I like electrics
I've had the pleasure of having a good poke around a Tesla at the past two Goodwood Festivals of Speed and here's my tupp'ny worth.
The car's a Lotus Elise, very light, very strong and plenty of room for a battery pack. It's also comparable in weight to a small hatchback, about 400kg more than an Elise, but still pretty light.
It has one moving part so it will be significantly more robust than any IC car (I own a 112k mile Audi TDI who's engine is still as good as new. I also own an Elise S1 as a weekend/fun car and it doesn't do many miles - it's 14 years old and done 62k miles). Add in a bonded aluminium chassis and plastic body and I expect Teslas to last at least 20 years or so.
It's way faster than an Elise 0-60 as an Electric motor gives 100% available torque immediately, there's no gearbox so the thing drives like a moped (I know, I asked Kev McCloud who was driving it at the time). Going up the hill in the Supercar display it was right up there with Porsche 911s, Veyrons and Weissmans.
Top speed Vs Battery discharge is always going to be a problem for an all Electric sports car. My Elise S1 has only about 100hp and a top speed of 120, but the fun is had at 60 on a twisty road - I can imagine that the Tesla is a hoot in similar conditions.
Batteries do eventually die over time and discharge cycles - we all know this. I suspect that some form of Battery Replacement scheme will be offered by Tesla - it will be a profit maker for the company. It's about the only replacement part - Audi have thousands to make profits on it makes sense
Personally I'm excited about Electric cars, but the battery technology is not there yet. However Fuel Cell cars, such as the FCX Clarity, are exciting. Available now we should be using some form of small IC engine that just provides electricity to the motor, not driving the wheels. This would mean the thing can use the existing infrastructure, but just sip petrol. Hell, use a small Gas turbine running LPG. The Chevy Volt is a good example of this approach which is much more effective (and efficent) than the Honda Prius approach, which is lazy IMO.
The Tesla is blazing new ground, and we should celebrate that. Hopefully the demand for larger batterieswill drive further development of the tech, or accelerate the productisation of the fuel cell technology.
Now if someone can explain what the hell Audi's regenerative braking on a diesel A4 is about, I'd be much obliged...