Break For Rich Men’s Electric Car

By now, you might have heard the New York Times’ infamous: “Only The Rich Can Afford.  Should Taxpayers Back It?” that trie to make a case why smaller American startups should not get help from the government.

The gist, no point i arguing why Tesla, Fisker, AC Propulsion, etc, would benefit from a government break, since consumers would , in the end.  All have platforms that deliver plenty of performance and savings.  We wrote a recap here.

What was interesting this this article from the New York Times were sentence like: “The seductive appearance, however, obscures some inconvenient truths: its all-electric technology remains woefully immature and don’t-even-ask expensive.” in the beginning of the article made us realize we were in for one of these sort of article…  The author talks about the Tesla.

Woefully Immature Technology? We know a thing or two about writing and grabbing attention with well crafted sentences, but woefully immature technology?  Tesla has shown the opposite, woefully mature technology that has surprised more than one.

“If investors pass up the opportunity, however, why should taxpayers fork over the capital that Tesla needs?”  Well, the latest rounds of financing have brought $40 million new cash that will go towards a 5 seater all electric car at around $60,000.  After all, no new technology ever started cheap from the bat.

So is the Roadster not much more than a functioning concept car that sells for $109,000, as the NYT asks?  Maybe the author has his terminology confused but that “functioning concept” is being manufactured and sold.

The culprit? Battery development and costs.  In other words it doesn’t follow Moore’s law that applies well with resistors, not for batteries.  Indeed, we hope no one is fooled by this but according to the pace of battery innovations, we can witness a segment of the industry that is moving well.  And just to recap, the MINI E uses AC Propulsion who leased the technology to Tesla.  Therefore, both cars rely on the same technology and the point there again, is moot.

So The NYT Solution? Plug-in hybrid…  PHEV!  “Tesla would have needed a much smaller battery pack had it forsaken the all-electric design and instead offered a plug-in hybrid, a more affordable design that many auto manufacturers are readying for production, like that for the Chevrolet Volt.”  So in other words, don’t innovate.  And the author brings the worn out point again of pollution from coal factories, that have been dismissed.

Pushing PHEV when most in the industry agree it is a stepping stone for pure EVs is strange, but begs to question why the author goes through the trouble of taking the car out on the highways, only to trash on paper?  Clearly, the author is missing important points. The entire article is sub-par for such a publication, with words like: “Very, Very High-Net-Worth Individuals Who Invested in Tesla Motors Act?” are over the top.  It shows the reason why so many quality blogs cover the news today.  At Electricnick, we strive to be as impartial as possible while letting the reader decide for themselves if a technology or story makes sense to them.  After all, it is about education, not personal points of views.