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Comment: Tesla Roadster stops along with Lotus Elise (Score 1) 523

by shway (#36544486) Attached to: Tesla Will Discontinue the Roadster

The Roadster is built on the same assembly lines as the Lotus Elise (and shares some components like airbags windshield, and some of the interior).

Lotus is no longer going to make the Elise, so that manufacturing partner is going away for the Roadster. It will cost to much money to try and move the glider manufacturing elsewhere in the short term. Tesla is focused on getting their own manufacturing up and running for the Model S, so they are stopping production of the Roadster. I am sure if Lotus were going to continue to manufacture the glider, Tesla would continue to sell them - but it is unfortunate timing while they try to get the Sedan out the door.

Tesla has talked about possibly creating a convertible version of the Model S in the future (sometime after the Model S and the Model X crossover) but they have not set a timetable on it. I assume no real Roadster-style replacement for many years, unless they partner with a different manufacturer to help produce it.

Comment: Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (Score 1) 369

by shway (#35702514) Attached to: Top Gear Fights Back At Tesla

Top Gear was spot on about the real world implications - refueling time is one area electrics need to improve to be viable replacements, as opposed to short trip around town, vehicles.

I disagree with this... partially. I agree with Top Gear that the Tesla Roadster does not make a great track car. Even though they greatly exaggerated the recharge time, the true recharge time still makes the Roadster a poor track car, and a poor long road trip car.

But I take some exception to the "real world implications" and the "short trip around town" is all that the Roadster is good for. I commute greater than 100 miles a day in my Roadster, and frequently get more than 200 miles at freeway speeds in it (longer if I am not on the freeway). It was plenty good for replacing my Mercedes as my commute car -- far beyond a "short trip around town" - but admittedly also not great for trips > 200 miles. It is a fantastic car for my purposes... and I think for many people. Just not for the track.

Comment: Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (Score 1) 369

by shway (#35702428) Attached to: Top Gear Fights Back At Tesla

My Tesla Roadster can fully recharge in 3.5 hours. I am not sure where the 16 hour Top Gear claim comes from. I don't understand why Top Gear had to exaggerate it. 3.5 hours is likely damning enough for a track car.

Also the "dramatization" of the car running out of power is not my experience with my Roadster. It doesn't suddenly stop and then require people to push it. Alarms go off and power is reduced a long time ahead of running out. It goes slower but does not stop. You can also then put it into "Range" mode which allows you to drain the battery beyond what is normally allowed to allow you to limp to an electrical outlet. Also not required to exaggerate the facts - the reality would have been bad enough to show I would think without the lame footage of the car being pushed.

So, Tesla has a sports car which does not make for a great track car. And Top Gear exaggerated the facts to make it look worse than it really was. I am not sure what Top Gear gained from their exaggerations. And I am not sure what Tesla will gain from their libel suit.

Comment: Solar (Score 2, Informative) 450

by shway (#34364374) Attached to: First Electric Cars Have Power Industry Worried

Many of the type of folks who would buy an electric car at this early stage are the same type of folks who will also add solar or wind power to their home so that they can generate their own "gas".

My solar panels cover my electrical usage pretty much 100% to charge my Tesla Roadster, along with the rest of my house. Power Utility optional (but nice to have as a back up). System more than pays for itself when charging an electric car and preventing brownouts from popping my computers and electrical equipment.

Many of the other Tesla owners I know have added solar to their houses, as did many of the EV1 owners and original RAV4EV owners. I expect a large percentage of Volt and Leaf owners will do this as well.

Comment: Re:Yes. (Score 1) 403

by shway (#33699526) Attached to: Should I Learn To Program iOS Or Android Devices?

you don't need to buy anything to write Android apps. If you expect to write iOS apps, you need a Mac and you need XCode.

This makes the assumption that the original poster already has a PC and does not already have a Mac. It also insinuates that XCode costs money (it ships for free on the OS X install disc). The original poster claims to daily support both OS X and Windows, so he likely has access to both Desktop platforms.

Therefore he should not need to buy anything to get started out coding for either Mobile platform.

Comment: Re:Plus they could be set to charge at night (Score 1) 438

by shway (#32898586) Attached to: Electric Cars Won't Strain the Power Grid

The Grandparent has it wrong (today) about Tesla.

The only current Tesla is the Roadster which has only one option: 245 miles. The forthcoming Tesla Model S is the one which will have options from 160-300 miles.

With my Tesla Roadster I never run out of juice. Since EVs always start off each day with a full tank, there is never a day where I get surprised that I plan to drive more then 200+ miles.

If I do plan to take a trip which is more than 200 miles, it is usually an overnight trip and we either plan to stay somewhere we can charge the car, or we take my wife's car (which is not electric).

Today's electric cars (read: the Tesla and maybe the mini) still pretty much have the requirement that you have a garage, and that your household has more than one car. It is more or less the same demographic which buys any high-end 2 seater car.

In the not-too-distant future there will be better options if you are a single-car household, and/or live in an apartment.

Comment: Google's Defense of Flash (Score 3, Interesting) 186

by shway (#32866756) Attached to: Zynga Investment May Herald Google Games

This probably sheds some new light into Google's sudden defense of Flash blog post from June 29

http://apiblog.youtube.com/2010/06/flash-and-html5-tag.html

Investing in a bunch of Flash games means they have to now start propping up the Flash platform instead of only touting the virtues of HTML5.

Comment: Re:Charging can't work, so what are the other opti (Score 2, Insightful) 354

by shway (#32705468) Attached to: High Depreciation May Slow Electric Car Acceptance

Because that means you can't hop in the car, drive to Colorado for the weekend for skiiing, stopping three times for fuel at a total of 15 minutes (30 if you stop to pee).

Right - but there is no way I would take my Tesla Roadster skiing (or on any road trip which requires a trunk large enough for luggage. Any more than I would take a Ferrari or a Lamborghini there. It doesn't mean I can't take a road trip - it just means for a trip greater than 200 miles, we take a different vehicle.

The point being that just because my Telsa Roadster is not the perfect car for all situations. (trips to the Home Depot for instance, or helping a friend move) does not mean that electric cars are not really really fantastic for most situations - far superior to gas powered transit. And the occasions where it is not the ideal transportation, it is trivial to work around.

The OP's complaint was that charging can't work as fast as refilling gas so we better stick with gas. But for the majority of the driving you do it is far better and more convenient to have an electric than a gas car. And for the times where it isn't (going to Hawaii, picking up a new washing machine, and yes... the Colorado ski trip) I go via a different vehicle. And I am not any more put out than when I could not drive my previous gas powered 2-seater to Hawaii. I didn't drive that one to Colorado either.

Comment: Re:Charging can't work, so what are the other opti (Score 3, Interesting) 354

by shway (#32702784) Attached to: High Depreciation May Slow Electric Car Acceptance

And the batteries would be conditioned, tested, and recharged with every use. Charge them overnight or other low periods at lower cost.

My Tesla Roadster already gets charged overnight. In my own garage. And takes zero time out of my day to do so. The Roadster itself recalibrates and rebalances the battery and in the morning, every morning I have a full "tank".

Why should I complain that I can't refill my car within 10 minutes like my gas powered car? Instead I do complain when I drive a gas car where I have to take 10 minutes out of my day to stop at a gas station, and likely end up getting gas on my hands. Not to mention sending my cash to terrorist sponsoring petro-dictators.

Never a problem with my electric car because it is always "full" when I leave in the morning. There is never a day where I leave my house in the morning and I do not know I plan to drive more than 200 miles that day. I am never "surprised" by running out of fuel, and never need a 5 minute recharge.

Comment: Re:Braking (Score 2, Interesting) 144

by shway (#29945016) Attached to: Appeal For Commuter GPS Logs To Aid Electric Cars

The friction brakes on my Tesla still squeak after 12,000 miles of driving.

I find the brakes on my Tesla Roadster also squeak - mostly due to non-use. The brake dust gathers on the rotor and doesn't get wiped away since I mostly use regen to slow the car. This causes the brakes to squeak when I do try and use them. When this happens, I can make the squeak go away by braking hard once to remove the brake dust. I find an empty residential street and bring the car up to 15 or 20 miles per hour, and then stomp hard on the brakes to come to a complete stop. No more squeak for another 1000 miles.

Comment: Re:That bad, eh? (Score 5, Interesting) 392

by shway (#29897369) Attached to: Tesla Roadster Breaks Distance Record For Electric Car
I have just passed the 15,000 mile mark in my 5 month old Tesla Roadster. My commute in it is almost 100 miles a day. People who claim that the Roadster is not a viable car due to range concerns have never tried to use one. I drive more than anyone else I know, and will likely put 35,000 miles on it this year. The Roadster is a blast to drive, and is definitely up to the task. The convenience of always having a full tank when I get in it in the morning is far better than doing the same commute in my previous car where each day I had to check to see if I had to stop by a gas station. It is true that I cannot easily take it for cross country roadtrips - but any 2 seater roadster doesn't lend itself for long family vacations. I have a second car for that. Just like I plan to take an alternate vehicle to Hawaii, I am content to take another vehicle on the occasional long trip. "Oh noes! Why would anyone buy that Toyota - you can't drive it across the Pacific!"

Comment: Re:465 Million $ loan?? (Score 5, Informative) 248

by shway (#28996225) Attached to: Tesla Motors Turns a Profit For the First Time
The government loan was not for their Roadster business (of which they just posted a profit) it was to create the upcoming Model S sedan. They will pay back the loan by selling the Model S, which they plan to start in 2011 after they build use their government loans to build a manufacturing facility.

Premature optimization is the root of all evil. -- D.E. Knuth

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