Tesla Semi event

You lost me there. There is no joy for you in the act of driving?
Given the right car, I so much love to drive, man.

I’m with Craig on this one. A car is the box of deadly metal I reluctantly guide onto the highspeed deathrace that is Raleigh-Durham traffic every day to get me to work, food, or fun. The current one is outfitted with gigantic speakers so I can at least drown the experience out in Blind Guardian, but driving itself blows and is stressful. I see no value in paying more than the bare minimum for a vehicle, but at least with electric, I can feel smugly good about myself in the process ;-)

I don’t think you accuse any guy who spent $1 million out of his first fortune on McLaren as hating cars. Although wrecking one of 64 Mclaren F1 in the world is a pretty awful thing to do to a such a sweet supercar.

That said, you may be on to something.

Within two days of getting my Tesla, I stop calling it a car and started calling it a spaceship with wheels, which is a better description. I also quickly grew to loath ICE cars, so you are partly right.

Like for instance, why the hell do you need to tell a car to turn off the engine? I’ve gotten out of the car, and locked the door, so why is the engine still running 8 hours later when I came back. Or why do I need to take the car to a dealer for a software update? Since the mid-2000 most people have access to the internet, let them download the patch into a thumb drive, put the thumb drive into the car. Or better yet use a cellular or wifi network to update automatically.

Don’t get me started on the user-hostile interface that car manufacturers inflict on their owners for their navigation/information/entertainment. I rented a Cadillac STS for a road trip for the solar eclipse. Nice car, ride almost as nice as the Tesla, decent handling and acceleration. But everything from navigation, to climate control, must have been designed by a sadist, the two us of with decades of computer experience were completely frustrated by the interface.

Then, there are brakes, how stupid is it slow 2-3 ton vehicle by converting kinetic energy into heat, instead of trying to capture some of the energy.

I’ll admit, every once in a while I miss the sound of my RX-7 rotor engine winding up the RPMs, but there are MP3 for pretty much every sports car you’ve ever lusted after that you can play on the Tesla really good stereo system. Plus you can crank the volume up to 11.

ICE vehicle had a good run for such a shitty technology, but they were overdue for Elon, the meteor, to get rid of them.


Ok I enjoy driving around places. But less for the act of driving and more for the places. For our honeymoon my wife and I drove up the PCH from San Francisco to Portland. It was wonderful. But not because the driving, but because the quiet beauty.

I really prefer to take in places by bike. That’s the real sublime experience for me.

As I said, I know I’m an outlier. All the stuff Strollen says he hates? I love. And yes, I stand by my (totally pulled out of my ass) claim that Musk hates cars, because I think he hates what most of the world has thought of as cars. He doesn’t hate moving fast on a road. He hates doing so in the manner we did for a century, with all the stuff Strollen also loathes. But that to me translates into transforming something I love into something I hate. So, yeah, it’s my own personal thing.

I don’t think it’s generational so much as geographical and cultural. I grew up in different places around the world, but except for a brief period in the eighties commuting in the DC area, I’ve never had to experience the grind of hours of bumper to bumper madness and urban chaos that makes driving so horrible or most people. I also was blessed with spending a lot of time in places where I could actually enjoy driving, including the last twenty years hear in a small, rural state with few people and no traffic (if with terrible roads and bad winters, though). For me, driving means something entirely different than for someone in LA or Atlanta (where I did spend a lot of time growing up, but rarely driving into the maelstrom).

I’m also very tactile oriented, and very physical in my appreciation of the world. How something feels to the touch is extremely important to me. I like the vibration of an internal-combustion engine powered vehicle. I like the rumble. I like the feedback through the steering wheel and the seat and the clutch pedal. I like working the clutch and the gear shift. I like the buttons and knobs and switches. I like opening the hood and bolting stuff on occasionally. The idea of a super sleek, ultra-modern capsule, with few user operated things and only an iPad like interface leaves me utterly cold, despite its technical and undeniable superiority in terms of many factors. I don’t think, though, that a Tesla is any better as a piece of engineering than, say, a Porsche, it’s just different. To get an ICE vehicle to do the stuff that even a lowly Civic does these days is pretty effin’ impressive.

I think this is most people, and I fully get it. I’m weird. I always preferred driving someplace to actually getting there. Well, when I could drive. As a kid it was totally different.

Then again, there aren’t many places I like to be, particularly. People I like to be with, yes, but places, eh. I moved 26 times before I was eighteen, and I never developed any sense of place really.

This. Back in my bachelor life I had my first love, an Audi S5, and I would drive just for the hell of it some nights. Now its a boring SUV with a stroller and a kid in the back most times. Driving is a lot less fun.

That said I would buy the shit out of that roadster if I can afford it by the time it comes out. I’m never going to afford a McLaren P1 so might as well get the “peasant” version. No comments yet on how the roadster handles though. I’m more of a tight corner handling guy than a straight line speed guy.

Cars are amazing machines and a stunning symbol of an advanced civilization. On a historical basis they are basically teleportation machines, literally transporting people sixty miles in an hour. They give us freedom and opportunity and enjoyment and enable the economy. They’re fun to drive. A new Honda Civic costs a billion dollars to design and build and it’s sold for $300 in profit, it’s amazing. Tesla shows that building a car is much harder than going to space.

On the other hand cars have led to nearly a century of awful city building resulting in an unsustainable and awful day to day lifestyle for perhaps half of the people in the world. They’re making us fat and lazy and unhappy, and we’re killing each other with them constantly (40,000 a year just in the US, plus around 2.2 million people injured). They spew CO2 and even if electrified, represent an absurd and meaningless drain of the planets resources. If people could ride two to a car your city would have a dozen Central Parks instead of jammed highways. They isolate us giving us anonymity and actually turn us into pathological assholes willing to cut off and risk other human beings and upon running over a jaywalker we say ‘meh, wasn’t my fault’.

I hold both of these viewpoints.

Ex-GM dude is unimpressed with Tesla, and thinks the recent announcement on the electric semi trucks is more or less a way to distract people from Tesla’s money issues. Oh, and he claims GM can do batteries better than Tesla’s standard fare.

Tesla is a “losing enterprise” that won’t last, Bob Lutz, former vice chairman of General Motors, told CNBC on Friday.

“There is no secret sauce in Tesla. They use the same lithium-ion batteries as everybody else,” he said.

He said “at this rate they’ll never get to 2019.”

Guy who used to work for a competitor is salty about announcement. Film at 11!

I don’t understand why anyone thinks an announcement like this would detract from any financial issues Tesla may have. It’s not like analysts are distracted by shiny rocks.

None of the things I loathed (like un-necessary trips to a dealer) have anything to do with how Tesla drive.

I’m definitely a person who likes driving. I got my first stick shift at 22, and never bought another automatic before the Tesla. I owned Mazada RX-7s for 17 years, and pretty much every year. I’d spend the extra 2-3 hours to go to between LA and the SF Bay area on super curvy, Highway 1 instead of the fast but dull Interstate 5, it is a beautiful drive, but for me it was just the fun of driving it.

Here is the thing, underneath all the bells and whistles the Tesla S is just a blast to drive. The acceleration of even my base model is great, and the insane mode is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. I haven’t driven a ludicrous mode Tesla, but the picture of folks with silly grins tell the story. The car handles great you really feel the road. Is it as much fun as my RX-7, or probably most any other manual sport cars? no. But I’ll take a Tesla over the few BMWs or Audi 8 that I’ve driven. Plus none of them have space or load capacity to haul 3,500 pounds of floor tile up a 10% grade.

@TheWombat you are obviously even more of car guy than myself, and if you’ve had an extended test drive in Tesla and it left you cold then ok. But, I know several people who had pretty much the same reaction to the concept of a Tesla you did, but after a test drive they were converted. Do yourself a favor and test drive one.

True enough. Though I do think in the USA cars were only a secondary factor, albeit one that became a massively primary one, in the way cities were designed. Sheer amount of space, low cost of land, and cultural norms vastly different than in urban European centers already had American development going out rather than up before the car arrived. Subways predated cars as well, at a time when “suburb” meant something rather different than it came to.

I think though cars were definitely the purest manifestation of an American cultural imperative, to get space and distance between us and the teeming masses, to be able to decide on an individual basis our relationship to space and time. And yes, since that point, they have brought a lot of really bad stuff down on us. Environmentally, it’s easy to see, and I agree that in some ways the psychology of the car has been a net negative.

But I think we have to also understand that the alternatives aren’t without consequence either. The practical alternative to individual transportation is collective co-location, that is, dense population concentrations probably going up rather than out. Mass transit can work within such a community, and can connect such communities, but cannot really do much for a society that rests on dispersion the way the US society does. One can argue both ways on dispersion, too. Personally, I can see the appeal of, say, living in Manhattan, and living where I do in the semi-boonies. But historically the former was good only for those with a lot of wealth, and the latter was available to a lot of people. So there’s always trade offs.

I think the asshole bit is valid too, though I think that’s mostly a consequence of individualism and self-centered behavior patterns, and both of those owe more to consumer capitalism than to cars overall, though cars do provide a, ahem, vehicle for that behavior.

Um, I couldn’t afford one, and there are no dealers here. I’d love to try one though. I admit, I’m basing my reactions on reviews, videos, and pictures, and on my visceral dislike of Musk, who I see as an elitist snob who has zero conception of how 99% of the planet actually lives. But I have zero doubts the things go like a scalded dog.

I was looking at Tesla’s financial statements a few months ago because I’m a finance geek and am interested in that sort of thing. Going strictly by numbers the guy is not wrong about Tesla’s financial position. I don’t remember what specifically turned me off to it, but there were definite red flags.

Think of Tesla as Potential Energy as a stock whereas Apple is Kinetic Energy. They are still very much in startup mode financially.

As much as love Elon and their products. I think buying the stock is crazy, Of course I said this when the stock was $50 so what the hell do I know. If they don’t fix the Model 3 production, Bob Lutz could be right and they might not see 2019.

But they have a ton of smart engineers a dedicated workforce, and Elon is an inspirational leader.

Lutz, too, is something of a loose cannon. He has a ton of experience, but he’s also prone to go off on extreme tangents. He said recently something like all human driven cars would be gone in twenty years, I mean. And he’s sure not a finance guru.

I’ll leave it to the finance mavens to debate Tesla’s financial prognosis. One thing that does concern me about them, as a person who I guess could be convinced to consider one their products, is that while their powertrain engineering seems excellent, the rest of their automobile engineering and design seems to lag behind established car companies. As you spend most of your time in the car, tooling along, and not going ludicrous speed or at the track, that’s something that concerns me.

What I’m really most afraid of regarding electric vehicles is that they will someday be the only option, ICE vehicles will become outlawed, and the story in Rush’s “Red Barchetta” will become a true one.

Then again, if that story ever did become true, I would so love to be the kid in that futuristic story who discovered his uncle’s red “Barchetta” (or Chevelle SS, or Mustang GT, or Trans Am) in the old shed, and took it out on a wild illegal ride. That song still thrills me every time I hear it, for that reason (and that particular live video I linked to is my favorite performance of the song, due in no small part to the awesome video backdrop that accompanies it).

This is so unlikley to ever happen, particularly in our lifetimes, as for it to not really be a viable fear. At the very least, there will always be an enthusiast/club element that will keep some aspect of ICE alive - after all hobbyists still pile coal into steam locomotives (much to the joy of 4 year olds everywhere).

I love the sound of a big V8 as much as the next guy and love driving mine, but I am well and truly on-board for the future of electric.

Which is indeed the kind of thing that car companies are trying to bring to pass. I have some inside information on that (I work for a company heavily involved in developing that tech), and his projection isn’t crazy. Maybe not certain, but the biggest obstacle to that is likely to be liability and political, not technical and manufacturing.

Oh, I think it will happen, but you’re right; not in our lifetimes.