For those of us who haven’t seen the above video yet : it’s mandatory, please view it and come back to my story! Or No! Better yet, first read the rest of my post and then view the video!
I’m not an automobile journalist, or even a fancier of cars, and only read Car Reports when I have to approve pieces of the new wardrobe, the Mrs. is trying on. Cars under a hundred grand are not considered drivable, and if the car doesn’t lend itself for racing over slippery narrow country roads in some exotic location it’s dismissed as well. Quality is measured by the amount of horsepowers or acceleration time form 0-100, 200 or whatever obscene speed is deemed necessary. Lap times on a tracks separates the boys from the men. In other words, I obviously don’t understand car technology and the engineers responsible for them. In my imagination I see a team of car-engineers designing a new hammer :100 kilograms of hydraulically supported brute titanium with carbon dampers. “Hammer Magazine” is euphoric because it finally allows nails to be driven into 65 meter high tropical hardwood trees. My questions about the hammer are dismissed with “You obviously know sh*t about Real Hammering”
There! I said it, a car is a tool that needs to be fit for purpose. And you know what, some people actually look at cars in that way, and it starts to shake the industry. Because over a decade ago (car manufacterers don’t adopt their strategies as fast as there cars go) Toyota introduced a semi-electric vehicle, the Prius. The first generation (sold in Japan only) was mainly ignored, the second iteration was a small practical family car, perfectly suited for Japanese circumstances, the third generation became iconic and hugely popular worldwide and the current version even supports pre-charging the battery at home, giving unprecedented mileage for a car of its size. Full electric driving came well within range.
We now have full blown panic in the fossil car making industry, because if you don’t have 12.000 explosions a minute, there are no “Horses trampling their feet under the bonnet” and no wear and tear! That means fewer replacements and the partner in crime, the oil producers, see their primary source of income say “goodbye”.
So their billions of dollars of marketing power came up with a (seemingly) brilliant idea! FUD! By spraying fear, uncertainty and doubt over the market, potential customers were infected with “Range Anxiety”. The idea landed in a population susceptible to the idea, because ICE engines run 800+ kilometers on a tank, and filling stations are 5 km apart. Fossils like GM, BMW, Porsche and Mercedes came up with double and triple electronic clutch systems, making there cars more and more complex and expensive, in order to circumvent Toyota’s brilliant and efficient HSD-hybrid system.
Very expensive hybrid cars with medium “electric only range” like the Volt entered the market with little success, because the value for money isn’t very good.
Enter (the) Tesla
With a real range of 400 kilometers, seating for 5 (or even 7), storage for more than 5, looks that even a car agnostic enjoys and sports car like performance it’s a proposition that many (fortunate) technology lovers find irresistible. People who can afford a fancy BMW find the Tesla model S a very tempting choice and once they have test driven one and enjoyed electric torque, handling, quietness and overall presentation of the car, they pull their checkbook. Many Scandinavians make the right decision and buy one in stead of an ICE, the Tesla was the best selling car in September in Norway! All these people clearly ignore MSM : “the batteries die in -20 temperatures, it turns into a slug on snow, don’t drive into wolve infested forests on half a ‘tank’!”. The Norwegian in the above movie became sick and tired of all the FUD and did something ICE-journalists would consider as thrilling & dangerous as having unprotected sex with a blind date : HE DROVE THE CAR ON A LONG TRIP WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE OF THE RANGE.
For the fossils amongst us, here is a list of very important things you can do with a Tesla but not with an ICE:
– leave from a party at night in a sleeping neighborhood without feeling embarrassed (and still pulling the bricks from the pavement)
– lose kilos because you never get tempted anymore by the candy bars at the counter
– Glide through French forest roads at dawn to spot deer, foxes and other game.
– always leave home with a full tank
– make obscene gestures to mr. Putin, Voser or any other fossil mastodont.
– be amazed by the resale value of your car
– don’t worry about gaskets, belts, clutches and breaks when you bring your second hand Tesla to the garage for the first wiper refresh.
– laugh, because the ICE-guy doesn’t understand that you fill up you Tesla at 120 kilometers per hour.
OK, that is about what I have to say about Tesla’s.
And now : ENJOY THE MOVIE!
I blog mainly in Dutch but in case you enjoyed it, here’s the rest of what I wrote in English