Are Tesla’s Electric Cars ‘Niche Vehicles?’ Is Your GasPowered …

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Bentley Electric Cars

Are Tesla’s Electric Cars Vehicles?’ Is Your Gas-Powered Car One

Tesla’s Model S. Just how big a can it fill? (Photo credit:

In the battle between the New York and Tesla over just how far you can in the electric-vehicle maker’s Model S, one in the multitude of articles really my attention. It was right here at where Joann Muller “Until the price of electric falls dramatically and there is a network of charging stations as and easy to access as today’s gas electric cars will be more than niche

The Times-Tesla dust-up didn’t do to dispel the notion that a S can travel 200 or more miles in that’s been favorably to an Audi A8 or BMW 7-series. But it did make how in the rush to compare something new — an car capable of getting on a freeway and somewhere – with something — a gasoline-powered car that has always that — we find ourselves the frame of reference in a way to tell story we want. Over the few days, I’ll ask you to look at the through a slightly different

In this installment, I’ll what it really means to be a vehicle”, and how your current car fits the definition a lot better you realize.

What do we ask our cars to do

This seems like it to be obvious right? We ask them to get us we want to go. But it turns out, we often want to go very In fact, according to data by the Department of Transportation. 97% of vehicle are less than 50 miles and 88% of are under 20.

In other words, a Nissan Leaf (with a range) could comfortably get you and back without recharging for 9 in every 10 automobile trips in the entire country.

But Teslas are different from the and electric versions of the Ford Honda Fit, et al. They are to be cars you live with if not all the pretty much all the time. To end, the company’s smallest offering is expected to power the S for around 150 miles (final EPA are not available yet) and the model by the Times — indeed the first one — can get north of 265 miles of range. the DOT data doesn’t get quite enough to tell us just how trips you can’t make in the Tesla, we know it’s significantly under the 3% of trips are 50+ mile.

Almost certainly 1% in fact.

What can’t car do?

I drive a compact SUV that can hold 5 adults and take pretty much anywhere, a night out to a weekend away. exceptionally versatile, tolerably on fuel (mid 20s MPG on the freeway), and drives decently well for an vehicle. My car is multi-talented, but it isn’t as as the Miami Heat’s LeBron at doing pretty much Some things it can’t do:

Take the soccer team out for It’s said LeBron can the team on his shoulders, but that’s a of speech. For that I’d need like a minivan, which a suburban family knows well. The third row of seating and the side doors are absolutely for situations like that.

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But as as those suburban parents the convenience of the minivan when loaded with kids, pretty much the last car grab the keys for when are just going out for a quick or — if the opportunity allows — a drive.


home a sofa from James is so skilled, he can defend the big man at times, but my car can’t fake it the Heat star. Over the we watched as a couple loaded huge boxes of a sectional a full-size pickup. They the truck from U-Haul (an similar to one we’d had last when we needed to cart off a of old electronic gear for a big donation we making) and doubtless returned it the day. I can’t speak to experience but I feel like I can use of a full-size pickup about a year.

What I wouldn’t want to do is one as my everyday vehicle. It might be to get me the 360 miles to Los Angeles, but it wouldn’t be an enjoyable or efficient way to do it. And parking

No thanks.

Truly serve as an commuter car: In the NBA, one of the statistics” they talk these days is player rating and, of course, is fantastic . My little SUV does but it’s nothing like the popular vehicle in California: Prius. While many of you the Prius is popular because all a bunch of granola-eating hippies, the is it gets great mileage, in traffic — which we have a lot of. For who do have to commute 40-60 a day, the Prius is pretty

But it’s not a lot of fun to drive, can’t home a serious Home run (unlike my SUV), and is less for a bunch of full-size humans a larger car.

What’s the of this? It should be clear by There is no LeBron James of that does everything well. Your car fulfills needs the vast majority of the . If you’re fortunate enough to be a (or more) household, you are sometimes to fill more niches your own garage (kind of having Chris Bosh makes Miami more But even out in suburbia, we sometimes to rent a U-Haul. And city will often choose an subcompact that isn’t the car of dreams otherwise.

Tesla’s Model S certainly is no to the “nothing is perfect” rule. exceptional about the Tesla that it falls short on space, comfort or performance, but that it can’t go everywhere a bunch of 5-minute fill-ups at any of of gas stations. That’s new and unfamiliar and take some getting to.

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