Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Not Quite Yet

If you've read this blog, you know I like cars. And the faster, more powerful the car, the better.

So there's a luxury sports sedan, all wheel drive, with 329 horsepower that accelerates 0 - 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. But the real impressive numbers are 30 - 50 mph in two seconds flat and 50 to 70 mph in 3.1 seconds. Those are great numbers for passing cars on Highway 17.

But I still wouldn't buy it. Why? It's a Tesla. And while I think the Tesla is an amazing technological achievement, it's not quite ready for prime time.

Being 100% electric (unlike the Chevy Volt and BMW i8 which have gasoline-burning engines to supplement the batteries), you are limited by the power of its battery pack. Recharging can take hours. I want a car that can get me 200 miles and back home in one day without stopping for charging for 8 hours. As Car and Driver puts it:
To fully embrace any electric car, some lifestyle rearranging is necessary. Spur-of-the-moment trips are unwise. The next plug-in opportunity is always at the forefront of your consciousness. Speeding up when you’re running late may force an unplanned stop for a jolt of juice. 
Here's the problem. The Tesla's batteries can only hold so much energy. And while the car tries to make up for this with aerodynamics (even the door handles are flush to the body) and light-weight construction, it's 70 kWh capacity battery pack carries the equivalent energy of 2 gallons of gasoline. And it can take up to 8 hours to recharge the battery rather than the 5 minutes it takes to fill a car with gasoline.

And frankly, I'n not ready to make any "lifestyle rearranging" for a car.

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