car, became an unwordly success. Bill Gates saw an emerging technology and set out to own it. Elon has a much higher mountain to climb in the auto industry, but he took an approach nobody else has ever attempted – starting with a racey toy that inspired even the most skeptical “CAR GUY” to think beyond the piston and explosion.

    Who but Elon would think a fast, sexy little car practically nobody can afford could start a chain of events that would lead to a huge factory with American workers building components and cars for Toyota and Mercedes while simultaneously changing the entire car world by building BEVs with new capabilities afore unknown?

    The whole biz plan he laid out five years ago was to A) make the Roadster to capture attention ( which it did – check YouTube! ). B) Build a sedan for the affluent who can afford pricey lithium batteries C) Build the Accord-fighter BEV that presents a mass-market vehicle you and I can buy.

    So far, Elon is miraculously and against all odds —- ON COURSE TO MEET THOSE GOALS. Skeptics? I think Elon says ” Get behind me, oh doubters! “…. Have a little patience! This is the
    re-directioning of an entire industrial age industry. GIVE THE GUY A FEW YEARS ALREADY! People that drive Model S are blown away. Only 1,000 have been built and it’s already the water
    cooler talk amongst car snobs globally. I believe
    Tesla will gain market share in it’s segment amongst huge established competitors. The car is just THAT groundbreaking. The Model X and Model E-for-everybody will come – give him time!

    So far, he is the impetus behind the mass-produced electric car. AND HE’S IN AMERICA – Thank the Lord!

    I’m thankful the world has borne guys like him who take big big risks in the face of legions of
    doubting Thomases. I’m really grateful Motor
    Trend decided the obvious, that the Model S is
    the Car of The Year.

    RECHARGE! ,

    James

    It’s all about big picture thinking. Today we see a whole array of options developing for cars with and without plugs that rely on some form of electric drive. That’s the goal, isn’t it?


  43. 43
    emd

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    Nov 14th, 2012 (12:56 pm)

    jeffhre,

    yes they’re built in freemont ca. the same place the toyota rav4 ev is built. plant was built by gm and toyota in the late 80s and made the nova and corolla (toyolet) at first. gm sold their part of the plant. mr musk got the plant with mr toyodas (name not mispelled) blessing. just how much of tesla is toyota?

    beautiful car otherwise. aluminum body. liquid cooled battery. costly psychotic maintenance/warranty program that should be in the price of the car. well thought out interior. nice power seats. some of the commonly used icons on the giant touch screen are so dinky i had problems with them while the car was standing still (just try using them while going over broken pavement). i don’t like fidley touch screens anyways partly for that reason. wish the showroom had one outside to drive around in.


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    Nov 14th, 2012 (12:56 pm)

    James: GIVE THE GUY A FEW YEARS ALREADY!

    I’m going to give him 10 years. That’s probably when my Volt will probably get sold/traded in. I’ll see what products exist at that time, and what they cost, and how they are supported.


  45. 45
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    Nov 14th, 2012 (1:04 pm)

    Mark Z,

    That’s pretty funny. Tesla charges for service and gives supercharger electricity away for free. I’ll bet they make 80% on the service fee also.

    Sounds like a bank, not a car company. ‘Free’ checking but the fees are killer.

    There’s a lot to be said for being a Tesla mechanic. Nothing breaks and no greasy engines and transmissions to deal with.


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    Nov 14th, 2012 (1:28 pm)

    James: Seriously?!!! Really?!!!

    #42

    Yeah, really.

    I’ve been a car guy all my life and I’ve seen so many startups come and go, and even so many large and seemingly successful corporations fail, that I’m going to believe that Tesla is long term viable when I see it.

    If they’re still around after kdawg’s 10 year horizon (and assuming that I’m still around, LOL), I’ll be more than happy to stand up in public and eat my words.


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    Nov 14th, 2012 (2:19 pm)

    OT: Did you guys see this? Volt SWAG. They should give some of this stuff away at all the dealers to new Volt owners.

    http://voltcollection.com/chevy-volt.html?limit=36

    (why do they sell a Volt tire gauge when the car displays the tire pressure?)


  48. 48
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    Nov 14th, 2012 (2:21 pm)

    George S. Bower:
    Quite frankly I am tired of having to “update” so much software so often. It gets to be a big pain in the ass. Soon we will be required to download a firmware update for our toothbrushes.

    A little OT:

    When I was in college, a company was giving away Zilog Z-80 microchips by mail for anyone who would design an “intelligent toothbrush”. It was just giving away unmounted but functional CPU microchips that didn’t pass inspection for their applications, so it was for fun. I replied and received one Z-80 microchip and some “toothbrush drawings” but I realized the problem of attaching tiny wires to a device less than 1/4-inch per side with 40 microscopic contacts. So your idea of “firmware” for an intelligent toothbrush wasn’t unique. I did do some Z-80 assembly language programming, using my TRS-80 Model III, but none were for an “intelligent toothbrush”.

    Anyway, now we do have microchips in many devices, including our smartphones, so we may see an electric toothbrush that has programmable brushing patterns, and maybe those patterns are updated through WiFi.

    Raymond


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    Nov 14th, 2012 (2:39 pm)

    Raymondjram: Anyway, now we do have microchips in many devices, including our smartphones, so we may see an electric toothbrush that has programmable brushing patterns, and maybe those patterns are updated through WiFi.

    How about teeth cleaning nanites? ;)

    Since we are doing OT’s, I liked this article below for 2 reasons (even though its dated)

    1) I learned Steve Rattner bought a Volt

    2) The “OIL FAIL” license plate.. LOL

    http://autos.yahoo.com/blogs/motoramic/former-president-george-h-w-bush-buys-chevy-192026852.html


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    Nov 14th, 2012 (2:53 pm)

    nasaman: /The same could also be said about SpaceX, which could easily become a major aerospace company

    There’s no reason to worry about SpaceX. It is the heir apparent to the Space Shuttle, since the Constellation and Orion projects have been canceled. They get a lot of NASA design help, too; since there is now no other way for Americans to reach Space without buying foreign launches.


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    Nov 14th, 2012 (3:34 pm)

    Noel Park: #42

    Yeah, really.

    I’ve been a car guy all my life and I’ve seen so many startups come and go, and even so many large and seemingly successful corporations fail, that I’m going to believe that Tesla is long term viable when I see it.

    If they’re still around after kdawg’s 10 year horizon (and assuming that I’m still around, LOL), I’ll be more than happy to stand up in public and eat my words.

    OK Noel.

    We’ll have a big meetup with our III gen Volts, and I’ll supply you a printout of your above post.
    I’ll buy you the beer to wash down the pulp! We’ll have a good laugh!

    Tesla may become the EV equivelant as today’s Audi or Mercedes is to the ICE car world.
    The higher priced models always drive the innovation lest I call it —– ( wait for it ), “trickle down”. :)

    Saw a TV report this morning on CNN re: anti-collision systems in upper luxury brands that will
    soon trickle down to mass consumer cars ala: anti-lock brakes and air bags.

    We all benefit from the ( wait for it ) — “Moving Forward” of the bar by the makes who can afford to develop new technologies for people who can pay for them. :)

    InsideEVs.com has an intrigueing piece today about Toyota claiming a new Supra is in the pipeline. I can’t afford a ZR-1, or even a Z-06 Corvette, but they do drive brand interest. It
    was also suggested that Toyota wanted this Supra to be an EV supercar. It would behoove everyone
    if that EV Supra would be built by Tesla at Fremont using a shortened Tesla skateboard chassis.

    Tesla seems to have this magical magnetic quality to attract just the right partners and get
    just the right timing to gain workers and a facility as perfect as NUMMI. At times Mr. Musk seems
    the errant dreamer, but turns out to be the prophetic achiever. Could it be manifest destiny?

    Where DeLorean, Bricklin, American Motors, Fisker and all the rest seemed to have a very narrow focus with somewhat questionable results -Elon has come from a non-automaker background to
    infuse innovative avenues to accomplish a positive result.

    It doesn’t make sense, but with 1,000 Model S’s built, the first 5,000 preorders seem very probable. So far the car speaks for itself and the new marketing results ruffle the N.A.D.A.’s
    feathers while winning fans from the public – which, is – actually , who buys the cars.

    RECHARGE! ,

    James


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    Nov 14th, 2012 (7:24 pm)

    Raymondjram: A little OT:

    Anyway, now we do have microchips in many devices, including our smartphones, so we may see an electric toothbrush that has programmable brushing patterns, and maybe those patterns are updated through WiFi.

    Raymond

    Thx Raymond,
    you made my day! (seriously)


  53. 53
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    Nov 14th, 2012 (7:31 pm)

    James: OK Noel.

    We’ll have a big meetup with our III gen Volts,

    Where DeLorean, Bricklin, American Motors, Fisker and all the rest seemed to have a very narrow focus with somewhat questionable results -Elon has come from a non-automaker background to
    infuse innovative avenues to accomplish a positive result.

    RECHARGE! ,

    James

    10/4 James

    Elon really does have vision.

    Right next to Steve Jobs.
    He can make it happen!


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    Nov 14th, 2012 (7:40 pm)

    Loboc:
    Mark Z,

    That’s pretty funny. Tesla charges for service and gives supercharger electricity away for free. I’ll bet they make 80% on the service fee also.

    Sounds like a bank, not a car company. ‘Free’ checking but the fees are killer.

    There’s a lot to be said for being a Tesla mechanic. Nothing breaks and no greasy engines and transmissions to deal with.

    I believe that the Tesla S has a single gear transmission. And you do have other parts that do break down. For example you have the front and rear suspensions. This is just some of the mechanical parts.

    The gadgets inside the Model S must have many small motors, servos, solenoids, and switches which do have a limited mechanical life. Then we can begin to count all the electrical devices and all the electronics, including that fabulous LCD display.

    I see plenty of work for a Tesla “mechanic”, or maybe a “technician”. I would like to be trained as one down here and travel to Tesla customers in the Caribbean.

    Raymond


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    Nov 14th, 2012 (7:48 pm)

    kdawg:
    OT:Did you guys see this?Volt SWAG.They should give some of this stuff away at all the dealers to new Volt owners.

    http://voltcollection.com/chevy-volt.html?limit=36

    (why do they sell a Volt tire gauge when the car displays the tire pressure?)

    If I had my Volt, I would get a tire gauge. I am old school with tire care, I have an Equinox with TPMS, I rented a Chevy Impala with TPMS, and both vehicles have given false readings. Your vehicle’s tires are essentially the most important “parts”. If they fail while stationary, you can’t move. And if they fail in transit, the result can be fatal. A tire gauge is vital to confirm actual air pressures when you have so much riding in your vehicle.

    Raymond


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    Nov 14th, 2012 (8:16 pm)

    George S. Bower:
    Quite frankly I am tired of having to “update” so much software so often. It gets to be a big pain in the ass. Soon we will be required to download a firmware update for our toothbrushes.

    I generally agree with this post and +1′ed it because on top of being a very valid viewpoint, it made me chuckle. On the other hand, however, I’d be even MORE in agreement, if software was 100% bug-free “out of the box.” Which it never is.


  57. 57
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    Nov 14th, 2012 (9:12 pm)

    Jeez,

    Nobody’s perfect and neither is Tesla but no need to make stuff up.

    !. The GM plant was built in the 1960s or earlier and was GMs investment in NUMMI in the ’80s. GM walked away from it in 2010 as part of the bankruptcy. Tesla had already announced plans to build a new plant in Carson CA until this came along.

    2. The motor, inverter, gearbox and batteries of the Rav4 are made in Fremont. Everything else is made and assembled by Toyota at a Toyota plant somewhere else.

    3. The only significant components of the S not made in the US are the battery cells made by Panasonic and the steering column made by Mercedes.

    4. Ya know, in over 40 years of driving I’ve never worried about the suspension breaking, not even in my Delorean which has some issues with flimsy stampings for the lower front control arms and weak pivot bolts for the rear radius arms.

    5. The Tesla has no more pumps or motors than a comparable ICE car and doesn’t even have the electric fuel pump pretty much every car made today has, none of which I have ever seen anyone worry about.

    6. The $600/year maintenance charge I find intensely annoying and could be a deal breaker with my reservation. I don’t allow anyone other than me to maintain my automobiles except certain warranty things where I cannot get the parts unless I let them do the warranty work. Otherwise,

    7. About the only significant part I worry about is the power inverter. Very expensive to replace on your own dime.

    8. About the only true maintenance items are the tires and they are in the same boat as any other car maker. The brake pads should outlive the car for someone who learns how to use the regenerative braking effectively and 100K+ miles for everyone else.

    9. The car does have a lot of quirks remaining to be resolved, but no technical show stoppers for me.


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    Nov 14th, 2012 (10:16 pm)

    rdunniii: The GM plant was built in the 1960s or earlier and was GMs investment in NUMMI in the ’80s. GM walked away from it in 2010 as part of the bankruptcy. Tesla had already announced plans to build a new plant in Carson CA until this came along.

    Speaking of NUMMI, Toyota almost had a “Volt” before Chevy did.

    (made at the NUMMI plant, the Toyota Voltz (AKA Pontiac Vibe))
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Voltz

    toyota-voltz-10.jpg


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    Nov 14th, 2012 (10:29 pm)

    Noel Park: If they’re still around after kdawg’s 10 year horizon (and assuming that I’m still around, LOL), I’ll be more than happy to stand up in public and eat my words.

    Maybe in 10 years I’ll sell my Volt battery to ABB.

    http://www.gmbeyondnow.com/2012/11/14/gm-and-abb-show-chevy-volt-battery-reuse-application/

    ChevyVoltBatteryReuse03-e1352930312809.jpg


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    Nov 15th, 2012 (3:48 pm)

    85 kWh battery !! (optional)

    Once it hits 100 kWh, they can start reporting battery size in MEGAWATT-HOURS.

    Tesla Model S, with 0.1 MWh battery


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    Nov 15th, 2012 (9:43 pm)

    Truman:
    85 kWh battery !!(optional)

    Once it hits 100 kWh, they can start reporting battery size in MEGAWATT-HOURS.

    Tesla Model S, with 0.1 MWh battery

    Unless your a cross country class 8 driver, i doubt you will see a full 1 MWh anytime soon. For marketing purposes they should stick to watt/hours instead… make it look bigger.


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    Nov 15th, 2012 (10:31 pm)

    f47d97_2457188.jpg