Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I just had a glimpse at the future and had to share it. Thanks to a great friend, I was able to get behind the wheel of only the second production Tesla on the road. The other went to the company's CEO. My friend just took delivery on Friday and I took it for a spin on Sunday.

What a fantastic ride! The experience was marked by two contradictory experiences:
1. Accelerating at breakneck speed
2. The eerie quiet of an electric car

Now, I own a Prius, so I'm used to how quiet a car running on an electric motor can be. But on the Prius, the electric only powers the car when you aren't rapidly accelerating. The Tesla is electric only, so it's quiet during those times when you don't expect a car to be quiet -- when you are flooring it. You can hear the road, the wind, and even the pops and cracks of the car jiggling as it moves down the road. The only accompanying motor sound is a low whine.

As I was zipping up a hill and around twisty turns, this feeling came over me that I was experiencing the future. Here's a car that provides an amazing driving experience, without the gas and the pollution. Afterwards, I got a little irritated. What's taking the big automakers so long to produce compelling electric alternatives? I know -- I've read the articles, seen the movie, but we should all be frustrated that it took Elon Musk and a bunch of entrepreneurial folks in California to create Tesla and make this exhilarating experience a reality. Here's to hoping that this match lights a gigantic fire and sets the entire car market ablaze.


David said...

Correction: Elon is the Chairman, not the CEO and did not found Tesla. That honor goes to Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpening.

G said...


Great story ... THANKS. And I am in total agreement with your irritation and frustration about why it's taking so long to produce EVs. This issue is worth pushing at the highest levels ... But I also have one comment regarding your content. The way you wrote your 2nd to last sentence makes an unappreciated implication that "Elon Musk ... create[d] Tesla ...". Elon did *NOT* create Tesla, or the car. His contribution (MUCH appreciated) is in (together with others) **funding** (not founding) Tesla , and later, in contributing design ideas & changes (some of which may (or may have not) led to delays). The names Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning need to be highlighted -- if you choose to highlight Elon Musk's name in the way you did. Other than that ... the pure fun, excitement and impressions are showing well in this article.