Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tesla Founder Martin Eberhard's first impressions in the Roadster

There has been a lot of speculation about how ousted former Tesla Motors CEO Martin Eberhard would feel about the car that became the Roadster in his absence. Well, the speculation is over - his beautiful, custom-painted Roadster saw over 1000 miles of driving in the past few weeks and he wrote a very long blog post about his adventures. The highs (and lows) are as follows:


1. The Roadster can take trips "that would have been completely out of the question for any prior production EV." He means in both distance and terrain - the Roadster handles hills and turns as well as any traditional fuel car on the road as well.
2. He comfortably took the car 125 miles on one charge and would feel comfortable going another 30 - this is with no pampering at all.
3. We need "a new list of expressions" to describe what "full throttle" feels like in the Roadster. He was extremely complimentary of the performance, " I have never driven anything like the Roadster that makes such awesome power so accessible."
4. Once the soft top is in place (he thinks it will take only 1 minute once he's used to it), it feels snug and tight.
5. The Roadster qualifies for "Clean Air Stickers" to enable free bridge crossings (at least in the Bay Area.) Not exactly the biggest concern for someone in a $100k car, but still...

CONS (he didn't pull any punches):

1. "The potholes in SF demonstrated a bit of harshness in the rear suspension – the right sort of pothole causes a very loud clunk that shakes the frame of the car." That said, he also commented that he would definitely not want to make the ride any softer.
2. Visibility is a bit of a challenge - the rear view mirror takes up so much of the windshield that it creates a legitimate blind spot.
3. It's lacking minor ammenities...for example, there is no place to stash change for parking. Small example, but he meant it as representative of minor design failures.
4. Apparently, the "JVC radio-CD player-nav system-vegematic thingy" SUCKS, "The thing runs some Microsoft operating system (really!), and it behaves just like you might expect. Or more like a Mac-righteous Apple fan might expect it to behave." Changing stations is hard, the driving directions are bad, etc.

Read more via greenhome.

No comments: