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Subject:  Re: Tesla Supercharger Date:  9/26/2012  2:11 AM
Author:  Radish Number:  1565 of 1767

See also where Elon Musk makes the announcement.

It seems like about 95% marketing gimmick to me. He claimed the "network" of chargers (6 so far) would solve the 3 perceived problems of electric cars. I'd say they are: 1: not being able to drive anywhere you want like you pretty much can with gas, 2: the cost of the battery, both as part of the purchase of the original car and replacement as needed if you keep the car that long, and 3: lack of a wide variety of vehicle sizes, styles, and trim levels. He said they are: 1: not being able to drive anywhere you want as conveniently as with gas, 2: that the emissions aren't really reduced because the power is likely generated by fuel-burning power plants anyway, and 3: the cost (specifically which costs, he didn't say, just of "electric vehicles compared to gas").

He went on to show how it's just as convenient to drive the Tesla Model S as any gas car. Imagine a trip from LA to Vegas (this is a pretty common trip in the southern-CA area). You drive a few hours, and when you get to Barstow you're ready for lunch or dinner or at least a bathroom break. So you stop at the one-and-only restaurant that has a Supercharger, and have dinner while the car charges. Then you drive on to Vegas. Hey... that's pretty much the same as with gas.

Except it's not an accurate picture. First of all, most people who drive from LA to Vegas also want to drive back later. Assuming you started with a pretty good charge (because the charge you can add in 1/2 hour at the charging station in Barstow may be less than the remaining 150 to 200 miles, depending on route) you can indeed get to Vegas. But then you're stuck there. There's no charging station in Vegas. According to Tesla's on-line calculator, at the electric rates I pay a 150-mile charge takes $10.61 worth of electricity, which is not something a typical motel is going to be happy