Ivor O’Connor

November 27, 2008

The Car Industry

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 7:54 pm


I look at this little sports car from Tesla and shake my head. What’s the purpose? I just don’t understand “sports” cars. They are cramped, small, and useless. It’s not like we can drive at decent speeds as if we had a real freeway system like the German autobahn. Our government likes stupid arbitrary speed limit laws. Never mind the fact autobahns with no speed limits are safer than our American freeways. In terms of percentage of accidents and deaths for 1000 drivers. Then there is the fact our government can’t seem to build decent freeways. Our roads are so bumpy if you tried to drive at 150 mph you’d bounce off the road. And our government can’t even build bumpy freeways that last a few years so we are getting all these toll ways from private companies we now have to pay to use! (What is our government doing with all our money besides spending billions a week on wars we started on false pretenses.) Someday in the future perhaps we will have aerodynamic electric cars with solar paint and no speed limits on autobahn-like-freeways. Perhaps someday we’ll care about the quality of the vehicle, how it lasts with time, how upgradeable it is, etc.. Until then I will continue to have no interest in autos and shake my head.

From http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-10108210-48.html

The Tesla I drove featured “Powertrain 1.5,” eliminating the two-speed gearbox from the previous model. Yes, Tesla patterns itself after tech companies, so the power train gets a version designation, although the cars themselves still go by a model year.

In this Tesla, as in other electric cars I’ve driven, the operation is dead simple: Move the shifter from Neutral to Drive, and you’re moving forward. Push the accelerator if you want to go faster and hit the brakes if you want to stop. The only real difference, besides the fact that the Tesla goes a lot faster than other electric cars, is that taking your foot off the accelerator at speeds less than 40 mph makes the car slow down as if you were applying light pressure on the brakes. That is the regenerative power train in operation, using the car’s momentum to generate electricity for the battery pack. The Tesla also has regenerative brakes, but you don’t need to use them much, adding the side-benefit of very infrequent brake maintenance.

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