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Taking on Gasoline Cars: Tesla's Strategy the Right One

While a supporter for electric vehicles, Christof Demont-Heinrich sees gasoline engine vehicles still having an advantage over EVs, but applauds Tesla's head-on assault on ICE-age auto technology.

Published: 18-Feb-2013

There’s been a ton of talk and debate about the Tesla Model S this week thanks to a lightning rod of an article by New York Times reporter John Broder in which he describes an unsuccessful attempt to drive the Model S from Washington, D.C. to Boston relying on Tesla’s two East Coast Supercharger stations. Most of the debate has centered around the veracity of Broder’s report and/or the relative “idiocy” of his approach to making the trip and (not) charging the car.

I’m not going to focus on that. Instead, I’m going to pick up a strand of discussion long-time EV advocate Chelsea Sexton put forward in a piece published on Wired.Com. In it, the always articulate Sexton argues that Tesla – and others – shouldn’t be pushing a direct comparison between pure EVs and gasoline cars.

Take EVs for what they are, meaning highly efficient, fun-to-drive cars that surpass gasoline cars in many – but not all respects, writes Sexton. Don’t force the point of comparison to be long-distance road trips, because that’s not where pure EVs excel, at least not yet, she contends.

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