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back to article We got behind the wheel of a Tesla S electric car. We didn't hate it

The Tesla S is a very different type of electric car from the previous models featured here on El Reg. While the others I’ve driven – the Leaf, C-Zero, e-Up and even the Tesla Roadster – all have electrification as an odd quirk, to the Tesla S it’s in its soul. You can't see but Elon Musk is in this one I drove one of the …

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Sounds similar to The Oatmeal's review. Gotta say, they look like nice cars. Too bad they don't come with a self-driving AI.

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Yet...

If anyone would be first with this, Tesla is a logical one to bet on; they ARE in the business of selling the future.

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Well, you'll be pleased to know they're working on it, and have targeted 2017 for their first self-driving cars.

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Ahhh The Oatmeal

I too read Oatmeal's Tesla thingy and it makes me tempted but unless uk.gov are offering me a large bung to trade in the XKR for an S I can't afford one (85kW, natch), nor do I relish the thought of having to install a chargepoint at home for a few K to make filling it up practical.

I hear there's supposed to be a network of (free to Tesla owners) chargepoints 'coming in around a year' ... we'll see if that ever materialises cos if it doesn't it's a fail.

Savings per year are around 4k fuel (assuming free chargepoints), 280 tax (my XKR is X-reg so not £400), some saving on servicing for sure as there's less to maintain, presumably, like spark plugs, oil filters, etc. 'Full tank' range is the same.

The car is £72k though and the 0-emission benefit in kind runs out next year so that perk is eliminated, too, else it'd be a more plausible thing if there were 5 years left in that.

I quite fancy one but I don't think it's quite there yet (for me, anyway) except for people who can afford to go drop half a house on a car from their back pocket (or have more cunning accountants than I)

Shame. For me, leastways!

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nice idea and at least it looks like a car rather than something a hippie imagined a car should look like. But useless for me, it really needs a small engine for emergency use or casual charging. For the market it is aimed at then it would be too large for the majority of London use, if you are "big" enough to have your own parking space in London then you'd surely want a more prestigious car too. How many charging spots are there at heathrow? Youd be annoyed if you turned up and saw that piddly little nissans had taken them all (or a 4x4 without electric which is what usually happens).

Im surprised the euro hasn't cottoned onto charging, afterall there is plenty of electricity flowing through electric trains.

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All the practical reviews of electric, even the sometimes risible Top Gear report of a couple of years ago, seem to agree that recharging is the big problem. They made a joke out of Clarkson and Co. hanging around in Lincoln while the battery recharged, but it's a real problem.

Around 15 years ago there was some of the same problem with LPG, a cleaner alternative to petrol and diesel. It had already been around as an alternative for a long time, but getting filled up needed a bit of planning ahead.

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"But useless for me"

And baby nappies are useless for me as a product, too. It's also useless for me in the same way that a Ferrari is useless for me: Too expensive. Although it really doesn't matter who or how many people find it useless or how much they dislike it. Rather, it's success is gauged by the number and happiness of customers. Negative reviews by people who don't own one and are outside the demographic really are rather irrelevant. (It's not like we go onto Amazon and add 'I would never buy this as it would be useless for me' in the reviews section, is it?

"it really needs a small engine for emergency use or casual charging."

Multi-billionaire businessman disagrees. Other people are building those cars. His aim is to do something else.

"For the market it is aimed at then it would be too large for the majority of London use, if you are "big" enough to have your own parking space in London then you'd surely want a more prestigious car too."

You mean like the Roaster? I'd be far more likely to consider a Tesla prestigious and cool than a German-made jelly-mould.

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There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

Restoring and driving 1960s cars (with modern technology) comes to mind.

Both options will be driven about the same distance per year, but one won't be using the totally environmentally atrocious Li-Ion technology.

That one also won't have a 17 inch television distracting the most important part[1] of operating a motor vehicle.

These things are an accident waiting to happen ...

[1] That's the nut behind the wheel actually DRIVING, if you are wondering.

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Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

I have to agree about the screen.

Using my phone for music (in a holder) or playing cd's in my car. I know which one takes my concentration.

Im getting a new bluetooth unit just so i can control the music from my phone with a physical button.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

Pray tell, how are you going to restore a 1960's car to be more aerodynamic? To weigh less? And how are you going to replace the engine, transmission and the rest to make it less environmentally harmful than an electric car - even, to cut short the inevitable response, one that's charged from electricity from a gas fired power station - and all for less than £50,000?

Really, I'm dying to know. Do you just shrug and it happens?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

So how are you going to convert the 1960s cars so that when they have an accident the fronts and rears crumble protecting the occupants and other drivers? Or making sure that the front aren't like being hit by a wrecking ball for pedestrians who may inadvertently fall into its path?

Also "a 17 inch television"? Do you actually know what a television is, as there isn't one inside the Model S?

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Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

2nd generation Prius models have a large, multifunction screen in the middle of the dash that covers everything from the GPS maps through power usage to the audio system. You don't see too many of them embedded in the landscape or other cars because of it. Screens are only distracting if they are continuously updated with information not relevant to driving.

The other point about Li-ion cells is invalid also. The cells are very recyclable (95%+). Lithium mining isn't impact free, but it's one of the cleaner mining operations and it's certainly no worse than the extraction of oil.

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Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

The difference is, that the Prius (and most other cars) also have mechanical switches for the important stuff, like turning on the lights! No having to look down at a huge display, you know which stalk it is on and a quick twist using muscle memory has them on. With the Tesla, even if you know where, in which menu it is, you need to look at the screen to be able to accurately hit the right buttons.

With time you'll be able to use it without having to fully look at the display, but you still need to know you are pressing the right buttons, which you can't do without looking, because there is no tactile feedback.

Putting lesser used functions, like changing settings or suspension type etc. that you don't do regularly and generally don't change when the vehicle is moving, can be controlled by a touch screen for all I care, but lights, wipers etc. need to be quick and easy to do, without having to take your eyes off the road. Now, if it could use audio commands...

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Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

"The difference is, that the Prius (and most other cars) also have mechanical switches for the important stuff, like turning on the lights!"

I don't know for sure, but I suspect you still have regular stalk controls for those basic operations in the Tesla too, from a google image search they certainly appear to be there. I'm sure you can control lots of additional parameters from the touchscreen, but they're not likely to change or remove the basic and familiar controls that people learn to drive with. You can quite clearly see what appear to be conventional lights and wiper stalks in this image of the Tesla S dash.

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Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

Hi Tony,

yes, looking at the image there seem to be stalk controls. I was going by the articel and the comments...

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Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

Your personal opinion is great 'n all, but is refuted by the numbers.

The average road death rate in the US, where almost all Teslas have been delivered to date, is approximately 1.2 per hundred million miles. As of about two weeks ago, Tesla Model S's had been driven 344 million miles with no deaths. And not just that, but no serious, permanent injuries.

Does that sound like a car that is unsafe? Maybe nobody dying is a fluke, due to the relatively low sample size. But no serious permanent injuries either? And on top of that, it achieved the highest safety rating of any car ever tested in the US.

http://insideevs.com/elon-musk-344-million-miles-serious-permanent-injury-death-tesla-model-s/

So while I understand your concern that the screen might be a distraction, it would appear that in practice it's not.

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@ big_D: Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

Erm.. Check your info before posting.

Apart from the fact that things like lights and wipers are mostly automatic these days, the Tesla S does have manual on/off for all these controls on standard steering wheel stalks, just like any other 'normal' car.

The screen is for the none critical stuff, heating, music, map etc.

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Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

Actually, most of the common stuff on the Tesla you can control from the wheel which has physical buttons. There is no reason to reach for the screen while driving really. There is also voice command.

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Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

Most of the damage to the environment comes from driving the car, not producing the car. Even taking an old car and restoring it with newer technology would be more environmentally damaging then an electric car.

Lithium Ion is not atrocious by any means, it does not use any rare earth metals, is recyclable and is non-toxic. Tesla produces their batteries in an environmentally graded rank A factory that even recycles 100% of water used.

There is also no reason to touch the touchscreen while driving, most of the common controls are on the wheel. There is also voice command.

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Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

"That one also won't have a 17 inch television distracting the most important part[1] of operating a motor vehicle."

A common design feature of big center console displays is to lock out many features while rolling so you shouldn't be *so* distracted by it. For example, my car (not a Tesla) won't let me type in a destination in the GPS while I'm rolling, and it shuts down any playing videos when I start moving.

But there's still room to be distracted by the display, since you can still fiddle with it at least to the level of a 1960s' car radio. Your 1960-era cars would have a radio, right? They were pretty universal by the 1930s.

Ye olde non-digital radios can be distracting enough to cause wrecks. "In 2002, the [US] NHTSA blamed 66% of the 43,000 fatal car crashes on “Playing with the radio or CD.”" That's true enough for a cousin of mine. She crossed into oncoming traffic while fiddling with her old-school radio dials. She paid for that distraction with an impressive range of broken bones, a concussion, a through-thigh perforation by the handbrake, loss of license, and impressive insurance rates. Everyone else involved, fortunately, got away with bruises and soiled seats.

Historical perspective: people freaking out about car radios and driver distraction.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/29631/when-car-radio-was-introduced-people-freaked-out

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Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

@cray74

yes, the computer in my old Mondeo was like that, start driving and only critical controls and the radio could be changed, the navi computer locked out manual input. I found it a good idea, although annoying when you have a passenger who can type in a change of destination...

Having driven with people who constantly twiddle with the settings on their onboard computer whilst driving, I wish they all locked out making changes whilst driving!

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Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

Jake, your 60s car will have drum brakes, rubbish suspension, a fair chance of just breaking at the roadside (potentially then getting stacked into), no rear belts, probably no front seat-belts either, no roll-over protection, seats not designed to survive a crash and sod-all crumple zones. There'd be no ABS or traction control and the headlights will be rubbish. It won't have hazard warning lights and might not have indicators.

If we all drove them the roads would be FAR less safe than if we all drove a car which re-defined the limits of crash tests and has a screen in the dash.

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Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

The difference is, that the Prius (and most other cars) also have mechanical switches for the important stuff, like turning on the lights!

Prius has more hard switches to supplement the MFD but if the MFD fails the Prius owner will have significant trouble controlling everything.

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Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

Tesla Model S's had been driven 344 million miles with no deaths. And not just that, but no serious, permanent injuries.

Does that sound like a car that is unsafe

I have no particular reason to believe Teslas are less safe than other cars, but like most marketing headlines, this is an utterly bogus assertion by Tesla.

Tesla's entire fleet is new, and their cars have, to date, been largely sold to affluent freeway commuters in California. The 344 million miles driven by these owners fall into perhaps the lowest-risk category of driving: daylight on controlled-access multi-lane roads, in a climate that sees no snow or ice, and very little mud or rain. It has also been long understood that there is a strong correlation between income and chance of injury in a road traffic incident (One example http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3309632/ ), so being able to afford a ModelS immediately puts you in a lower risk group.

To compare Tesla's extremely low-risk population of customers with the entire US vehicle fleet is statistically meaningless.

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Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

I don't know for sure, but I suspect you still have regular stalk controls for those basic operations in the Tesla too,

The Model S's steering column is borrowed from Mercedes-Benz models. Its the one with the turn signal stalk on the lower left, many grab the cruise control stalk the first time they reach for turn signals.

Headlights (but for high/low) are only on the touch screen. The car complains if you leave with the headlights manually turned on, but automatically turns them off anyway. What bugs me is that the car always boots with headlights in Auto mode. I don't need the lights to exit my garage and there is no way to keep them from coming on before I can turn them off.

Likewise the fog/aux/driving lights can only be controlled from the touch screen. Thats an important function to have at the driver's fingertips to turn off quickly so as not to blind other drivers.

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Re: @ big_D: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

Apart from the fact that things like lights and wipers are mostly automatic these days, the Tesla S does have manual on/off for all these controls on standard steering wheel stalks, just like any other 'normal' car.

Not the headlights which are touch-screen only. And wipers are not on the touch display, they are on the turn signal stalk exactly like older (pre 2012 M-class that I know of) Mercedes-Benz.

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Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

@Psyx you mean a car where you actually have to know how to drive and where you have to think about your own skin, so you drive it more carefully? And that is bad? ;)

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Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

Well, I'm not convinced about restoring 1660's cars as being greener. While it's true Li-ion batteries are certainly not enviro friendly, neither is restoring an old car. There's paint, metalwork, new interiors, engine rework/ rebuilding to do, and that's before you get into the topic of lead replacement and MPG.

But with the touchscreen, you're bang on. I see enough bell ends driving around playing with their phones and sat nav screens when they're bored of looking at the road. Giving someone a 17" screen, with web access and shitloads of options sounds like a really bad idea.

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Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

Whilst I agree with your sentiment, I think it's only fair to point out that most modern cars weigh considerably more than their 1960's equivalents. All that passive safety does come at a cost!

As for aerodynamics, that's another area where things haven't advanced as much as one might hope. For instance, there was car from the 1920's with a Cd of 0.28 http://www.autospeed.com/cms/A_113084/article.html

Apart from that, give me modern any day...

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At last

Jake has slipped up. Most previous posts have just enough sense in them to make you wonder whether he has any idea at all about what he is posting about.

This one has proven that he doesn't so now we can all safely ignore everything he posts without worrying.

Thanks Jake!

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Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

I wonder what the driver demographics are for the Tesla Model S? I suspect that the age range is fairly much around the age range of the safest drivers - too old to be fearless show-offs, too young to be doddery and forgetful.

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Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

Actually, if you define television as the ability to see a moving image at a distance on a screen then there is one because the car has a rear view video option. Just sayin ...

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@James Hughes 1 (was: Re: At last)

I'm just using your post as a spring-board to answer various posters in this thread; I'm not picking on you personally:

The 1963 Ford Consul Capri GT that I rebuilt with a Mazda RX4 13B engine & 5-speed cost roughly USD8,000 to get running (I was sad to lose the three-on-the-tree, but that's progress). Roll-over & crash protection, ~500 in materials (full roll cage, front to back, we race her occasionally). Suspension mods (including disk brakes at all four corners, a complete back-halved rear-end, and custom front suspension) about USD3,200. Fit & finish was probably USD1,500 (mostly chrome & materials for the interior). Low-end sound system ... we only listen to baseball when in the car. There are maps in the glove box (free, from AAA). Incidentals cost another USD2,000-ish.

I did all the work but the chrome.

Probably about USD 20,000 total in parts, when all was said & done.

Today? Stable car at ~150MPH. Around 34MPG on the freeway at 70MPH. I don't expect to pay for much more than fuel, oil, and misc. rubber, brake & clutch parts for the next twenty years. Probably (extrapolating) about another USD25,000 (depending how daft fuel costs get, of course).

Total cost of ownership? $45,000 for 20 years of fun. Including the rebuild. Maybe USD50,000 if I can't keep my nieces & nephews from destroying the tires as I teach them to drive ...

Probably won't be able to re-sell her for much in 20 years ... but I saved all the "stock" parts. She can be restored, should someone want a three-on-the-tree, 6Volt generator, positive ground show car with matching numbers.

What will the TCO of anything Tesla be in 20 years? Will any of them be worth anything? Will anyone want to restore one after 50 years? Gut feelings, as a gear-head? Scrap value, minus hazmat. No. Absofuckinglutely no!

On the other hand, I'll bet the first Teslas will be used to restore the matching Lotus within 10 years ... if they haven't been already;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @James Hughes 1 (was: At last)

Yes, of course you did that jake, no doubt.

Even still you didn't answer anyone's post about why that is better than a class leading car for safety, with zero local emissions.

The car you describe has terrible economy, is unsafe to others, has cost a bomb to get nowhere near the levels of a modern car and has cost you more than a modern car to rebuild.

So your initial statement was complete bollocks, as usual for one of your posts.

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Re: @James Hughes 1 (was: At last)

"Even still you didn't answer anyone's post about why that is better than a class leading car for safety,"

My little runabout is actually a race-car that is street legal. Full roll-cage, fuel-cell, automatic fire suppressant system, 5-point safety harness for all occupants, etc ...

"zero local emissions"

Oh, there's your problem. Typical NIMBY. Whose backyard would you prefer those emissions to be released in?

"is unsafe to others"

How do you figure? Nobody drives her, unless they actually know how to drive.

"has cost a bomb to get nowhere near the levels of a modern car"

I could argue otherwise ... Ergonomically, she's a hell of a lot nicer on street & track than anything new I've test-driven. For me, of course. She passes TODAY'S CARB smog tests easily.

"and has cost you more than a modern car to rebuild."

Excuse me? USD 20,000 for a car with this kind of performance is available to you "off the showroom floor"? What colo(u)r is the sky on your planet? (Yes, there was my labo(u)r involved. But I look at that kind of thing as meditation. The IRS will confirm that my time is valueless.)

"So your initial statement was complete bollocks, as usual for one of your posts."

Rather, your complete post was utter bullshit, as is usual for ElReg's cowardly posters.

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Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

The point I'm trying to make isn't that it's super-safe, just that it's clearly not unsafe, which the concern about the screen would imply.

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Re: @James Hughes 1 (was: At last)

Jake, you are my man! These chaps have no soul.

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PAW

Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

Hmm. Check out "America's 100 Deadliest Highways" at thedailybeast. Ranked by number of fatal accidents per in-state miles, sunny California came in #4 (Interstate-15), #5 (I-10), #16 (I-80), #32 (I-5), #40 (I-8), and #79 for I-40. The California freeway system is high risk.

A dated study (2002) titled An Analysis of Traffic Deaths by Vehicle Type and Model did find that the category 'Imported Luxury Cars' (ex: BMW 3-5 series, Mercedes C and E, Infiniti) had the lowest combined risk for fatal highway crash. I suppose that's the category most applicable for the Tesla S.

If someone wants to dig deeper look at the Fatality Analysis Reporting System at http://www.nhtsa.gov/FARS

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Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

"@Psyx you mean a car where you actually have to know how to drive and where you have to think about your own skin, so you drive it more carefully? And that is bad? ;) "

Nice try, but I drive old cars which need to be double declutched and develop healthy arm muscles due to their lack of power steering, so I know from first hand experience that they are inherently dangerous in a crash, difficult to drive, lack all the signals which show drivers in today's day and age your intentions, and handle like crud.

It doesn't matter if you drive more carefully, because the car is less safe. And frankly... I don't drive more carefully in older cars anyway. It doesn't change my driving behaviour. I drive to compensate for crap handling, but not inherently more carefully: I don't give cyclists a wider birth or check more times before pulling out of a junction. Slower!= More carefully.

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Re: @James Hughes 1 (was: At last)

"My little runabout is actually a race-car that is street legal. Full roll-cage, fuel-cell, automatic fire suppressant system, 5-point safety harness for all occupants, etc .."

Because twitchy track handling is really good for the road.

5-point harnesses are inherently dangerous for road-drivers, because if they're tight enough to work, they stop you turning for visibility. I know because I have harnesses and NEVER use them on the road. I also doubt that you've got TC and ABS. It's all very well to say how much better a skilled driver is without them, but the average driver is better off with them, and even a skilled track driver switches to 'commute mode' at times, and ABS/TC would be a boon on occasions where attention wanders in a way that it doesn't do on track days.

"Excuse me? USD 20,000 for a car with this kind of performance is available to you "off the showroom floor"? What colo(u)r is the sky on your planet? "

Isn't it $22k for a Mustang these days? Sack of cr4p pony car it might be, but the performance is probably comparable to a refurb 60s vehicle.

You can't just discard the labour time as moot in a general comparison, either. If you're seriously expressing your option as an option for general motoring (which you initially did), then cost and time is a factor. Not to mention the fact that 99% of people do not want to climb in over a roll cage, sit in a loud track-tuned car and get their fillings shaken by hard suspension in a car that regularly tries to swap ends and kill them. It is not a motoring solution for the future. It might be a motoring solution for YOU (just as my old cars are for me) but that cannot serve as a sweeping condemnation of the Tesla, or modern vehicles as a whole, or some kind of solution for everyone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @James Hughes 1 (was: At last)

"My little runabout is actually a race-car that is street legal. Full roll-cage, fuel-cell, automatic fire suppressant system, 5-point safety harness for all occupants, etc "

Of course it is.

Every car enthusiast that I actually know loves taking their pride and joys on short trips to the shops and down to the dump at the weekend. After all cars benefit from frequent restarting and the smell of garden rubbish just adds to the charm.

Obviously I was joking, they use something shit and not hand rebuilt as a runabout.

"Oh, there's your problem. Typical NIMBY. Whose backyard would you prefer those emissions to be released in?"

As you point out, electric cars do mean generating the power in someone elses backyard. But the emissions from a power plant are easier to capture and neutralise than trying to do the same in millions of cars.

"Excuse me? USD 20,000 for a car with this kind of performance is available to you "off the showroom floor"? What colo(u)r is the sky on your planet? "

$20,000

plus a work space large enough to work in a car with protection from the elements

plus tools

plus expertise gained through either education or a lot of practice.

plus a divorce once the wife gets sick of the amount of time you've spent on the car rather than her

A lot of people would struggle just getting the work space and if everyone was doing it then the workspace would cost more than the car.

So yes, you post was complete bullshit

Restoring cars is all well and good but completely impractical for the majority of the population.

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A quick couple of points ...

" ... the power consumption in kilowatts per mile .."

A meaningful figure would be kilowatt.hours per mile, the energy consumption. You don't 'consume' power. The battery will have the ability to hold a certain amount of energy, hence an idea of your possible range in miles.

" ...the mathematically complex miles to the gallon ..."

I don't see what's complex about mpg. My car gives 40 mpg on a long motorway run so it'll slurp 2 gallons if I drive 80 miles. Simple.

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Re: A quick couple of points ...

There are two rival measures. It's either fuel/distance or distance/fuel, and we're used to miles per gallon.

Using the inverse, and plotting against vehicle weight, gives a straight-line graph. Getting that straight line needs a bit of clever math to get the best fit. but it's a simple end result. You can't get that simple result from miles per gallon.

I think the alternative used in Europe is liters per hundred kilometers. We buy our petrol in liters now, and if I wanted to figure out how much petrol I needed, calling 100km 60 miles would be near enough, with a margin. Since we don't buy petrol in gallons any more, and we don't measure distances in km, either way it's more complicated than it needs to be.

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Re: A quick couple of points ...

Interestingly, fuel consumption can also be thought of as a surface area (volume of fuel per distance is just a length cubed per length, i.e. length squared) with a smaller area being more fuel efficient.

Explained better on XKCD (scroll down a bit): http://what-if.xkcd.com/11/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A quick couple of points ...

Yes that's a journalistic error! EV Battery Energy is kWh, and hence should be kWh per mile.

I don't know what that is in El Reg units, but it isn't kW!

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Re: A quick couple of points ...

"I don't see what's complex about mpg. My car gives 40 mpg on a long motorway run so it'll slurp 2 gallons if I drive 80 miles. Simple."

I think the complexity here is that we are in the UK, we buy fuel in Litres and measure distance in miles...

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WTF?

Google maps? Really?

Why would any sane person choose a navigation system that requires a permanent connection to t'interwebs?

If you're local, you know where you're going. If you don't have an unlimited data plan, it eats it every time you drive. If you're going abroad, you're stuffed by the roaming charge... there's absolutely no reason not to have an onboard map, updated every now and then - with the added advantage that the chocolate factory doesn't know where you are.

I wonder how much Google paid to have their maps installed?

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Re: Google maps? Really?

"both" would be a better option; Google is (at least in theory) always up to date and should have accurate real-time data on traffic density and delays.

If the satnav is internal, it's always available, but needs periodic updates and a source of real-time traffic data...

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Re: Google maps? Really?

I've come across stories of real-time data effectively warning of such things as Police speed traps because of their effects on traffic flow.

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Re: Google maps? Really?

I only get a 2g signal out wher i live and google maps has enough bandwidth to deal with that.

If I were planning on going to somewhere constantly with no mobile coverage i would as you say get an offline system. In England at this point google maps can do just fine without having to have a connection 100% of the time.

It just takes longer to find the address on 2g, so either do it before you leave home on the wireless connection or wait 4 min to set it up.

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