I’ve been driving this car since my arrival in San Francisco and can confidently say that electric vehicles are the future. This new Tesla electric car or ‘roadster’ is not getting as much love and appreciation as it should. I’m heckled with comments from other motorists as I cruise in the open-air cabin through the city. I couldn’t care less as I stealthy zoom-along with the smooth instant torque and subtly soothing whirr of the roadsters electric motor. I can’t help but wonder why the negative feedback. if anything, this city should be the most welcoming of this green-technology. I’ve been told repeatedly that I’m driving a $100,000 golf kart, a gimmicky car, a car from a company that is doomed to fail, and so-on.
Want to know how I’ve change their minds? I offer a seat next to me and tell them to hang on as I launch the Tesla from standstill. Watching their faces in a mix of both confusion and excitement never gets old. The roadster is one of those products that you really shouldn’t knock until you drive it. Yes the $120,000 sticker price might be high, but I also didn’t pay for it. It was given for me to drive around as my mode of transportation when not testing UberCab, a hopeful new service that offers an on-demand car service via an iPhone app or SMS.
Sean Parker, the original and titled owner, spent $30K for a new battery pack after letting the batteries run empty. You’ve read correctly. If you let this car run completely out of its electric juice, there is no recharging for the cells as they will become damaged. I believe OTA (Over-the-Air) updates have upgraded the roadsters software in effort to mitigate this. Nevertheless, what I call ‘range anxiety’ is a real thing if you forget to charge the car overnight after cruising the previous day. Sure the range is not great, but for this small city with its cramped parking spaces, it is the perfect car.
Like anything new and disruptive, I am sure in the soon-future, these nuisances will be advanced to where improved batteries allow a longer range with less degradation. Lately, there seems not a week to go by without being pulled-over by San Francisco’s Police Department inquiring about the Tesla Roadster. It is all in good nature I assure, and the officers seem to enjoy a firsthand look at this futuristic mode of transport.
I truly believe in this company and its car. I admire how one of Tesla’s co-founders, Elon Musk, is into one of my long-time and childhood hobbies, rocketry. I am excited to learn more about this futuristic company and the path they will ultimately take in a difficult and political petrol-dominated industry. I think I just might take a chance and invest, and at around $20 a share, why not?
I see this as being the future mode of transport, especially if eventually these cars are able to drive themselves. Auto manufactures could have their own ‘Tesla’ electric chassis (built and offered by Tesla Motors) and simply put their own carriages on-top as a platform package. I have a good feeling about this and look forward to what the future brings.