I want oneAwesome looking electric car.What goes around, comes around, and it seems the era of electric vehicles is about to come around again. Last year a vintage car rally stopped off at my house for a tea break.Click to enlargeAlthough not shown here there were some veteran electric cars from pre 1905, when electric cars were quite common. One of the benefits of electric cars is that they are a lot, lot simpler than petrol or diesel driven ones. Modern electric motors can be built with just one moving part - compare that to the hundreds of components in a typical engine.I’ve seen prototype electric cars with the motors embedded into the wheel so then almost all the ‘works’ of a modern car are just gone, no central engine, no gearbox. And a large bunch of batteries replacing the fuel-tank. And with battery technology advancing at a rapid rate, we’ll all soon be driving electric cars - seriously within 10 year such cars will be commonplace. Within 20 years petrol driven cars will seems as old fashioned as the ones shown here.Wow - here we are 10 years after I wrote that. In 2019 it’s fair to say this prediction was spot on. Electric cars are now commonplace. The entire auto-industry is transitioning very rapidly to Electric. Because of my belief and prediction I invested in Tesla when they first went public. That was a pretty good bet.Audi electric carThis is Audi’s second concept all-electric car, but this one is much closer to production - they promise it will be available in a couple of years 0 to 60 in under 6 seconds, 2 electric motors driving the rear wheels.I think I prefer the first concept car, below. It has 4 motors and should be considerably more powerful.For the first model they were suggesting a 150 mile range, but no details are given for the newer, second generation concept. The critical issues for all electric cars are the range and charging. Using a normal household supply it will take up to 10 hours to recharge this and most all electric cars. That goes down to 2 to 3 hours using a high-power supply, so this is not the 5 minute fill-up you’re used to. Audi are suggesting they’ll offer a contact-less charger (bit like your toothbrush, only a tad more powerful) which is cute, but doesn’t alter the fundamental problem.Tesla Electric CarTalking of electric cars, the Tesla pioneered this coming revolution and remains just about the only decent electric car you can actually go out and buy today. At £90,000 not cheap, but even by the standards of the above cars it offers outstanding performance. A >200 mile range and 0-60-mph in under 4 seconds.Tesla just celebrated delivery of their 1000th production model.Nearly 10 years after I wrote this, Tesla remains the number one electric car manufacturer. Audi screwed up. They never made the above concept cars. 10 years later they are struggling to catch up. Tesla, instead of celebrating their 1000th delivery they are now shipping 100,000 cars per quarter, and continuing to accelerate their manufacturing with a new Gigafactory coming online in China soon.I’m pretty bewildered about the reaction Elon Musk gets. He’s a modern day Edison - transforming multiple industries. I used to think Steve Jobs was the greatest CEO who ever lived (who transformed 6 different industries: desktop computing, the music industry, the animated movie industry (Pixar), the mobile phone world, and tablets.)But Elon Musk is a better engineer than Steve Jobs, and his ambitions are far, far grander.Some complain Tesla has never made a profit. Well duh - that’s what happens when you grow as fast as you can. Amazon never made a profit for the first 20 years, because, like Tesla, they spent every penny they made, or could borrow, re-investing in the business, growing, not making a profit. Look where that put them.So the when Tesla starts to make a profit instead of investing in their own growth, then I’d be worried.Tesla critics have said for years, “Wait until the real car manufacturers start making electric cars, Tesla won’t stand a chance”.I’m a Jag fan, always driven them. The Jag iPace looks great. But wow, check this out:YouTube linkWhich demonstrates how far we’ve come in 10 years. And how Audi blew it. And how Tesla remains, after 10 years, way ahead.I mean, come on guys, if you want to play the game, at least make sure you can offer a competitive product. Better range, better charging, better acceleration, better price. Tesla beats all of them in this test, on all counts.Porche have just released their first fully electric car, the Taycan. By all accounts a great car. But it’s the same as above. Worse range, charging infrastructure, acceleration, and way, way more expensive. This one of the world’s greatest sports car manufacturers, and yet it’s slower than a 5-year old Tesla model S. Huh?There’s no sign the mainstream manufactures will eat Tesla’s lunch - on the contrary they keep demonstrating how far ahead Tesla are.Competition is great - it’s the foundation of all human progress. Competition should, I hope, push Tesla even further and harder.
17th January 2010
19th January 2010
A web log, a test of my web design software, stories about the absurd, the dumb & interesting stuff.