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Tesla Motors Announces Prices For Their Upcoming Models

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the baptists-pay-for-bootleggers'-road-trips dept.

Transportation 503

Shivetya writes with a list of prices for upcoming models from Tesla, noting that "they aren't cheap and the prices are listed assuming the $7500 tax credit. A 160-mile range S will set you back $49,900, the 230-mile is at $59,000, and the 300-mile range S will cost $69,000. Battery sizes are 40, 60, and 85kwh respectively. For your money these cars also include a very large seventeen-inch touchscreen. Is this the electric car you've been waiting for or another rich person's toy?"

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503 comments

Both (5, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461444)

Is this the electric car you've been waiting for or another rich person's toy?

Can't it be both? Because right now it's both.

Re:Both (4, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461504)

Yeah anything over $40k is well into the "rich guy toy" range, good deal or not.

But as with all technology (5, Insightful)

goldcd (587052) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461650)

We need the rich guys to buy it first, so the rest of us can pick them up when they get mass market - if there is a mass market (which personally I think there is)
The first "motorized carriages" were quite definitely impractical toys for the rich. See also the first airplanes and pretty much "the first anythings"

Re:But as with all technology (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461738)

True. I wouldn't even call this impractical at all, just too expensive for the everyman. They look like decent deals if you have the money.

Re:But as with all technology (2)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461848)

I'm not interested in an electric car at all...until they can bring back the sports car version, and price it in the Corvette range.

Who actually 'lusts' after a freakin' family car...?

Re:But as with all technology (1)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461870)

People that buy Cadillac Escallades...

Re:But as with all technology (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461952)

I think that if they can build a 4-door luxury car with these specs for $50k they can build a 2-door sports car with similar power for less... :D

Although if they base it on the next-gen Elise you might want to walk into the car backwards...talk about fugly x_x

Re:But as with all technology (0)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462060)

True. I wouldn't even call this impractical at all, just too expensive for the everyman. They look like decent deals if you have the money.

So rich people don't like to drive more than 160 miles without stopping for several hours to recharge?

Re:But as with all technology (4, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462134)

Not only rich people, *most* people. The average American drives 40 miles per day.

Re:But as with all technology (4, Funny)

sheehaje (240093) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462168)

My first tuna sandwich was half eaten by a rich guy.

Re:Both (5, Insightful)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461758)

Yes and no. Obviously "rich guy" is a relative term but there are plenty of people who plunk down $40K on full-size pickup trucks and SUVs that are firmly seated in the middle of the middle-class. Is it a wise choice given alternatives? Debatable. But the $50K base model is definitely not a "rich guy toy" just a white-collar guy toy.

I'm a software engineer and not what most people in the Western world would call rich, just "comfortable" in my income. I'm actually giving the car serious consideration for purchase in a few years after the lease expires on the next car I'm getting in a month or two. By then hopefully the bugs will be more or less ironed out and production ramped up so there isn't a year long waiting list like their Roadster--a car for which few people would argue against is a rich-guy toy.

Re:Both (1)

Above (100351) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461974)

I don't think I'd count a $40k car as being rich man's territory. There are plenty of working class guys who drive F-250's with diesel engines for their work, and those are $40k+. A BMW M3, their best selling car in the US, can approach $45k with all the options.

A $40,000 car, financed for 5 years, at 4% interest with a $5,000 trade is $645 a month. About $7700 per year.

Totally doable on the median household income in the US of $45,000 per year. Wise? A different story, but it's not like you have to be a millionaire to buy one.

Re:Both (4, Interesting)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462132)

First off the cheapest one is $49,900 and that is after a $7500 tax break.
That is a $57,400 car that the tax payers have to pay $7,500 on every time one is sold.
Fuck I hate paying for someones toy.

Re:Both (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462100)

Yes and no. $40k is a lot, not doubt, and the $60k+ ones are even more so, but I remember running the numbers when they announced the Tesla S line and figuring out that based on the price of gas and electricity at the time, I'd save around $2k/year on my commute alone (and that's without even figuring in the ability to use the HOV lanes.)

I think we're still not at the point where the fuel savings will ever completely cover the added cost of the vehicle, but it's still a consideration since the actual cost of ownership difference isn't as much as the difference in purchase price.

Re:Both (5, Interesting)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462144)

It's $49.9k *after* the tax credits, so it's not actually $40k. Let's call it $50k to be safer.

The thing is, the Roadster cost $109k, so this is already a huge price drop compared to that. That's been Tesla's strategy all along. The new tech will initially be expensive, so sell it as a premium product and use the revenues from that to develop the tech farther, driving down the cost. They've said that this is a three-phase process, and the model S is the second phase. Even the difference between $109k and $50k is a big one, and it brings the pricing into the affordable range for a much larger number of people, particularly if leasing is considered.

Comparing it to other similar cars, it's not a bad deal either. The Nissan Leaf sells for ~$35k, with a 24 kWh battery. The basic model S sells for ~$50k, with a 40 kWh battery, and is a higher-end vehicle. The range is substantially improved, and there's the (very expensive) option for larger batteries that get it within shouting distance of the range of a gasoline vehicle.

Anyhow, the point was that the model S opens up a much larger market to Tesla, which will give them the revenue and scale to work on the third phase of their plan, an electric car that is cheap enough that it can be afforded by the average person. The Roadster was $109k, the Model S was $50k, and they're planning for their third phase, codenamed BlueStar, to sell for $30k. That's not going to compete with a Toyota Yaris/Vitz, but it could compete favourably with a Camry or Avalon, perhaps. They were originally talking about getting the BlueStar out in 2013-2014, but they're now talking about being able to do it in 2015-2016. I'd imagine that battery pricing/technology is the primary limiting factor at this point.

Re:Both (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461552)

what about none of them?

Re:Both (3, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461706)

It's both. I just spent a similar amount on a lowbrid, but I have to say this is the first electric car done right. Plus it looks incredible on the road (my daily commute takes me from one Tesla plant to the other, and just occasionally you'll see a streetable prototype on that route). On looks alone I should have held out for one.

Re:Both (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462086)

This is probably the median cost of an average car in Los Angeles.

No (1, Insightful)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461474)

Short of a Mr. Fusion style device I won't be buying one. Can it be refueled from empty to full in 2 minutes like a gasoline engine? What is the battery lifespan? How much will they cost to be replaced?

Re:No (3, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461518)

Good username/post combo.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38461532)

http://www.teslamotors.com/models/options

Nathan

Re:No (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38461546)

With the top of the range model, I think that they have a no quibble, lifetime, battery replacement service, if your batteries conk out. They also have a battery swap service that is being rolled out across america, where at petrol stations, they will swap out your depleted batteries for a fully charged set. I think this takes about 5 minutes, so is a bit longer than normal petrol refilling. But to be fair, EV's are meant for the everyday commuter, who would just recharge overnight.

Re:No (4, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461672)

Battery swapping is going to seem like a laughably silly idea 10 years from now. I think it's silly right now myself.

EV makers should stop trying to appease the "range anxiety" crowd, they can't be appeased. Have battery swap stations at every corner and cars with a 500 mile range and they'll be "anxious" about getting a dud battery and breaking down in the desert they drive through every morning.

I mean the high-end model goes 300 miles. There are only two reasons to have a problem with that range: You actually drive further than that regularly, in which case you have no business driving an electric car right now anyways, or you've got some kind of "range survivalist syndrome" where you're always worried about "what if I run out of juice and then ZOMBIES ATTACK!?"

Re:No (1)

SimplyGeek (1969734) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461832)

"or you've got some kind of "range survivalist syndrome" where you're always worried about "what if I run out of juice and then ZOMBIES ATTACK!?""

I see nothing wrong with that concern. In the colder parts of the US, you certainly wouldn't want to get stuck far from home during a snow storm.

Re:No (2)

s2jcpete (989386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462024)

Wouldn't that be an argument for a AWD vehicle, and not one of these anyway?

Re:No (4, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462042)

It's not a life-threatening problem unless you live in the remote hills of North Dakota or something. 300 miles is like a 30MPG car with a 10-gallon tank. For the person who suddenly needed to exceed their car's capabilities and can't wait for a half-hour quick charge at the nearest station, there's always the option of calling a tow truck. Not the end of the world.

Re:No (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462118)

I live in a hurricane zone and know what it is like to not be able to refuel anywhere in a 200 mile radius with a gas vehicle.

Re:No (4, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462170)

Yeah, but when you go driving in a snow storm, make sure you are prepared. I'm from Canada, so this is common sense to us. Whenever driving in the winter you should have a survival kit with you, complete with blankets, food, shovel, first aid kit, chemical heat packs, matches, emergency candles, etc.... Even if you don't run out of gas or electricity, what happens if you go off the road, or a belt on your car breaks?

Re:No (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461894)

Battery swapping is going to seem like a laughably silly idea 10 years from now. I think it's silly right now myself.

I agree. It was successful about a century ago. Today, it's just hype from Shai Agassi of Better Place. (I've met him. He's all hat and no cattle. After five years of hype, all they've installed are a couple of demo sites and a 3 taxicab demo in Tokyo.)

Re:No (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461914)

EV makers should stop trying to appease the "range anxiety" crowd, they can't be appeased.

While this is true, it is nice for the "every man" that they do. If they focused on the average persons needs, the cars would only go 60 or so miles. As they push into the realm of 300 m.p.c. and beyond they start to make a car that is on par with a gasoline car fro the "everyman".

Re:No (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38461968)

Actually much of the info on range is intentionally misleading. Nothing other ad guys don't do for companies. The very worst of it has been standardized by gov't regulation for regular internal combustion cars.

Range, they list is for 55 mph most likely constant speed. Totally unrealistic for most uses. If you do all the calculations, for electrics 12 kwh's is equivalent to one gallon of gasoline. So the 85 kwh model would have range of a regular car holding about 7 gallons of gasoline. A car like that in that size and weight might get 30 mpg so range might be 210 miles per charge. I think probably more like 175 miles is closer to the truth. Still a quite useful range and rarely a problem. But this is a pretty expensive car. I do hope the gov't will force these cars to advertise range on the EPA city/highway cycles. Those might be a bit optimistic, but would at least be somewhat consistent and allow a genuine comparison with what you could really expect.

That said I wish them well. If they were affordable with the ranges available in these cars I very much would like to own one. As it is I have trouble seeing the battery pricing ever be good enough to allow that.

Re:No (1)

dirk (87083) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462068)

I mean the high-end model goes 300 miles. There are only two reasons to have a problem with that range: You actually drive further than that regularly, in which case you have no business driving an electric car right now anyways, or you've got some kind of "range survivalist syndrome" where you're always worried about "what if I run out of juice and then ZOMBIES ATTACK!?"

Or the other logical reason is that sometimes you drive farther than that. I would love to get an electric car, and it would handle 98% of my driving. But I'm single and it would be my only car, so the times I do need to drive farther I would be out of luck. I sometime (maybe bimonthly) travel between 150 and 300 miles to regional cities for concerts. Even a 300 mile range is risky since I can't guarantee that I will be able to charge it where I am going.

EVs are great as a secondary car. They make perfect sense and are wonderful. But as the only car someone has, they won't cut it until I can be sure I can find a charging station as easily as I can find a gas station in a different city. I'm just not willing to rent a car every time I want to take a weekend road trip.

Re:No (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462178)

Well for bimonthly I'd say an EV doesn't make sense right now, but for those who only do it once or twice a year it might be worth it to just rent an ICE car for those trips. I wouldn't be surprised if it paid off in gas savings.

Re:No (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462104)

I live in a hurricane zone and know what it is like to not be able to refuel anywhere in a 200 mile radius with a gas vehicle. And yes, the hordes pouring out of New Orleans as the city floods can seem very zombie like.

Re:No (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462110)

I mean the high-end model goes 300 miles.

Yeah, and? Our Honda Civic costs less than half as much, goes at least 50% further, and takes a fraction of the time to 'recharge'. We can just manage to drive to my girlfriend's parents house on one tank, whereas if we bought this 'luxury sedan' we'd have to stop for a few hours half-way to charge up... except there's nowhere to do so.

Why would you want a 'luxury sedan' that can't make long journeys, or requires you to hang around waiting for hours on the few routes where you can?

Re:No (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462122)

With the top of the range model, I think that they have a no quibble, lifetime, battery replacement service*

*Assuming that Tesla doesn't go belly-up at some point, that is.

Re:No (3, Interesting)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461768)

I wonder when electric vehicles will use standardized batteries which can be replaced quickly.

When that happens, it might be possible to pull into a "Battery Exchange" station where your dead/low batteries can be quickly pulled and replaced with freshly conditioned and charged batteries in under two minutes. Your dead/low batteries then go onto the conditioner/charger to be used by the next shmo who pulls in.

Along the same line as propane tank exchanges. You buy the tank once, then keep trading it in for full tanks - only paying for the propane and the exchange fee.

Until battery electric vehicles become popular, stations like this won't be ubiquitous in the same way gas stations are.

Re:No (4, Informative)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461790)

From memory (which is based on older info and might not be 100%):

1. There is an option for a 5-minute battery swap-out at properly equipped service stations and there's a quick charge option where proper charging equipment can bring the battery from 0% to 80% in 45 minutes. You would likely be more interested in the 5 minute swap in terms of a gas station replacement for long trips, but the vast majority of refills would be resolved with nightly charging, giving the advantage to this car as you can't fill your gasoline vehicle with fuel every night at home - you have to make a special stop once or twice a week and pay out a bunch of money. How often does anyone take a >160/300 mile trip? If it's all the time for you, this isn't the car for you until there are enough service stations doing the 5-minute swap to make it convenient. If you're like the 99% of people in the US and Europe who drive far less than that 99% of the time, this works just fine.

2. Expected lifespan (defined as >80% of brand-new capacity) is 8 - 10 years.

3. The batteries cost $10,000 to replace today. Their cost in 8 - 10 years is extremely difficult to anticipate, but assuming that the materials involved aren't massively more expensive, the technology will certainly be significantly cheaper and should push those prices down.

Re:No (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461972)

Solution...

Enter into a partnership with Cracker Barrel offer free installation of high speed chargers.

Then everyone will just eat and charge at Cracker Barrel.

Win-Win Scenario....now that's CAPITALISM!!!

Re:No (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462092)

My 2002 Prius is 10 years old now (remember, 2012's come out in 2011).

Battery is still working. And it's not even as fancy as the new ones.

Re:No (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461796)

It's not the same as a gasoline engine. Also, everyone also mentions battery replacement costs, but doesn't think about how much maintenance could be saved over a standard internal combustion engine. No oil changes, no exhaust system problems, possibly increased brake life because stopping energy can be recycled into electricity (not sure if Tesla cars implement this, but future electric cars will). There's a whole bunch of regular maintenance that just disappears once you move to full electric cars. Also, they are much simpler machines, so many less things to break. Do they even have a transmission? I'm not sure how current it is but the wikipedia article states [wikipedia.org]

There is minimal maintenance required of an electric vehicle. Because there is no internal combustion engine, there are no routine oil changes. Transmission, brake, and cooling system fluid changes will be required roughly every five to seven years or as needed. Tesla is the only automaker to offer "house calls" in which mobile service technicians perform routine software upgrades or annual inspections

Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. The cost of replacing the batteries (no doubt with much better batteries) a few years down the road could easily be offset by much cheaper ongoing operating costs.

Re:No (5, Informative)

RugRat (323562) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461826)

Perhaps the most important question is what is the all-in cost per mile of operation and how many miles to I need to operate it annually for it to make financial sense. For a SWAG: Assume $0.10/kWh, 3 miles/kWh, or $0.033/mile for electricity, vs. 25 MPG, $3.50/gallon, $0.14/mile for gasoline. Effective difference of $0.10/mile. At a US average annual distance of 12,000 miles, the fuel cost difference is $1,200. Electric vehicle advocates also suggest that you save another $200/yr on oil changes, oil filters, etc.. If you assume an average ownership period of 10 years, that's a $14,000 savings in OpEx. Of course, currently the car is more expensive, you're limited (slightly) in range, and there are (currently) limited number of places where you can fast-charge (15-20 minutes full charge).

Since when do Slashdot readers bet against technology?

No the car is not more expensive... (2)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462216)

What are you comparing it to? A Chevy Cruze, a Ford Focus?

Different class of vehicle. This is a luxury vehicle with leather interior and a 0-60 in 4.4 seconds. It competes with BMW, Mercedes and Porshe.

How much does a full featured BMW or Porsche go for? $50,000 no longer looks over priced for it's class.

In fact, it might look pretty damn cheap. I just looked at the base pricing MSRP for a Porsche Panerama (or whatever it was, there 4 door sedan). The low end model does 0-60 in 6 seconds. Higher end models go faster.

Suggested MSRP was $75,000.

Base price of 328 BMW, lower end car was around $37,000. Mind you, that's base low end model. And no where near a 4.4, 0-60 car. The S is definitely not that, especially with a 17" flat panel.

So for the class and caliber of car. The Tesla S is actually a very economical deal. You have a sports car / sedan / EV all for less than most performance luxury models.

Re:No (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461898)

80% quick charges for EVs generally are down in the 10-15 minute range. No, that's not 2 minutes (what the hell do you drive anyway and 40+ gallon tank SUV?) but you might wish to look at it from a slightly different angle. 10-15 minutes and less than $5 for off the grid power, or 2 minutes and $3.50+ per gallon for gas/diesel. It's a habit changes certainly, but not many people value the 10 or so minutes saved at $100.

Re:No (1)

von_rick (944421) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461948)

Can it be refueled from empty to full in 2 minutes like a gasoline engine? What is the battery lifespan? How much will they cost to be replaced?

Planning ahead is something thats needed no matter what you drive. No one embarks on a 300 mile roadtrip with the gas gauge blinking red. This one will have the "large LCD display" reminding you to recharge. The battery lifespan is usually in the excess of 100,000 miles, with typical NiMH batteries giving between 130,000-150,000 mile range. At this point, the batteries are expensive, but if you consider the amount of saving in fuel costs, oil changes, all sorts of filters and pumps, etc. over the course of 130k miles - you'd have saved up enough for a battery pack. Another interesting thing is that the cost of fossil based fuels is on the rise, whereas batteries are becoming less expensive over years.

The moral of the story is, if you can afford to spare $50K for starters, you can save quite a bit eventually.

Re:No (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462140)

No one embarks on a 300 mile roadtrip with the gas gauge blinking red.

Why not? There'll be a gas station in five miles and I can 'recharge' in under five minutes.

Re:No (1)

BStroms (1875462) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462198)

Don't forget that electricity isn't free. I think you'd be hard pressed to end up in the black as far as simple dollars went even if it's only $10k less. Still, it's nearing the price point where I'd be interested if it weren't for one critical point. I live in a condo and park in the parking lot outside. There's simply no place for me to plug it in there. For the many people who live in apartments/condos, this is a deal breaker.

It can become a bit of a catch 22 as well. The apartment owner/association isn't going to pay to wire up the parking lots unless there's a lot of demand for it from those living there. There won't be demand for it from those living there unless a lot of them own electric cars. And very few people are going to buy an electric car if they can't plug it in overnight.

Re:No (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462048)

The did state an 8 year warranty on the battery, with no mileage limit.

Re:No (1)

harl (84412) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462106)

Don't forget that most electricity comes from fossil fuels so the car neither green nor sustainable nor renewable.

Not this one (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461496)

They've claimed all along (or close to it anyway) that the plan was to sell the rest of us a car on the third iteration.

The one I'm really interested in is the cheaper sports car, which could be the fourth or fifth model. More range, less performance, enough room for groceries but not for golf clubs.

Re:Not this one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38461976)

I think you might be better off converting a Miata to an electric drive. You can do that today. http://www.evmiata.com/

Re:Not this one (1)

sci-ku (2526824) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462018)

Sort of.
They've modified that plan slightly, and the 3rd iteration is already underway as more of a licensing type relationship with Mercedes for Smart and Toyota for Rav4.


The Roadster is due to return in I think 7 years. Don't know if it will be priced like an M3 or like an Eclipse, though.

How large is a normal 17-inch touchscreen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38461514)

[[cars also include a very large seventeen-inch touchscreen]]

Re:How large is a normal 17-inch touchscreen? (4, Funny)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461704)

How large is a normal 17-inch touchscreen?

About 17 inches.

The "very large seventeen-inch touchscreen" referenced in the summary is a metric touchscreen. Typical noob mistake.

Re:How large is a normal 17-inch touchscreen? (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462194)

There is also an option for an abnormal 17" screen. It's pear-shaped.

CNG is the Future (0)

GeneralTurgidson (2464452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461558)

Until they figure out solar, natural gas is the next big thing. Easy to retrofit, no batteries. Cheap (at least in the US).

Re:CNG is the Future (2)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461614)

Until they figure out solar, natural gas is the next big thing. Easy to retrofit, no batteries. Cheap (at least in the US).

Next big thing??? Its been a standard thing in many other places in the world for a long long time. Its probably only slow to take off in the US because (compared globally) the US has very cheap gas prices.

Re:CNG is the Future (3, Interesting)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461620)

Until they figure out solar, natural gas is the next big thing. Easy to retrofit, no batteries. Cheap (at least in the US).

Yeah, if you completely forget about supply and demand. How cheap do you think that natural gas is going to be once it's a common fuel for cars? Hint: look at the price and prevalence of diesel from 1980 to now.

Re:CNG is the Future (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461734)

Isn't the US a net exporter of natural gas right now? There's somehting to be said for a fuel source that doesn't require armies stationed in foreign deserts, even if it's a bit pricey.

Re:CNG is the Future (2)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461788)

Let's not forget the significant negative environmental impacts of drilling for gas.

It may burn clean, but it sure as hell doesn't extract clean. Take a trip to Dimock, PA for a good example.

Re:CNG is the Future (2)

neonKow (1239288) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461792)

Actually, you're probably the one forgetting about supply and demand. There's ridiculous supply available. You're only talking demand.

Re:CNG is the Future (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461906)

Actually, you're probably the one forgetting about supply and demand. There's ridiculous supply available. You're only talking demand.

Arg.. Okay, time for today's math lesson.
If you increase demand, you increase the price. If you increase the demand by 200 million cars (roughly the number of working vehicles in the country, assuming the average adult has 1 car), then you increased demand by a metric shit-ton. You really think the prices will stay the same?

Re:CNG is the Future (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462080)

As the owner of an electric Nissan LEAF, a hybrid Toyota Prius, and a CNG Honda Civic GX I can tell you the car I'm getting rid of right now. Hint: it's the one with the limited range, limited fueling infrastructure, fuel storage method expiration date of 15 years or less, no trunk space, and limited amenities.

If you guess the LEAF or Prius you'd be wrong. We've enjoyed our Civic GX, and it's proven to be a reliable car, but cost and convenience wise it can't hold a candle to the LEAF now that we've taken delivery and been driving the car for 6 months.

Plugging in the LEAF is significantly more convenient than driving to the nearest CNG station (6 miles away) and hoping their pump is operating. If it's not then it's a 12 mile drive to the next CNG station which usually has a queue of buses, garbage trucks, or taxis lined up meaning a 30 minute wait. The CNG cylinder has a legally mandated expiration date of 15 years and would cost more than the value of the rest of the car to replace when that time is up. Maintenance for the car is very costly, requiring special CNG fuel line filters changed every other service (about $800 when we go to the Civic GX friendly dealer in the desert, closer to $1500 at the regular Honda dealer in town) as well as cylinder inspections and certifications, and all that doesn't even get you out of having to do a smog check in California.

The LEAF by comparison plugs in anywhere from public quick-charge DC stations (20-30 minute charge) to home 240V and 120V connections. It also requires no regular maintenance beyond topping up windshield washer fluid and having the tires rotated. The energy cost is about half of what we pay at the CNG station, and a quarter of what we pay to fuel the Prius. The trunk is huge and the back seats fold down for even more room. The car is fast, quiet, and comfortable and makes the Prius feel quaint and old fashioned. The Civic GX feels like a horse drawn buggy by comparison - it's sluggish (the CNG version has about 30HP less than the petrol version of the Civic and it has a heavy CNG cylinder to lug around), has no trunk space, and has all the noise and shaking you get with ICE cars.

But hey, if you're interested in a nice clean Civic GX with a little over 100,000 miles then ignore all that, I've got a car to sell you!

Re:CNG is the Future (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462124)

There are supply issues (no infrastructure both on the source and dispense), there are range issues--similar to a Tesla style EV and more like a battery only Volt or Leaf on a retrofit), there are horse-power issues, cold weather starting issues, and there are no consumer safe fill the tank solutions. Further, any kind of compressed/liquified gas solution would require strict and frequent inspection to remain safe. CNG/LP was probably the best alternative back in the 1970's when we were hit with the so-called gas crisis but it isn't the only nor best (out of the box) alternative today.

Tesla (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38461596)

You actually have to ask?? Really??

When the electric toy soda can vehicles can tow the load of my diesel truck with a range of 350 miles, you give me a shout-out.

Re:Tesla (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461690)

I'll give you a call as soon as I have a day when I actually need the towing capacity of diesel truck on a daily basis.

(ever wonder if maybe you weren't the target market?)

Re:Tesla (1)

von_rick (944421) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461700)

Don't think you will be getting a shout out anytime soon.These cars are for daily commute, and some occasional long distance trips. People hauling heavy cargo over long distances isn't the target demographics.

Re:Tesla (2)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461770)

When the electric toy soda can vehicles can tow the load of my diesel truck with a range of 350 miles, you give me a shout-out.

That will come when hybrids mature - there's a reason most locomotives are hybrids these days (and rail frieght takes a tiny fraction of the energy-per-ton of road frieght).

rich person's toy (5, Interesting)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461662)

It accelerates faster than a Porsche 911 and has other luxury features. Ergo it's a rich person's toy. That said, given the performance, the prices seem competitive, even ignoring fuel costs. From a cursory glance at the Porsche website, a new 911 costs around $80k in the U.S. with an estimated range of ~300 miles. Had to use fuel economy estimates for previous years since 2011 is an entirely new platform and the corporate site doesn't publish fuel economy numbers. My issue with the all-electrics is battery replacement. Figure you're plunking down at least $10k at the end of that 8 year warranty to replace your battery.

Re:rich person's toy (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461850)

From a cursory glance at the Porsche website, a new 911 costs around $80k in the U.S./quote
Porche uses a nickle-and-dime-you to death pricing model, so equipped as you'd expect a luxury coupe, they're closer to 100K (for the base engine, of course, you can pay arbitratily much for more power).

Battery replacement is a real concern, but cars in this price range aren't cheap to maintain in the first place at that age. When my last luxury car hit 8-9 years old I was planning $3k/year for maintenance (including tires), and that's at the low end - a V12 Mercedes is a dependable $6K/year for the repairman.

Re:rich person's toy (3, Interesting)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461852)

Figure you're plunking down at least $10k at the end of that 8 year warranty to replace your battery.

Compare that, though, to all the maintenance you won't need to do on the car during that 8 years.

Re:rich person's toy (1)

webheaded (997188) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462264)

What, because it's electric it won't need ANY maintenance? What planet do you hail from where electric devices don't break down? You realize that a lot of the basic components of a car will probably still exist and require maintenance. Yeah, you won't need oil changes, but stuff is still going to break.

Re:rich person's toy (2)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462028)

The Roadster would compare with the 911... This guy you'd want to compare with their four door (Panamera or some other such silly name). In any case, it is surprisingly price competitive for the luxury sedan market.

I can't wait (-1, Flamebait)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461670)

I mean, really. I just cannot wait to be the first person on my block to go to work and spend part of each day working to pay for the help I'll be giving someone who can afford $50k-plus for one of these. Chicks will so dig the fact that I've helped to buy a bunch of these for vain faux-greenies with lots of money. I will be the man when I file my taxes! I wonder if my name will be stamped somewhere into part of that other guy's shiny new car?

Re:I can't wait (5, Insightful)

CaptainLard (1902452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461902)

I'd much rather my tax dollars went to electric vehicle manufacturers trying to get off the ground and make waves in the system than to companies that have been recording record profits the past few years in a row (looking at you Exxon...).

Re:I can't wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38461994)

What the hell is it with this asinine assumption that anybody who buys unconventional cars (hybrid, electric, CNG, etc.) is automatically a smug bastard? For that matter, why are so many people technophobic when it comes to cars? You'd think technological exploration and progress in a field that involves just about everybody in the world would be more warmly received than this.

Interesting after credit prices (1)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461680)

Seems like they jack up just so they end in nice looking retail figure after rebate. Of course we shouldn't be surprised.

the electric vehicle (3, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461698)

i was waiting for picked me up this morning, didnt need to find parking, and costs less than a cup of coffee. the only people still masturbating furiously over Tesla motors and electric cars in general are people who dont understand that the automobile as a means of personal conveyance is unsustainable no matter what you fuel you choose. If you dont believe me, try getting from long beach to downtown LA at 7:30 am.

Re:the electric vehicle (5, Insightful)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462094)

Maybe it's not the automobile, but Los Angeles that is unsustainable...

New technology. (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461726)

I don't understand why people are complaining that these cars are expensive. That's the nature of technological progress. Early cars were also luxury items but now most people in the developed world can afford one.

Technology can't be forced into being inexpensive. Progress takes time.

Tesla S is revolutionary (3, Insightful)

rcotran (653676) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461736)

As far as I'm concerned, the Tesla S is a revolutionary vehicle that will set the bar for future electric vehicles. And I agree with Elon Musk that all future cars will be electrically powered. Tesla is proving that electric vehicles can 1) be practical, 2) have extended range, 3) not be exorbitantly expensive, 4) be friggin' sexy!! This is only their second car and they are already hitting a home run. Imagine what the fourth and fifth generation of vehicles will be able to do... I'm surprised more /.ers aren't impressed with this car... it's a geek's dream!

Re:Tesla S is revolutionary (1)

Bardwick (696376) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461990)

I'm with you, I'm totally stoked. Let's just hope we don't crash our republic before subsidize it enough :)

Bait and switch pricing .. lol (3, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461786)

The prices are NOT $49,900, $59,000 and $69,000. That is the price after you redeem your government coupon (Plug-In Electric Vehicle Credit (IRC 30 and IRC 30D) [irs.gov] ). You will still have to front the full price and then wait until your next tax filing in order to claim your maximum tax credit of $7500. The credit itself will be phased out after 200,000 qualifying vehicles have been sold.

Re:Bait and switch pricing .. lol (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38461920)

That's not bait-and-switch, you moron. They say quite plainly [teslamotors.com] that these are post-rebate prices.

Screen looks tacky (1)

Kagato (116051) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461802)

I don't care for the oversized screen. It seems like a good idea, but I'd prefer a smaller screen above large hard buttons. In particular for common functions like climate control.

Great opportunity (-1, Offtopic)

allison12 (2537328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461810)

my friend's step-mother makes $85 an hour on the laptop. She has been fired from work for 8 months but last month her check was $8792 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site... LazyCash1.com

Chevy Volts setting taxpayers back $250K per vehic (1)

Karjach (1428377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461858)

Ok, so I bet the Chevy Volt is shit compared to Teslas, and Tesla is at least honest about what it currently costs to make their cars, and why, and is worth it (you know, If you're going to drive a car at all). And that cost? It comes in considerably below the Volt's total of $250K plus sales. http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/16192 [michiganca...ential.com]

and at the other end of the spectrum: Ural Model T (4, Interesting)

xeno (2667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461860)

I can't help but think that the folks over at Ural motorcycles/IMZ America have a better sense of the market right now. They've just introduced a new "Model T" at the low end of their range, bringing the basic Ural 2-wheel drive sidecar motorcycle to the US for under $10k. [imz-ural.com] Irbit Motorworks (IMZ) is Russian, the design is sourced from midcentury BMW, and the last decade+ of updates (e.g. new cylinders/heads with modern compression, better mpg/reliability, etc) have been pushed by enthusiasts in the US and EU. It intersect with the Tesla in the "sheer fun to drive" category, and my guess is that with an economy just holding on, there's gonna be a lot more of these on the road.

In another post I muttered about T-Mo staying on as the value carrier in the US: "T-Mo isn't making money hand over fist, but they're doing _ok_, and that's good. In these times, in this economy, I want to give my money to an org that's doing _ok_: neither going out of business, nor robbing me. You hear that, T-Mo? "Ok" and "staying in business without f__king your customers" is the new black. So keep on keeping on."

Same goes for Ural/IMZ versus Tesla. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Tesla business model is too "lean on the rich to get thru hard times" which all too often degenerates to "ran outta high-end customers, so try to screw the next class for as much as we need to stay afloat..." You wanna impress me Tesla? Go buy the tooling for the Corbin Merlin or Sparrow [3wheelers.com] and start turning out fun electric 1-seaters for $15k -- price-competitive with the Fiat 500, Smartcar, and Scion iQ.

Re:and at the other end of the spectrum: Ural Mode (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38461978)

If I were going to hop on a MC I'd buy a local used bike for less than half that. A lot of boomers will be getting off their bikes as they get older. Unfortunately, a lot of those are big fat hogs; but it might depress the market for bikes in general. If you like Harley cruisers and you're a young man, the next 2 decades will be paradise.

Anyway, I digress. I would have liked to see Aptera be something other than vapor. I'm glad I didn't put down my $500 deposit before I got layed off. Will they *ever* produce a car?

Re:and at the other end of the spectrum: Ural Mode (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462084)

Those things get like 30mpg

Subsidized (0)

SimplyGeek (1969734) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461882)

I'm so glad the government takes money out of my paycheck each week so they can hand it over to people buying electric cars. This way, with income redistribution, the Feds can make sure to punish those who live their lives differently, and reward those who live the lives the Feds approve of.

Re:Subsidized (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462030)

You think you're being different by not driving an electric vehicle? Where do you live?

Impressive specs (1)

dofidum (2537486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461944)

A very large seventeen-inch touchscreen beats a very small seventeen-inch touchscreen any day.

Why isn't tax credit included in the price? (1)

Bardwick (696376) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461950)

It's not like I have the option to pay it or not...

200 miles (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38461970)

In my state you can go 200 miles on some roads between gas stations. I wouldn't want a car with lower range than that.

Re:200 miles (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462190)

In my state you can go 200 miles on some roads between gas stations. I wouldn't want a car with lower range than that.

But just think how many new jobs there'll be for tow truck drivers collecting all the fancy electric cars that ran out of power in the middle of nowhere.

Well... (1)

mordejai (702496) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462046)

Is this the electric car you've been waiting for or another rich person's toy?

Considering my current car costs about 14K, and the most expensive cars I'd consider buying are all below 35K, I'd say the latter.

before deriding them too much... (1)

emagery (914122) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462096)

....keep in mind that ALL brand new techs had to start out as playthings of the rich to help fund the perfection of the tech and the technique such that reproduction could be affordable enough for all. And before YET ANOTHER PERSON starts signing about chestnuts over a volt/tesla fire, keep in mind that thousands of combustion engine vehicles are catching fire every year.

Re:before deriding them too much... (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462226)

....keep in mind that ALL brand new techs had to start out as playthings of the rich

Except electric cars are not 'playthings of the rich'; they've been around since the late 1800s, but we dumped them when the internal combustion engine came along for all the same reasons that they're a dumb idea today.

Re:before deriding them too much... (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462256)

Except electric cars are not 'playthings of the rich';

Duh, I meant 'brand new tech', teach me not to cut-and-paste-and-post without proofreading.

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