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Discussion in 'News' started by doug, Nov 12, 2009.
Nov 11 to 15
Seattle Auto Show 2010 - home
Looks like Dave's car is on display.
I stopped by yesterday. The Tesla booth seemed to be one of the most crowded parts of the show. Jon (local sales manager) looked pretty busy. Dave's car looked cleaner than I've ever seen it.
The new Camaros probably had more people, although less crowded because they had more cars and more space. And the Fisker Karma was drawing a lot of attention too. But walking through the crowd, I heard a lot of people talking about electric cars, and some were mentioning Tesla specifically.
There were some other electric booths for local companies...the Green Car Company (bikes, trikes, NEVs, PHEV conversions, diesels, etc), Pacific EV (BEV and PHEV conversions), and MC Electric (bikes, NEVs). They weren't as crowded, but all had a reasonable number of people checking them out.
I find that encouraging...if we can just convert interest into purchases...
I show up to one event without my car being clean, and now I'm never going to live it down. :biggrin:
Here's evidence of Dave's commitment to showing a shiny car: our car washing party before the San Juan Island Concours D'Elegance.
I went to the show yesterday and the Tesla area was again pretty busy. I talked to a few folks about the car. One guy struggled to squeeze into the driver's seat of the Thunder Gray. He looked pretty cramped but was trying to like it. I showed him how to slide the seat back and he looked a lot more comfortable. His wife (I'm assuming) glared at me as a smile settled onto her husband's face.
I wandered around to all of the automakers who've made any noise about producing electric cars (serial hybrid or better) and expressed my interest. The response from Ford and GM was pretty underwhelming. The two people I talked to from Mini were excited to talk about the Mini-E but not very encouraging as to when they'd be for sale to the public.
As soon as I said "Leaf" to the Nissan salesman, he gave me his card with a photo and description of the Leaf. That was fun, good to see a sales guy excited about their upcoming EV. He at least thinks it's real enough that he's going to be able to make money selling them.
The Green Car Company was showing a small 2-passenger, 3-wheel EV which the salesman claimed had a range of up to 100 miles and a top speed of 100 mph. He said it was treated as a motorcycle for licensing, so it could go in the car pool lanes with just the driver, but doesn't require a motorcycle drivers license. It claimed a lithium ion battery pack, but got fuzzy on the details after that. He said it costs 25 cents to fill up, which would imply a battery capacity of 2.5 kilowatts. As I recall, the cost was somewhere in the 20s.
I was excited to see the Fisker Karma, but it was a letdown. They had it all roped off like it was the Hope diamond, the interior didn't really appeal to me, but maybe it would show better if they were letting people sit in it. The salesman was very dismissive: they are a luxury sedan that happens to be a hybrid, they aren't competing against hybrids or EVs, it will be years before they give demo rides to anyone who doesn't already have a deposit down. I don't know whether he just wasn't interested in building excitement about the car, or maybe he just didn't think I looked like someone who might be a customer. Maybe he didn't like my Seattle Electric Vehicle Association name badge.
Seattle Auto Show - a set on Flickr
??? It is like they have the 1.0 kW spec, but 2.0 HP spec... ???
Twelve (12) moving parts in the entire drive train. I was loking for that. I believe it was 17 with the old two speed transmission.
That car is the Triac from Green Vehicles. It was supposed to be available in 2008, but kept getting delayed for quality issues. Their site still says (as it has for months) that the first production vehicles are pre-ordered and customers will be able to see estimated ship dates in the future.
Build quality does not look inspiring, and I couldn't fully close the door on the model at the show. But it might be pre-production. If you want a cheap EV (Greenvehicles.com has raised their price to $25k; I'm not sure what Green Car Co charges), it sounds pretty capable.
2009 Seattle International Car Show - a set on Flickr
On the Roadster, the ability to do a full charge in 3.5 hours is not included in the base price.
On the Model S, I thought Tesla had backed off of the 17" screen, the rear-facing passengers, and the 5-minute swappable battery packs. Are those firm commitments now?
Your definition of ability might be different than mine, but I would say the ability to do 3.5h recharges is in the base price, just not the equipment to do so at your own home. If you bought a HPC now to "futureproof" your house, and then 2 years later bought a Roadster you would be able to recharge in 3.5hours right away without paying anything extra wouldn't you ?
The contract I've signed for the Model S says nothing about what is included in the base price, actually it doesn't say a word about the base price at all.
But looking at the car if they build in 5 minute battery swaps as a capability it makes sense to do that on all cars. That also cuts drastically down on their assembly time for the car when new. So in my eyes if they technically can create a good solution for that they will include that on all cars. The same with the 17'' screen, they've spent so much time designing the user interface around that screen as well as the 10-14'' instrument cluster screen. In essence creating another car can't make much economic sense when they DO have the screen solution. A simple 17'' touch screen is actually dirt cheap so after they've made the software it makes sense to give every car that upmarket feature.
The rearfacing seats, huge wheels, sunroof etc on the other hand sounds like extras they'll charge for.
That's the way I've always read it at least.
With our years of Tesla experience by now, I think we all know that nothing is guaranteed. :biggrin:
It might have many of those cool features. But if it doesn't, that is just the cost of progress. Tesla is not committing to anything. Even the specs on miles per charge are a moving target.