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Tesla sedan drives into Menlo Park

Original post made on Oct 8, 2011

Sometimes considered a figment of the imagination, the new Tesla Model S sedan proved to be real, according to the journalists who got to take [Web Link ==B a test ride.==].

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 7, 2011, 9:35 AM

Comments (15)

Posted by R.Gordon, a resident of another community
on Oct 8, 2011 at 8:53 am

This is the kind of project which appears to have honest and meaningul connotations in helping the environment, but was not in line with the thinking of Steve Jobs 2005 address at Stanford.

This is a conceit.

Who needs to go 0-60 on broken roads in this economy for $109,000 for a two door electric car?

The four door will be only $59,000 (make that $60 with car lighter) and does not fit in the immediate scheme of things as one of the things the world needs today.

The poor and homeless are not going to take kindly to the rich who flaunt themselves driving these vehicles.

I hope you get what you deserve,TESLA, as you have for the past years of failure to promote this dinosaur---not THING of the future.


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Oct 8, 2011 at 4:29 pm

An R. Gordon rant against the Tesla is like having the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.


Posted by Tech Lover, a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm

R. Gordon,

I don't see it that way, especially for the Model S. What I see is:

1) More skilled jobs in the Silicon Valley - far less than NUMMI employed, but highly productive R&D and manufacturing jobs.

2) A car compatible with a zero-carbon footprint. Just add PV or other renewable electricity.

3) A technology that's time has come - Like all manufacturing, we're at the high end of the cost curve today, but if the early adopters come, it can be turned into a better product that is price competitive product with the gasoline-slogging, CO2 belching monsters today.

4) Safety - maybe if you looked closer you would see a car that is also safer from a crash perspective than the current tin boxes.

5) A smarter use of energy - how many gasoline cars do you know of that have regenerative braking ?

6) All-in-all, a smarter alternative for the conspicuous consumer that is already pre-destined to buy a comparable gasoline fueled vehicle. If you want to rant at somebody R. Gordon, go rant at the folks who buy the other cars...


Posted by Enough, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 8, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I saw the Tesla Model S today ... and LOVED it.
My hope is that Tesla succeeds beyond their wildest dreams. I'm not at all bitter towards the people who already own the Roadster, nor am I bitter towards those plunking down a deposit for the Model S. To the contrary, I'm grateful to those early adopters, as their purchases are funding the development that will bring Tesla closer to making a car I will be able to afford. You can already see the progress from the Roadster to the Model S by comparing two simple things - the price and the interiors. The Model S is cheaper and has a nicer interior. As I drive around in my gas-guzzling, environment-polluting V-8 I'm happy to share the road with Teslas. I will own a Tesla someday.

It's not very often that I agree with Hank Lawrence. But today, Mr. Lawrence, you had the best comment ever.


Posted by R.Gordon, a resident of another community
on Oct 9, 2011 at 9:33 am

The ONLY reason you are going to see that very attractive TESLA (it should be for the average worker who has to pay $60,000 without extras or taxes)for an auto which is going to have to beat the prices of a dozen electric cars coming out in mass production way before that.

The primary reason for having this show, is to impress the people that they finally got one that wasn't just an empty shell prototype.
They are not ready for mass production [portion removed].

None of the "grand people" in other parts of the country are of a special "group" which can only be explained by living in San Mateo County.....

[portion removed.]

People seem to forget the $500,000.00 "loan" he got from the govt. and which caused a LOT of controversy especially since the company originally began in 2003 when things were going "just swell" for all the millionaires in Silicon Valley and investors on Wall St.

Since then, if you follow the history of the development of the TESLA, which IS a wonderful idea which has since probably hundreds of companies offering competition and, except for the HOT two seater racer which is owned by a few now broke celebrities, the attractive four seater does not have a chance of making the money to pay back the loan......read about it before the insults come.

As for those who want to support the {owners) and possibly even help them, why not be the firsts to fill in an order form to acknowledge both your backing and belief in this vehicle which desperately needs sales just to pay back the interest?

More insults here........OR........look up the history of this beauty with good intentions and then check the roads and bridges on which it will drive.


Posted by Tech Lover, a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm

R. Gordon,

Can't figure out whether you are a curmudgeon or have an axe to grind, but I don't really care since you so clearly have some negative pathology.

I understand you questioning the long term viability of Tesla and the wisdom of the government loan, but choose to view both positively because:

1) This is Silicon Valley - we're all about making smart, long-term bets on better technology for the world. And Elon has chosen to put his money where his mouth is on his future bets, exactly the way entrepreneurs have been doing for years here.

2) I don't believe that a gasoline-fueled vehicle is the right solution, especially with China and India rapidly embracing the automobile. So there is huge, long-term opportunity for a better solution.

3) I believe in a deliberate US industrial policy, especially steering towards tech/manufacturing. Even if you don't like the US government making bets on industries via subsidies, loans and tax breaks, they already do, big time in every area, thanks to the desires of the american people (I'm not going to blame the lobbyists, since actual people back these corporate charities) - Mortgage financing/construction, Oil exploration, drug development, agriculture. And even if we're not deliberate about backing the industries we most want to cultivate in the future, China certainly is, so we better watch our tails. I, for one, cheer government loans going to alternate energy projects, even if some occasionally turn out to be "dry holes".

4) We did put our deposit down on an S, thank you, as did 6,000 other people from around North America. And we're likely to be patient as the Fremont factory comes online.

5) As for your perspective on our "broken" roads - While road quality could be much better here and traffic is certainly ugly (let's separate congestion from road quality since the yard very different things), I find highway 280, 85 and even 101 on the peninsula to be wonderful compared to some of the truly broken roads like the Schuylkill Expressway in PA, some of the sections of Dan Ryan and Kennedy expressways in Chicago, or even I35E and connected roads in Dallas.

So chill out - not everyone is having the same depressing daydreams that you are.


Posted by R;.Gordon, a resident of another community
on Oct 10, 2011 at 8:24 am

Tech Lover........

I don't recall this County or environs having earned an entitlement of the ROYAL "WE" kind of reference you gush about this entire area because of Stanford and the home for a particularly rich segment of the population of the WORLD...you actually think I am attacking TESLA for kicks?
No..but for its stupidity.Unfortunately, it was a pampered company from the onset and though a practical idea, not an original one but one that got favoritism and a hint of "snobbism" immediately attached to it when the first models were being exploited for their power and speed and NOT the fact they were meant for people who could not afford the high prices of gas when the wars escalated in the MID EAST and yet the goal of bringing the TESLA continued with not an iota of interest in the overall public as Wall St. and Banks took a dishonest turn.
EVERY single point you make about your defense of the car, the roads and the people interested can be dismissed as totally blind to reality and disproven with little effort.
I REPEAT. Silicon Valley does not stand for a place for entrepreneurs, but for WEALTH from the computer industry and the minds of Gates, Jobs and some rather humble people who began their careers in garages and worked because they had an idea they would not shake. It is likely you did not read the NYTimes article comparing Edison with Jobs and how others did not appreciate them until AFTER their deaths.
Henry Ford joked that Edison was only a "mini millionaire" at the time of his death, but at 84 Edison was still working to improve the world and not fatten his pocket book.
If TESLA were commanded by me to impress, I would ask him to work as hard as he has to make the TESLA an electric car of the "PEOPLE", NOT of those from Silicon Valley.
If Germany could manage to turn out the most successful car since Ford, then the VOLKSWAGEN deserves to be mentioned.I do hope each and every person Google THAT auto and how it originated to show where the human heart lies outside of Silicon Valley and your overstuffed kind of pride about being the "creative mecca of the world".....the rich use the rich in this area and now they are suffering as a result.I am rich and I know investments and have been downplaying the TESLA for being a "one trick pony" meant for a select few.....including you, so it appears.
If ALMANAC publisher edits and chops this, I still think any reader should look up Ferdinand Porsche and his political history and his designs which influenced the world. Not just one COUNTY who holds itself above ordinary people like Steve Jobs....Jobs also was a genius at marketing......Something Elon and his supporters have been abyssmal at promoting the very lovely and "exclusive" TESLA.
It is not just me who you feel has a "negative pathology" against the success of this gilded lily of a car. It is a luxury during the worst times America has EVER faced including the late GREAT DEPRESSION.
The editor of this Online paper must regret the day he made this site a place where it has to follow Constitutional guidelines, unless one examines some of the original parts of those he does not necessarily pay homage as it appears he does with you. It sometimes takes me several attempts to get an opinion posted, and then, words which are written by an employee, are somehow misspelled and the order changed. Now THAT does sound like paranoia.I film everything. Again, the verification code entered by secretary was rejected.ON FILM.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 10, 2011 at 10:32 am

Mr. Gordon makes me think there might really be a twilight zone....


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Oct 10, 2011 at 11:20 am

I went to the Tesla dealership yesterday and was quite impressed. First this car bears a slight resemblence to the Aston Martin Rapide. Of course it is not as luxurious but considering the Rapide costs about 4 times more than the Tesla S and the Rapide gets 12 mpg city and 19 mpg highway this makes the Tesla S a good buy with the added advantage of being more friendlier to the environment.

The Tesla S has a paint job that is the envy of Bentley. The paint job is truly luxurious. There is plenty of room in the front as well as the back. I sat in the back seat and had plenty of head room. I did have some difficulty in exiting the rear seat. But I am a large man.

This car as two trunks. The trunk under the hood is locked and prevents visibility in what is stored. This is good for shopping and will deter break ins.

One concern I had was the cost of labor for the replacement of the battery pack since the battery pack is in the floor of the vehicle. The Tesla rep said it take about 15 minutes to do the replacement. Works for me.

Another concern was whether the used Li ion battery backs would be recycled. The Tesla rep said that all battery packs are recycled. This is good. But even if they were not recycled, Lithium is #3 on the periodic chart with only hydrogen and helium being heavier. So this is not a heavy metal and is much lighter in mass than traditional Pb acid batteries.

I do have one suggestion. People should be able to purchase an upgraded interior as an option. I saw that the basic interior had room for improvement for those desiring true luxury. But the interior is far from being spartan.

As more people purchase electric cars PG&E needs to increase its energy capacity. PG&E recently introduced smart meters. The purpose of smart meters was not to do remote reading of energy usage but rather to introduce zone pricing to smooth out electrity demand during working hours. While this is well and good PG&E has done nothing to address increases in electricity demand. PG&E touts that it is a supporter of a green environment but until it increases its energy capacity it is hindering the rollout of electric vehicles.


Posted by bob, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 10, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Hank I am glad you are impressed with the Model S, however making one car is easy having them roll off the assembly line is another matter. It will be tough for Tesla to pull off on time volume deliveries. Major manufacturers have a tough bringing in new models on time and on budget, lets see if Tesla can do it.


Posted by Tech Lover, a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Mr. Gordon,

I'm not sure you understand or appreciate the cost/learning curves associated with R&D plus manufacturing ramp-up for any new tech product, that would explain why Tesla targeted high-end products first. You'll find Mr. Jobs operated successfully in similar way with innovation, during his post Apple-II times at Apple (anybody remember the price tag on a Lisa vs. IBM PC, vs. subsequent Macintosh).

I can't speak for Tesla, but they have revealed that there is another, lower-priced product coming, the X-series, that makes use of the learning curve from the Roadster and the S-series. To me, this sounds like a very reasonable plan for bringing a new technology to market.


Posted by Henry Riggs, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 11, 2011 at 6:13 pm

This is exactly how it should happen. The first of a new generation - the Tesla Roadster - has no competition after several years; it has also provided beta testing for the sedan, thank-you to those who bought expensive new technology. The S will be the next step, still expensive but less so, further developed, another step. The quality of engineering and aesthetic design set Tesla apart - the best example of a product pioneer. I for one am glad my country chose to back this development and root for success.

Our roads need repair (as does the county government that is responsible) and we need to get people back to work, but those are different subjects. Mr Musk and crew are taking care of their cahllenge, thank-you. May they sell many right here out of Menlo Park.


Posted by Concerned Driver, a resident of another community
on Oct 12, 2011 at 3:45 pm

This picture Web Link accompanying another Almanac article about the Tesla S is distrubing.

It depicts how a driver can circumvent all existing laws regarding cellphone usage, texting, and distracted driving.

Additional photos showing how a driver can use a full-size browser to read the New York Times while driving can be seen here Web Link (scroll down to the Photo Gallery of the Autoblog article).

Given the car has Internet connectivity, a driver could also stream Hulu movies to watch while driving to work which is a violation of many laws such as California Vehicle Code 27602 which can be read here Web Link

The Tesla S is NOT a robot-driven autonomously-operated vehicle using GPS such as those in the last DARPA competition or the Google self-driving car -- it requires the FULL attention of the driver while on the roads.

Unless something is changed before the 2012 debut, the Tesla S will likely be the most dangerous vehicle (for other drivers) on the roads given all the opportunities for distracted driving.


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Oct 13, 2011 at 7:00 am

Dear Concerned Driver,

The internet feature is most likely enabled only while the car is stationary. I drive an Infiniti M with a Navigation system and blue tooth. When the vehicle is moving these features are disabled. I can not punch in addresses or use the telephone dial keypad. The screen grays out. The Tesla S is a prototype. It is not a production model.

I don't think Tesla would introduce risk into the driving equation. When the production models are unveiled I believe your concerns will be addressed.


Posted by R.Gordon, a resident of another community
on Oct 13, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Well, I managed to get off with only the TWILIGHT ZONE as a residence
I saw the well designed and gimmicky gadget filled car which is the companion to the TESLA sports, but made for families. It does not expect to be in production for at least a year at which time I doubt if it can produce many a day.
FIRST of all.....has anyone even considered that NO crash tests even at 30 MPH or less have been done for this vehicle OR the sports model? BTW, Croatia has designed an infinitely more updated electric sportscar which is capable of going 372 miles on a charge where a TESLA can manage 245...The Croatian model,(RIMAC,named for CEO) also does 190 MPH vs TESLA's 125 MPH for those speed freaks.The RIMAC also
hits 62 in 2.8 seconds. We ALL need that...especially those checking the screen on the dash.AND some will call it way more sleek..HOT!
The RIMAC can keep a house powered by its electricity for 3 days in emergency (power outage,say in an earthquake)while the TESLA for 2).
As much as I doubt the ability to employ the number of people some of you wet yourselves over, NOBODY has considered how much money it will cost to repair these infinitely more complicated vehicles in a slow crash test which sometimes buckles the fronts of even Escalades.
Insurance on these cars will likely be very high and even for the cheaper family sedan,it could drive the price up to near $70,000.
The Nissan Leaf has already delivered its modestly priced car in S.F and the Mitsubishi is taking order for delivery almost immediately in Japan. So while the BMW high end will cost $102,000 against the NISSAN Leaf at $32,000, they have passed crash tests and there are about a dozen ready to begin selling before the TESLA is set to go.
If anyone cares to check the pricing on electric vehicles, go to EDMUNDS.COM and get a clue we are not destined to be the Detroit of tomorrow.
FINALLY, conversion kits for your Porsches and favorite designed cars that you love, are going to be available soon for a cost between $10,000-25,000. Lithium ion electric research is not new. It has been going on for almost 100 years.
Rod Serling says "Hi".


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