A lot of people are absolutely gaga over the Tesla S for a variety of reasons, almost all of which are stupid. There’s frankly nothing too remarkable about it and it’s time for it to get taken down a peg. Yes, you can tell the guy who does “The Oatmeal” I said that. He might laugh or make an angry comic, but as the philosopher Jackson observed, “I don’t give a damn if he does!”
Should be Model O – meaning OLD!
First of all, the Tesla S is nothing new and neither are electric cars. The basic mechanical premise is to load a vehicle up with batteries which drive an electric motor. The electric motor predates the Internal Combustion Engine and likewise, the first electric car was created before the first combustion driven car, as Thomas Parker of Britain created an electric car the year before Karl Benz created the Benz Patent Motorwagen. (Read about it here.) They were popular, too; fully 28 percent of all cars in 1900 were electric, according to CNET. (Some still run.) Many were luxury vehicles and many were faster than gasoline cars; it took decades for ICE cars to set land-speed records over electrics.
“But the Supercharger network, the Supercharger network” – all your base are belong to Jay Leno. Charging stations were around before World War I.
The new generation use different batteries and more powerful electric motors. That’s about it. The benefits over combustion (no maintenance, cleaner) and drawbacks (range) are unchanged.
Oh, and that goes for more alternative vehicles than just the electric car. You don’t think Toyota invented the hybrid, do you?
Die Yuppie Scum
Another reason why the geek set needs to chill on this Tesla business is because it’s a yuppie car. The base model goes for Corvette money depending on options and rebates; the range tops out in 911 territory. Only rich people can afford it.
Anyone who knows anything about cars knows the most important vehicles are not yuppie-mobiles; the most important cars change the game for the masses. The biggest game-changer was the Ford Model T — and that’s what killed the electric car the first time around. It was affordable for a lot of people and fuel was cheap, giving motorized transport to the masses.
Tesla’s Model S, with it’s stratospheric price tag is not a game-changer. It is, to be sure, a great piece of engineering. They are gorgeous, in pictures and in real life.
But get real folks – it’s nothing new, and it’s a rich person-mobile. Who cares?