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.


EV World's Bill Moore with plugged in Roadster in Telsa's Washington, D.C. showroom.

Michael Degusta, who has a $5000 deposit on a Tesla Model S, uncovers a potentially serious flaw in the company's battery design that could leave inattentive Roadster owners with a $40,000 bill or a useless vehicle.

SolarCity and Tesla are collaborating on energy storage for solar-powered homes.

Tesla is using its battery expertise in collaboration with SolarCity to create energy storage units to provide electricity after the sun goes down.

Tesla will begin Model S deliveries in June 2012.

With reservations topping 10,000 orders, Tesla expects to deliver 5,000 Model S sedans by the end of 2012.


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