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March 17, 2011

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Mukul Bakshi

A catalyst for electric cars for the masses? Hardly? Even though Musk touted the sequel to "Who Killed the Electric Car." I wouldn't launch accalaids so fast. Frankly Tesla's strategy to get to the masses is annoyingly slow, especially when you know there are now waiting lists of consumers wanting to buy 'all' electric cars but the makers are not producing enough quantities to meet their needs.

Just last year when NUMMI shut down their manufacturing facility and laid-off workers in Fremont, Tesla had an opportunity to step up their production capacity. Did they jump on it? Hardly? They feebly bought into 20% of the capacity of that plant leaving the rest of the plant and the laid off workers to languish. Why? Because it didn't fit their production schedule which still works for building boutique' $140,000+ electric roadsters! Enough! Produce for the mass market now and use the stimulus dollars for which it was given -- not just boutique high-end electric cars!!

Ph L

I don't see how Tesla is making electric cars for the masses. Instead, Musk makes high end electric cars for the wealthy - and particularly for wealthy men, since as a woman, it's difficult to get in and out of the roadster, let alone manually steer it to the left or the right.

In my opinion, it would be difficult to compete with BMW. I think many Tesla employees are leaving the company after their stocks vest; and thus, it will be difficult for Tesla to fix bugs and handle recalls (with talent loss). In addition, I think many of their parts came from vendors in Taiwan and they're cheap. To top it off, I believe Musk micromanages the company like a dictator, instilling too much fear thus limiting creativity and mindsets of growth.

If Tesla cares about making cars for the masses, it would make electric cars that the masses can afford. I don't think its employees can buy the Sedan S solely with their annual salaries, even though it's more cost effective than the roadster. Why not produce a lower end electric car that the mass can afford first? It may save the company.

NY October

The company that will win the race will be the one with the best product that the consumers love. In this instance, only time will tell.

Can't wait until the Sedan-S comes out. It will be a better alternative to the roadster. The roadster is like an arrogant, handsome man. He's pretty, intelligent, desirable but insecure. You think you want him. You think he's the one. Yet, he never cares to begin with. He doesn't give. He's hard to obtain.

The Sedan-S, on the other hand, looks like he's a bit more practicable. He's less arrogant, less pretty but more confident. Yet, he's still intelligent. He gives. And He cares. You think he's not the one at the beginning but he grew on you. You find comfort and security from him. But you may not have appreciated him as much as the roadster until he's gone. You may not realize that you're in love with him until it's too late. Thus, appreciate him - now.

Between the roadster and the Sedan-S, I would prefer the Sedan-S.

Larry

Your article rocks!

Kelvin

As we move into the age of cars with no carbon emissions, I for one will miss the sounds and (yes!) the SWEET smell, of exhaust of a gas burning engine - I sometimes do not miss an opportunity to draft behind a 60s Mustang/Camaro/or other muscle car to get a whiff of that distinct nostalgic smell that only cars of that period emit...
It will be interesting to see if Tesla's business model of first introducing a $100k-ish high-end model, followed by a $50k-ish midrange model will succeed. Common wisdom tells me that one must at least also offer a entry-level model having a price point in the $9-15k-ish range.
I value 1) affordability, 2) looks, and 3) reliablity - if you can nail all three - I'm SOLD.

Michelle

Another interesting article! Can't wait until the Ultimate Green Machine comes out! I would love its warranty program and at the same time it would allow me to help the environment!

Karlbar

From a numbers standpoint, hybrids don't necessarily make sense. That is, the money saved on fuel doesn't offset the price difference for the hybrid engine unless fuel prices start to cross $4.00/gal and remain at those levels over 5 years. (I'm using reasonably conservative assumptions on miles driven, fuel economy gains and financing options.)
Aside from price, practicality is the other driving (no pun intended) force behind the slow adoption of hybrids by the masses. That is, people are used to/want/need space in their vehicles, whether it's to haul their family or their stuff, and most hybrid vehicles can't accommodate that.
Lastly, and I'm still doing my homework on this, so I don't have too much info, there has been some prototype development on nuclear powered vehicles. As I understand it, however, the challenge in bringing them to market is the infrastructure to support the vehicles (i.e., nuclear gas stations). The first company to solve that one will have a competitive edge like no other.

electric bob

Electric car technologies are ready and waiting for investors

Check company like 3xE in Europe (http://3xe-electric-cars.com). With few $ investors could make them global players and win leading position.

Simon Schempp

Exactly - car buyers will want cars like this because the word "cool" is written all over it. It's more than just zero carbon emission and cutting down on greenhouse gases. Electric and hybrid cars are quite futuristic in their own right. Just plug it in, wait for a few minutes or hours, and off to the road you go. Let's all hope that this is a continuous effort to produce electric types and hybrids that have all the stuff drivers wanted, and affordable, at the same time.

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    The Green Frog is a blog about making a positive impact on the environment and the economy. Join its global community and read the latest leaps in cleantech innovation, social entrepreneurship, and venture capital.