Is This the Greatest American-Made Car Ever?

Tesla's Model S. Photo credit: Tesla Motors.

The automotive industry has been using internal combustion engines to drive vehicles for more than a century, and the industry was begging to be disrupted by an innovative solution. Some have dubbed electric vehicles the ride of the future, but the likes of Ford's (NYSE: F  ) Focus Electric and Nissan's Leaf leave something to be desired.

Then something happened – Tesla's (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) Model S took America by storm. People aren't even sure how to classify it. Is it a sports car, a luxury car, an electric car, or all three combined? Whatever it's classified under, there's no mistaking that this could be the greatest American-made car ever. Here's why.

Performance
Tesla's Model S performance delivers in a multitude of different ways. First, it delivers more driving range than the Leaf and the Focus Electric combined.


Graph by author. Information credit: Consumer Reports.

The extended driving range will enable Tesla to build out its supercharger network wider and faster in the months and years to come. In a few short months it will already be possible to drive a Model S between our nation's major metro areas and even diagonally from L.A. to New York.

As far as driving performance goes, Tesla's Model S could definitely be considered a sports car, with its top-spec model accelerating from 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds. To put that in comparison, a 2001 Lamborghini Diablo VT 6.0 does 0 to 60 in the same 4.2 seconds. The Model S is even quicker to 60 mph than Porsche's 2013 911 Carrera, which takes 4.3 seconds.

Typically, we don't associate lightning-quick sports cars with being safe -- and that's something that separates the Model S yet again. It recently earned a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA. It topped the list in every subcategory, and its overall Vehicle Safety Score achieved a new combined record of 5.4 stars, according to Tesla's press release. This might not only be the greatest American-made car ever, but it could also be the safest.

I'm not the only one insanely impressed by the revolutionary EV. Motor Trend unanimously voted the Tesla Model S as its "2013 Car of the Year." Consumer Reports said the flashy EV is "off the charts" and gave it a stunning 99 out of 100 points in the magazine's tests -- one of the highest scores it's ever given.

With a vehicle so far ahead, it's created giggle fits during Tesla conference calls, when comments regarding competition arise. With such an innovative and successful product that seems to have a ridiculously bright future, this could be a once-in-a-generation investment opportunity, right?

Perhaps, but let's dig in a little first.

Investment takeaway
Investors have been climbing over each other to get into this stock before and after the company posted its first-ever quarterly profit. Look at the stock's performance this year.

That increase no doubt makes it one of the hottest stocks and stories on the market -- and it's really just scratching the surface on its potential. As the supercharger station buildouts expand, and as the company works toward producing a cheaper vehicle for the masses, the stock could continue its upward momentum. Even before its mass-produced vehicle arrives, sales of the Model S are expected to nearly double next year. The Model S has already captured 8.4% of the luxury market and has barely been selling for over a year -- compared with some luxury automakers that have been selling for decades.

However, there is a lot of risk with a stock that has soared so high, so quickly. As the market for EVs grows, there are juggernaut companies such as Ford, General Motors, Toyota, and Honda that will dump hundreds of millions into R&D to make their EVs much more competitive. Right now those automakers are a long way off, but they aren't going to give up anytime soon.

Tesla's products are revolutionary, but the road ahead for its stock price will be filled with bumps. If you buy into Tesla, now you'd better be patient enough to hold for a decade at least.

Just like investing in Tesla, the best investing approach is to choose great companies and stick with them for the long term. The Motley Fool's free report "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich" names stocks that could help you build long-term wealth and retire well, along with some winning wealth-building strategies that every investor should be aware of. Click here now to keep reading.


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  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 12:57 PM, sranger wrote:

    Probably one of the best cars ever made domestic or foreign and certainly one of the most important...

    I put it up there with the Dusenburg's, Rolls Royce Grey ghost, Jaguire E type, Porsche 911, etc...

    In my opinion of course.....

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 1:06 PM, mobadthangood wrote:

    "Is This the Greatest American-Made Car Ever?"

    Uh, NO?

    Starting at $70,000.00? Again NO!

    Keep throwing AMERICAN MIDDLE CLASS WORKERS out on the street and see what these cars are worth sitting on the lots.

    Minimum wage does NOT pay for $70,000.00 cars.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 1:08 PM, Grumpycat wrote:

    "It recently earned a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA. It topped the list in every subcategory, and its overall Vehicle Safety Score achieved a new combined record of 5.4 stars, according to Tesla's press release."

    If it weren't for misleading and hyped up press releases made by Musk & Co every few days this stock would be back in the 'realm of reality'.

    Here's a recent article just published that gives a little more information about the safety ratings.

    "is the Tesla Model S really the safest car on the road?

    One key fact went unnoticed this week as Tesla Motors Inc. trumpeted its "best" crash-test rating in the media: The federal government doesn't test most other luxury cars.

    So the Model S may be safer than many cars costing far less. But whether it's safer than direct competitors from BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz — considered among the safest cars available — remains a mystery.

    What's more, the federal safety regulators privately reprimanded the automaker for publicly claiming the Model S scored better than any other car, according to a source familiar with the discussions. In fact, Tesla is among seven cars since 2011 that received the highest rating in all categories, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    Knowing safety is a top consumer priority, automakers often use crash-test data to hype their vehicles. But the tests are just one measure of safety and can often provide a skewed picture, experts say.

    "Safety in the tests is different than safety on the road," said Clarence Ditlow, director of the Center for Auto Safety, an independent advocacy organization.

    Crash tests only measure the damage after things go horribly wrong.

    Say you are driving a Model S at 35 mph and look down at a text on your phone and — bam! You've just rear-ended a car. The 4,800-pound car, with big crumple zones to absorb the impact, sustains major damage but protects you from injury.

    Take the same scenario in a Mercedes-Benz S-class, a big German sedan that competes with the Tesla. You look down at the text and suddenly feel your brakes slam — even though your foot is still on the gas. You stop before hitting the car.

    That's because the Mercedes, like many other luxury cars, is equipped with forward collision avoidance sensors with automatic braking, a feature Tesla doesn't offer.

    "Tesla clearly does the best overall in the test-crash scores," Ditlow said. "But when you put that car on the road, I suspect it will do poorer than a car like the Mercedes."

    Ditlow lists a host of other Mercedes technologies that prevent accidents but don't appear in test-crash data. Adaptive cruise control tracks the speed of cars ahead and maintains a safe distance. Another system alerts the driver when the car is about to stray from its lane. Headlights automatically adjust to better illuminate the road.

    The Model S doesn't have those features but Tesla may look into integrating them in the future, said Shanna Hendriks, the Palo Alto electric-car company's spokeswoman. "We believe the impact active safety features have on a car's overall safety is marginal," she said.

    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety disagrees. Forward collision systems with automatic braking have cut property damage claims on some Mercedes and Acura models 14%, according to the institute, an industry research group that operates its own testing program.

    More important, they cut bodily injury claims, made when the insured hurts someone in another vehicle, by 16% in the Mercedeses and 15% in the Acuras.

    Another way to judge safety is the number of deaths in a particular vehicle. For model years 2005 through 2008, death rates tracked over three years ending in 2009 ranged from a high of 143 per million cars in the Nissan 350Z to zero for seven different models.

    The models with no deaths included the Audi A6, the Mercedes E-Class, the Toyota Sienna, Ford Edge, Nissan Armada and two Land Rovers.

    In real-world driving, both the Model S and the Mercedes provide "supreme safety" thanks to their hefty mass, passenger-protecting crumple zones and other features, said Jeff Bartlett, a Consumer Reports automotive editor.

    "Dramatic accidents that might set them apart would be so rare," Bartlett said.

    But crash-test comparisons simply aren't available for most luxury cars.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 1:13 PM, TMFTwoCoins wrote:

    @sranger

    Agreed

    @mobadthangood

    I understand what you're saying, but regardless of price this is one of the greatest American-made vehicles we've ever seen.

    Supposedly if the mass produced vehicle comes down significantly in price, who knows what you can afford on minimum wage with longer leases and low interest rates. Start saving up ;)

    Daniel

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 1:15 PM, jmk9333 wrote:

    If they could only make this car available everyone, They would really have something amazing. a car starting at $20,000 and no more than $30,000 and everyone world would by one. Why would we buy anything else.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 1:23 PM, sranger wrote:

    @more bad than good

    maybe if more of the cars and their components were still made in the USA (Like Tesla) maybe more people could afford them...

    Also this is the way it ALWAYS works. The rich are usually the early adopters of new technology. They buy the tech and make it profitable and over time the price comes down so that others can afford it. It happened with the early ICE automobiles, cell phones, computers, etc...

    @grumpycat

    Your rant is kind of pointless. It is one of, if not the, safest cars on the road and that in itself for a car company less than ten years old is simple amazing....

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 1:24 PM, madcatwb wrote:

    You know when something is a game changer when the incumbents are doing everything they can to suppress it.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 1:25 PM, noveds07 wrote:

    I read an article on the same subject around 6 months ago. When considering longevity, numbers sold, loyalty and reliability, the Mustang was the winner by a mile.

    Disclaimer: I'm a Mustang fanatic, but what I stated above is true.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 1:28 PM, SkepikI wrote:

    ^ even if it comes down to 40% it is unlikely to be on my agenda for a decade. No charging stations for 100 mi around Burns OR, or Drewsey or Juntura... and god forbid I want to make 550 mi to Seeley Lake MT in 101/2 hours...

    Some things wont be correctable for a long time, thank goodness gasoline cars these days last 15 years or more.

    The first time the Tesla GPS sends some poor urbanite down the back road to Bandon OR and strands them in the snow out of juice with no options (like happened to a family from S. Francisco a year or two ago, the gnashing of teeth will be audible.

    If you are urban, committed, and wealthy, GO FOR IT! If you are none of these things, a hybrid Fusion or a plug in hybrid fusion will save you a lot of shoe leather, and maybe your life...

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 1:32 PM, 23ask wrote:

    Toyota and Daimler already have significant stakes in Tesla, which makes them more likely to be customers or collaborators with Tesla as opposed to competitors in the future.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 1:33 PM, bleep67 wrote:

    Much like history, the determination of whether or not greatness exists lies years down the road. It wasn't that long ago when the proponents of the segway were touting it as the greatest invention since the wheel, while the assassination of a little-known Austrian duke back in 1914 dictated the course of a century and beyond.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 1:33 PM, holymolar57 wrote:

    No! It is a POS! The day the rest of the world raves about this "flash in the pan", is the day I consider this car! Just came back from Germany and did not see one fully electric car OF ANY TYPE on the autobahn! The Germans know their cars and these cars do not fit their lifestyle - 90mph for 2 hours is not uncommon! WHAT is the range of the Testicle at this speed?? Similarly people in Texas will hate this because 1.they drive like maniacs (85-90!) and 2. they have some very long commutes - big state. Stop the hype!

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 1:41 PM, kca124cain wrote:

    Taken America by storm??? Not quite. With less than 20,000 cars produced, and according to Musk, about 1/4 to 1/3 going to the EU, about the same amount of cars are produced by each of the other car manufacturers every 2 to 3 days.

    When I look in the parking lots at shopping malls, I see a lot of F-150s, Camry's, Hondas, BMWs, Chevy's Dodges, etc. But not one Tesla unless it i at one of the Malls with a Tesla showroom, then I might see 2 or 3.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 1:44 PM, kca124cain wrote:

    Holymolar57. Right.

    According to the Tesla reps in Denver, if you were to take a Tesla S up to the mountains on I-70, you would need to stop and charge it up after about 150 miles. 200 miles would be really taking a chance of getting stranded.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 1:45 PM, TMFTwoCoins wrote:

    @kca124cain

    Not taken America by storm through sales. I meant through its performance on the road, groundbreaking EV range, and accolades from CR, Motor trends and about every other place that cares to award vehicles for something.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 1:51 PM, phillipzx3 wrote:

    Nothing against the Tesla, but if Ford were to put a 60kwh battery pack in the Focus, it would have (ballpark) a 225 mile range. Of course it would then cost $50-$60K...but at least we'd be close to an apples to apples comparison. I'd rather have the Tesla Roadster than the Model S.

    If one want to see the power of an electric car, look at the "White Zombie" on Youtube. It's a 1974 Datsun 1200 that a guy in Portland Oregon drag races. It does 0-60 mph in 1.8 seconds, and the quarter mile in 10.2 seconds. It's a street legal, daily driven electric car.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 1:56 PM, kca124cain wrote:

    Imagine your new Tesla get hit in the side in a parking lot No frame damage, just damage to the passenger door and p just behind the door.

    Now, you have traded insurance info with the person who hit you and you get in to drive home. But the car won't start.

    Tesla voids the warranty. The insurance company has to total the car, because nobody can fix it. It ends up on eBay as SALVAGE.

    eBay Listing 290955840979 2011 Roadster with 6,500 miles.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 2:00 PM, kca124cain wrote:

    Grumpycat. Good synopsis. If only people would understand the difference between one of Musks hyped press releases and the truth.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 2:00 PM, damilkman wrote:

    Err, yet another Telsa article written on the Fool plugging a company without telling us why we should invest in it. Its nice that Tesla is making expensive safe cars with a driving range less then half of my truck. But I am interested in what might make this company a good investment.

    How can the FOOLS justify me investing my hard earned money in a niche luxury car maker that already has a market cap in the tens of billions? Where is the information on how TSLA is going to make cars for the masses that will be affordable yet retain the gross margins they have set as their goal?

    All I have seen in perhaps a dozen articles is a belief in the management team and the culture. That might work for people who have money to burn and buy Tesla's. But I have only one shot in where I put my retirement money. Mindless faith without understanding how they will get there does no good. Celera and Level3 were innovative companies that were going to upset the standard quo.

    Is there anyone out there with an opinion that is backed up by hard data?

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 2:04 PM, BayCountry wrote:

    Two words ... "range anxiety."

    Until that is solved these are just overpriced golf carts. Not to mention $8,000-12,000 to replace the battery. Tesla is good at propaganda though. The herd seems to be lapping up the praise for a $70,000 car that risks stranding them in a not so uncommon traffic jam. A 4-hour drive to the ocean? Hmmmm, better not chance it. A drive from LA to Vegas? Well, you do like to gamble, right?

    If it wasn't for Tesla selling their carbon credits they wouldn't even be profitable.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 2:05 PM, george6772 wrote:

    If you want your car to be on the list for best car ever made your car needs to inspire passion to drive. You want to drive that car just for the sake of driving. To date no economy car or eco car has inspired that passion to drive.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 2:11 PM, mcintyrem40 wrote:

    If it doesn't have a V-8 rumbling through dual exhausts, and isn't able to turn 2 Goodyear Gator Backs into melted rubber, I have no use for it, regardless of cost. The muscle car is what defined the American automobile. They are sought out all over the world. They can take their electric toy to the playground. I want heavy metal thunder.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 2:14 PM, Gavinsox wrote:

    As an engineer I have three concerns with the Tesla S electric car. One is the limited range in terms of miles. The second is the ability of the car to handle high speeds and traverse mountains and hills. The third is a health safety concern. No one talks about the large battery under the car and driver exposure to EMF over the long term. Can't be good for your health just like the batteries in cell phones aren't. Battery replacements are also $18,000 by the way. God forbid if you have a dead battery!

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 2:14 PM, thedude47 wrote:

    make one for $25k and get over the "direct to buyer" attempt and maybe we have a deal. it's too early to even judge it's overall reliability. i won't dwell into the whole green thing as electricity is usually generated from fossil fuels. natural gas would be a better option.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 2:16 PM, mmmright wrote:

    forget even the price. Cars going to have to have a range of at least 350 miles, charging stations, ability to recharge car in 10 minutes max.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 2:17 PM, Riggerwo wrote:

    Give me a Ford Fiesta...it goes further....costs a lot less...easy to maintain....affordable...a $70K electric cars is a rich mans toy...nothing more...

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 2:22 PM, pattherealist wrote:

    A lot of naysayers on this site. I guess they have money tied up in Big Oil, or they will miss having black fingernail tips from doing that oil and filter change out in the garage on a Saturday afternoon.

    I welcome this luxury car developed by Tesla. It is what is needed for the US market. Americans with the buying power to launch this car into mass production, don't want an ugly little economy shoebox with wheels to spend their money on. They want something sleek, sexy, powerful and fast, And Tesla have come a long way with this model S. The article does not state the exact driving range which is as much as 265 miles, according to the specs on their website. That beats the range of my Toyata Corolla aroun my city. If thatsw still to light for some of you though, consider the following:

    Tesla wont seem to entertain the idea of an interchangeable battery, with facilities to swap the main battery, set up, well, everywhere there is a gas station. That would solve the range problem, when you could have a choice of recharging your battery, or just swapping it out for a fresh one if you are on a road trip and don't want to be delayed.

    An Israeli company have this system set up and in place in Isreal already, but the cars are light weight boxy little compacts, which is not attractive to the spoilt brat US consumer.

    Come on Tesla!! Make us a sports car where the big battery under the hood can be grabbed and picked out by a machine and replaced with another, in the time it takes a traffic light to turn from red to green. Technically very simple to develop in our time, And the final fix to the short range of electric cars forever. Don't forget my royalties when you get this up and running! Thanks.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 2:24 PM, speculawyer wrote:

    Yes . . . yes it is. Fast, luxurious, no local pollution, no noise, low vibration, EXTREMELY efficient, extremely safe, requires no imported oil, almost no maintenance, fill-up at home, massive torque, pennies per mile to drive, no stinky exhaust, can fill it up with fuel from PV panels on your roof, super-charging or battery-swapping, etc.

    One weakness . . . very expensive. But that will come down some. And if you really want to enjoy EV driving for low cost, you can buy a Chevy Spark EV in California for $27K and get $7.5K tax-credit and a $2.5K california incentive such that it is $17K for a fun little commuter car that will cost very little to drive.

    EVs are the future when you know it yet or not. Remember, oil is a finite commodity that we literally burn up. It is only a matter of time.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 2:33 PM, milanmadman wrote:

    This has been set up to be the biggest Pump and Dump in US history! I wouldn't buy this garbage with your money, let alone mine. It' doesn't make money, and never will!

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 2:33 PM, pattherealist wrote:

    Aah! Gavinsox,

    If the battery dies and needs to be replaced, it is replased for free by Tesla as they offer an 8 year or 125k miles guarantee. So it wont cost you $18,000 as you say.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 2:33 PM, luckyagain wrote:

    "Is This the Greatest American-Made Car Ever?"

    A few years ago, almost no one would have even considered an EV car to be worthy of comment. After all how many articles do you see about Nissan Leaf? It might be a success or it might be failure but it has certainly changed the automotive industry like nothing else since the Model T. As for the fact that it is too expensive for the average American, so what. Many of the world's greatest cars are far beyond the reach of the average American. The most expensive part of any car is not the manufacturing of it. The most expensive part is the engineering that the car already has done. Once the engineering is done and paid for, the actual cost of building the car is much less. In this case the engineering can be applied to lower price cars without a major cost.

    So my response is "YES". This car has certainly changed the automotive industry more than anything since the Model T.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 2:37 PM, milanmadman wrote:

    Honey, let's take the Tesla on our trip next week to Texas, it's 1300 miles one way to my brothers house, oops. I guess we are taking the BMW.............

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 2:39 PM, ashaskevich wrote:

    A lot of people are making comments here based on ignorance of what Tesla Motors is going to do and what they have done.

    If you want to know why the stock price is at 160 ( I bought in at 38.50) then go to Telsa Motors website which is www.teslamotors.com and get the facts straight. Battery swappping, supercharging, supercharging network, supercharging stations in Texas, etc.....all are in place.

    People please do your research before you comment.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 2:42 PM, legacys7 wrote:

    It's funny reading all of the hate on Tesla. You guys can wine and talk about Ford, Germany and what the Japanese auto industry have. But what I see and haven't seen from non of them is how far and serious Tesla is taking and going with this. This to me is def getting the attention from the other auto industry. These cars are very popular here in the Cali. Bay area. I see them everyday and I know for a fact that this car is paving the way to how we'll be driving in the near distant future. Haven't seen an all electric car drive as far as this one does before needing a charge. And I can't forget about the charging stations that are being installed across the country. They even have a time chart at how many we'll see up to 2014.

    After Toyota closed shop at the Numi plant in Fremont, Cali, after General Motors pulled a b.s. move, Tesla and Toyota opened that plant right back up and so far, things are moving ahead. I predict that we'll see more investment being put into them company and with more production and lower priced cars.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 2:43 PM, pattherealist wrote:

    Nice post Speckulawyer,

    Though, I don't think Tesla have even touched on this battery swap solution yet. Is there something I don't yet know about? I hope so.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 2:49 PM, damilkman wrote:

    I can only speak for myself but I have no special love for big oil. The car may be nice and the rich may enjoy it. When I see articles on TMF I look for the investment angle. There are plenty of other places to get information about how spiffy the model S is. I just don't see the point of these articles.

    I would absolutely enjoy why a TSLA BUY would believe this company is still a buy with a valuation a quarter of FORD which makes zillions of cars and is well run.

    I would also enjoy a discussion of how the technology that TSLA is working on might change the automotive landscape even if TSLA never makes it big. I personally see a strong possibility of one partners buying TSLA out. Is a buyout a reason to consider an investment?

    There are all sorts of angles. Yet these TMF articles are so devoid of information, you would think this is the TSLA PR site. They seem to want to break all of their TMF rules.

    I would love to see EV really take off. But I also want to invest my money wisely. The second part of that statement seems to be ignored. I run the numbers for certain kinds of projects and I just do not see how this company can be worth its valuation. I went with a base line of selling 300K cars a year for 50K. That is 15 billion dollars in sales. In thory gross margin will be 4.5 billion. So were talking a gross margin somehow triple the industry average. So after gross margin you have to take out all the other costs of doing business. Remember you have to have in inventory a vast store of expensive batteries and upkeep on all those charging stations. Plus we know with so many companies there will be massive competition.

    This leads to a possible solution which is loyal customer branding aka the Tony Stark solution. Can Tesla sell cars for more in ten years because they are the next APPLE? Big difference in paying 1K more for a computer verses 10K more for a car.

    It is very possible that the math works out or there is a technology moat that will keep TESLA ahead. But none of this is discussed. I don't care if the Model S is a good car. I care is this company a good investment.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 3:03 PM, 18RC wrote:

    Is the Tesla really an American innovation? Or did Toyota play a crucial role in its development?

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 3:35 PM, redsherring wrote:

    i suppose that it's a great car for around town but I'll stick with my 16mpg F150 for highway use. Afterall it's over 200 miles to northern Dallas from Austin and about 550 to El paso. I don't need to turn a four hour trip to Dallas into 12 hours. I've got better things to do than spend 8 hours charging my car up.

    Also, this entire electric car thing seems to be a false economy. After all, we burn fossil fuels to make electricity with which we charge our cars. Right now this drain on the system isn't even a blip, but rest assured that if, or when, ten to 20 percent of the cars on the road become electric demand will rise and so too will energy prices across the board.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 3:47 PM, duditz wrote:

    The3 criteria for "greatest ever" are too subjective.Many would say the model T ford was the greatest ever, other may feel various mustangs or corvettes.Myself, I would say either a Duesenberg speedster or a 1969 Daytona.The Tesla has not been around long enough to earn the title.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 3:53 PM, champinvest wrote:

    I don't own a Tesla but I am amazed and so proud of American made tesla, that finally I feel the innovation and minds are in right direction, i was lucky enough to test drive one of the Tesla model S and the only thing that comes in my mind is Genuinely and truly "Wow"

    There is no doubt that the way they are handling even a minor issue is pure brilliance.

    As far as stock goes its poised to be above $200 soon,

    I still remember when it was $90 in May, some people were saying negative stuff that time too and look at it now in August its $161,

    Well there are lots of things and criteria' s why the stock goes up and down, and Tesla has all the right ingredients to go more then $200.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 4:13 PM, phillipzx3 wrote:

    "Imagine your new Tesla get hit in the side in a parking lot No frame damage, just damage to the passenger door and p just behind the door.

    Now, you have traded insurance info with the person who hit you and you get in to drive home. But the car won't start.

    Tesla voids the warranty. The insurance company has to total the car, because nobody can fix it. It ends up on eBay as SALVAGE.

    eBay Listing 290955840979 2011 Roadster with 6,500 miles."

    There has to be more to this story than just, "Tesla voids the warranty!"

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 4:18 PM, Mega wrote:

    I don't know, I still prefer the 1972 Buick Skylark.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 4:19 PM, OhioLocal wrote:

    -Well the question is...Is This the Greatest American-Made Car Ever? the answer is no...the Model T is still the greatest American car ever made. It revolutionized how American people traveled, worked and lived. Plus the production of the Model T was main reason to the use of the assembly line.

    -The Tesla has not revolutionized anything, GM made a all electric car before Tesla, so lets not at as if Tesla is reinventing the wheel. People are not flocking to trade in their internal combustion cars for a Tesla...plus the future on the green automotive movement is NOT all electric, its hydrogen. people are not going to wait countless hours to recharge their care when they can simply refill their tank just as we do with present day gasoline. PLUS lets stop with performance measures such as 0-60 and top speed...comparing 0-60 on cars is like people infatuated with 40 times in the NFL combine; both are not practical in an everyday environment. I would love to challenge any Tesla owner to a race against my Subaru WRX!

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 4:19 PM, HunterofWarrior7 wrote:

    The only real innovation to come out of the automotive industry in the past 120 years.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 4:23 PM, HunterofWarrior7 wrote:

    The only truly made in America car and it is light years ahead of anyone else in the world. We were once proud of such innovations and hope we can do so once again.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 4:25 PM, HunterofWarrior7 wrote:

    Here in Kern County, California, the oil companies just sued and won a suit to stop the development of 99 acres near the mojave desert that would have provided electricity to Edwards Air Force Base and up to 1.5 million households. The Air Force wanted it for security reasons. The entire thing now lays scrapped. The oil companies are also suing the Navy for developing an electric Battleship.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 4:27 PM, HunterofWarrior7 wrote:

    I may be the only one who flies or uses bullet trains/trains when traveling long distances. Why would you insist on driving 1300 miles if you can afford to fly???? Or even 400 miles???

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 4:30 PM, LungsOfSteel wrote:

    Oldsmobile was first with the assembly line, not Ford.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 4:51 PM, speculawyer wrote:

    I love this comment:

    "Honey, let's take the Tesla on our trip next week to Texas, it's 1300 miles one way to my brothers house, oops. I guess we are taking the BMW............"

    It is such an example of how ridiculous the haters have become. They now have to create ridiculous scenarios to validate their views. Seriously . . . who drives 1300 miles to their brother's house? You've never heard of airplane? You really think a Tesla and BMW owner can't afford an airline ticket or has the time to waste driving 1300 miles?!?!

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 5:00 PM, humantripod wrote:

    I think "EVERYBODY" should run right out and buy one. I'm going to sit and watch.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 5:35 PM, rcgalaska wrote:

    Certainly the "greatest" hyped car ever, as is the

    stock.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 5:58 PM, fangzamillion wrote:

    I read the "Greatest American Car" banner, and clicked on it. Packard or Pierce Arrow? The 1959 Cadillac? NO! It's yet another Tesla ad posing as a story.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 5:59 PM, Cody700 wrote:

    I'm so sick of reading all of the BS about Tesla Motors I could throw up. They have sold approximately 15,000 cars to date, and that is NOTHING in the world of cars. To say they are the best at ANYTHING is not only premature, but absurd at best. Is it an interesting concept? Yes. Is it a good looking car? Hell yes. Is it the best? Hell no. Whenever they have sold even 1% of what the other manufacturers have sold, they still won't have a representative sample of cars on the road.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 6:51 PM, RustySlade wrote:

    Let's add some reality to what the writer is showing shall we.

    . . The mileage chart. . . .The ford focus has a 23kwh battery. . The nissan leaf has a 24kwh battery. . The Tesla has a 60kwh and a 85kwh battery option.. . The optional larger battery is an extra $10K in the Model S

    SO. . . The writer is clearly fudging the facts by not mentioning this in the chart.

    2nd. . . The supercharger is 480 volts . .. .Yet no mention of this in the article. . . . Tell me, do you have 480 volt service to your house?. .

    So the writer is clearly fudging the facts by not mentioning this.

    3rd .. What would the range be if you drive a Model S like how the zero to 60 times showed as being comparable to the other sports cars mentioned?. . . The range would be about the same . . . The difference being the cost to fill the tank. .. . The Lambo could fill up in 3 minutes. . . The Tesla without 480 volts, about 6 hours i'm figuring. . . .And if you can afford a Lambo, the cost of gas is not a problem for you.

    Once Tesla sells about 1.5 million cars TOTAL, their done. My research says complete electric car market saturation has occured for tesla due to , who can charge, who can afford, competition, and desire.

    Tesla is going to be a short of a lifetime right after the next CapEx expenditure by telsa to upscale production.. . . They will spend millions to upscale and then they will not sell enough to pay their bills.

    I'm actually salivating at the opportunity to short it when the times comes.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 6:56 PM, EdwardInFlorida wrote:

    I see a lot of haters here. Sorry to burst your bubbles but none of your arguments hold any water!

    The company is currently taking roughly 500 orders per week for the Model S. Remember this is a very young auto manufacturer, and have exceeded their production, and sales expectations for this period of time.

    The next 3-5 years will prove to disappoint all those ill wishing people who just "don't get it" in regards to this innovative company.

    If you can't put up, SHUT UP!!!

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 7:25 PM, EdwardInFlorida wrote:

    @RustySlade

    "I'm actually salivating at the opportunity to short it when the times comes."

    Don't bet your food, rent or mortgage money. It's hard to be homeless and hungry.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 8:45 PM, tonyinnewyork wrote:

    We should all be proud of this American Company sticking it to the oil companies. This company has broke so many barriers in this corrupt world. The more they sell the faster the price will come down. It's the battery cost that makes the price of the car so expensive right now. As far as range anxiety please watch http://www.teslamotors.com/batteryswap . Its faster than filling up your car with foreign oil!!!!

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 9:19 PM, normgarry wrote:

    It is possible to build a machine that surpasses all tests, but it still isn't "perfect" for the average person.

    A $65,000 car that only goes 275 miles between charges isn't getting purchased by regular people.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 9:38 PM, Sailorsorrow wrote:

    I for one think this is a fantastic and very much needed car! If I could afford one I'd be on it very quickly, but sadly it's priced way out of my range. Long term reliability is a question that will take a few years to answer but I am rooting for Tesla!

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 9:56 PM, MarkHM wrote:

    The price is a non-starter for me. It's not even in the range of possible, it's not worth considering. If you can afford 70 G for a car, you deserve to get mugged.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 10:18 PM, AdamsCalifornia wrote:

    Electric cars will remain niche vehicles until they can be fully charged in the time it takes to fill a gas tank and charging stations are as common as the corner gas station.

    Sorry electric car religionists, but the revolution won't happen until these issues are resolved....don't hold your breath.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 10:41 PM, tslghtr wrote:

    I am so sick of hearing about this car. This company is profiting from California tax breaks, selling emission credits, and produces a vehicle, which no real American can afford...or wants.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 11:32 PM, CrazyDocAl wrote:

    If it's so great then why are sales tailing off? The early adopters have bought in and now Tesla is scrambling to other countries to try and hide that fact before the serious investors drop the stock.

    I love how some want to push Tesla as some sort of game changing event. They sell a tiny fraction of the cars sold. For any other company Tesla's sales numbers would be cause for people to be fired and the line dropped.

    Even Tesla can't make a profit on their cars. If not for carbon credits and selling their patents to others the company would still be in debt.

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2013, at 12:46 AM, BERTHACRACKER wrote:

    Would not spend any money at 70k for a depreciable item as a car. I can find good used cars for far less and they run just fine, and they are fully depreciated.

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2013, at 1:17 AM, rav55 wrote:

    Electric cars are a moronic and local solution to a global problem. Lets say this article is right and electric cars replace 75% of the current petroleum based fleet.

    What happens to our electrical grid? All of the energy that was supplied by gasoline and diesel will not be provided by the electric grid. The electricity will be generated by coal and gas not at all reducing the carbon footprint but in fact increasing acid rain. The third generator of electricity will be nuclear and that will also be overburdened so new plants will need to be built.

    The truth is whenever a public utility needs to upgrade the grid they raise rates. So basically an electric fleet is going to more than likely double the cost of electricity in 10 years. Remember when California had rolling blackouts and the cost of electricity went through the roof? Imaginf that on a nationwide scale.

    Elon Musk is an idiot. Electric cars are a foolish solution. In fact the panacea: hydrogen requires water which maybe a renewable resource but clean potable water is not renewable nor is it plentiful. Too many folk around the world now do not have adequate potable water.

    Which brings me to my other energy peeve: ethanol. it is immoral to use arable land to grow food crops to only convert them to fuel so we drive in airconditioned comfort to the mall.

    Boeing can't keep batteries from catching fire in the most sophiscated aircraft ever built and he want to spread millions of them over the landscape?

    Like I said Musk is an idiot and electric cars are for fools. The grid is 20 years out of date now and can't supply the 500% additional capacity. Who is going to pay to add that capacity?

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2013, at 2:03 AM, chrischamb1 wrote:

    As usual, the haters are out in force. First, lets start with a couple of corrections:

    1. The range of the 85KW version is rated at 265 miles by the EPA (I get 250 miles while driving 75 mph on CA freeways) NOT the 200 quoted in the chart in the article.

    2. The 99 rating by Consumer Reports was THE highest score ever obtained (and it would have been 100 if the supercharger network had been complete)

    As I said, the haters (like Grumpycat) are similar to Apple haters as they still seem to to stuck on the 100 year-old technology (or lack thereof) of the ICE. Look at what Musk has done with SpaceX and Solar City and then tell me he needs to exaggerate, lie or "play with the numbers" to make his companies look better. If you watch the interview he did on CNBC last week, he was the first one to admit that his stock's price is not representative of the company's current value, but more of an indication of the future and the "possibility" of what it could be in a few years. Musk said that he feels honored and humbled by the price and will do EVERYTHING possible to earn that confidence by making Tesla the best company that it can be moving forward. For its shareholders, its employees and the world at large. What more could anyone ask of a CEO?? (Also, take a look at the video of Spacex's Grasshopper test from last week on You-Tube.....it's amazing!!

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2013, at 2:59 AM, FOCUSFANATIC wrote:

    The FORD FOCUS is a car that is hard to beat from my perspective. I get 42 mpg on the highway, the maintenance is minimal, and the insurance company doesn't rape me each month. I want a car that is EASY to purchase, EASY to maintain, and EASY to ensure. Plus it is safe, providing the driver understands the consequences of driving like a fool.

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2013, at 3:02 AM, FOCUSFANATIC wrote:

    When I fill up and drive 425 miles on one tank of gas, I see NO wisdom in buying a car like the Tesla... A car is designed to get you from Point A, to Point B... so why in the holy hell would you spend money on a car to impress everyone else?

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2013, at 3:37 AM, MercuryDon wrote:

    I would never own this POS !1

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2013, at 4:06 AM, TecnamTwin wrote:

    If you seemingly angry commenters would just drive the thing, you'd get your answers straightaway.

    Who needs gas when you can get crazy amounts of torque right NOW! The sound of rumbling V8s or diesels is like scratching on a chalkboard now. It's a bunch of noise, vibration, heat, and waste; and it sounds like it's trying so hard to get to speed vs the smooth, seamless, effortless blast in the Model S. It's not crude, but cultured and refined. It's by no means perfect (no car is), but it is one of the best, price no option.

    Most EVs are charged at night, there is no need to build additional stations or increase output. There already is enough wasted capacity that 80% of cars could be electric (which by the way may take at least 20-30 years; plenty of time improve the grid) without having to build another power plan.

    All of these objections can be answered with some basic research except for the insatiable thirst for more range. Two hundred miles no gas is plenty for me, and almost everybody else in the world, at least once they listen to reason and do the math. Anything requiring more than one Supercharge and I'd fly my plane (yet to be built; Waiex) or drive the other car (hybrid).

    Tesla's Supercharger network is slowly growing, and it takes less than an hour to charge up for FREE. Be patient people; it's a comin'. Rome was not built in a day.

    Fifty miles a day would suffice for 95% of my driving, so a Volt would do. But a Model S is so much better; it's laughable. I wish I could save up and get one, but the upcoming Model E is a much better value proposition. Also, I'll have more than enough money by then.

    Elon Musk is an engineer with incredible vision, and electric cars are for those who don't like oil, the people who sell it (oil companies, Arab sheiks linked with terrorists, etc.), the pollution it makes, the sickness it causes, the environmental disasters it creates (wars, pipeline explosions, leaks, and oil spills), or just like quiet, smooth, no vibration, instant torque, the convenience of charging at home, etc.

    These comments remind me of when the iPhone first came out. "It'll never sell." "I doesn't have a keyboard!" "What happens if you drop it?" "It's WAY too expensive." "The battery duration is too short!" "It's stupid!" "Who would ever want that?!!" As it turned out, nearly everybody.

    The affordable 2016/2017 Model E is going to sell in big numbers like the Audi A4, not the Model S which was never planned to, but is still selling 2-3x better in the US than all the other large luxury sedans; And it just came out last year!

    For the guy who wants to race a Model S with his Subaru WRX: only if you want to get destroyed.

    The stock does seem to be overvalued, but I said that at $120 and look where it is now. Using math simply does not work for some stocks, and TSLA seems to be one of those. People love it and just want a piece of it, who cares what it cost. Because of that and nearly continuous short squeezing, their stock now costs $160.

    Some analysts are predicting it to double in the next 2 years with the release of the Model X. Whether you believe them or not is the issue; and remember, Never put all your assets in one stock or industry.

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2013, at 5:39 AM, liberalsblow wrote:

    I've noticed a lot of negativity toward Elon Musk and Tesla here. You know everytime I pull up to a gas pump I cuss all the friggn' oil companies that are feeding off all of us with there ridiculous gas prices because whether we like it or not, if we want to drive, we're gonna pay! Well, I see no better way to stick it back in 'em as to flip off that gas pump when you smile and pass it by in your Tesla. I think Mr. Musk should be awarded the highest award possible for developing such an awesome automobile. I think being able to drive coast to coast without spending a dime on these insane fuel prices is worth it's weight in gold! So next time all you negative people want to enjoy a long trip but have to sacrifice some pleasure to compensate the oil crooks....just say "I coulda' had a Testla!"

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2013, at 6:26 AM, Scott93274 wrote:

    For those crying about the price of the car, it's common sense that the car is out of reach for the mainstream consumer. Cost of manufacturing new tech is high, especially for a company as new as Tesla. In addition, a lot of money made off the cars is spent on an ever expanding network of charging stations around the country.

    Tesla has already expressed it's desire to sell EVs that are in the $30,000 range in the next 3 to 5 years. Of course that's a bit of a wait, but I think that their product is something worth waiting for.

    On a side note, the driving range provided in the above graph is for the low end model Model S. The high end can get anywhere from 250 to 285.

    ... I know I'm going to sound like a hippie, but imagine a world without gas stations, with clean air, quiet streets, Imagine never having to pay for gas again, never having a oil change, timing belt replaced, transition going out.

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2013, at 7:38 AM, toolup wrote:

    If shell charges me $50 to fill my car and i can drive 350-400 miles on a tankfull..how long before tesla charging stations are charging $50 to charge my tesla? Think about it supply and demand. I think there is a better future in getting more mpg from gas. There still needs to be a giant leap in technology for purely electric cars that are capable of long distance worry free driving. A 4500lb electric car is so self defeating.

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2013, at 7:52 AM, DATSUN1967 wrote:

    No it's not the greatest! look at the sale numbers and you will see what people want to drive. And at $70,000.00 dollars who can afford it hell I can buy a nice BMW or a BENZS for that price. And before all of you say they are talking about cars built here they aren't no cars completely built here anymore!

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2013, at 8:47 AM, brian2md wrote:

    I love reading about Tesla innovation. As an investor, I bought the stock when it was around 30, but sold around 39, cause I was averse to the risk. If you hate the company, stop reading and please stop commenting. After all, the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference. From an investor standpoint, you have to have a long time horizon, etc, and very few of the comments have even mentioned anything from that viewpoint. I think Musk has extraordinary vision, and he is managing his company so that it survives for the very long term. There have been many analysts who recommend shorting the stock, and have been burned. On the other hand, even fans of the stock (like me) have a hard time buying in right now because of the risk. Can the comments please focus on the investment angle? Oh wait, we are on the intronets (purposely misspelled) so everyone can say whatever the heck they want.

    I will ask that all the range anxiety people please quiet down. I bet 90% (or possibly more) of people who drive a car today drive less than 200 miles in a day. With the proper home charger, the battery can be recharged easily overnight. I also know there are plenty of people who end up renting a car for long trips, simply not to put the wear and tear on their own vehicle. That is still an option, and something that BMW introduced with their i3, cause it has a limited range. And bravo to the commenter said do some research. Too bad few will listen.

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2013, at 9:13 AM, Bellanca6573n wrote:

    This is hype to the extreme. At the base is the hard core facts of electrics and batteries. I spent one enlistment on a WW II era diesel electric submarine. That was an education.

    To cut to the chase: Maybe it has a 200 mile range but only when brand new. All batteries loose capacity over time. You think the car is expensive? Wait until it comes time to change the battery! Oh, and in Texas the summers are long and hot. A/C draws a lot of power. There is no way the Tesla has a 200 mile range in Texas in summer. The same goes for cold places. There is no waste heat for a heater. You will be pulling amps from the battery to warm the car. There is probably a heater in the batter for cold weather because the battery probably does not function well when cold.

    I would not touch this thing with a barge pole.

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2013, at 4:41 PM, toolup wrote:

    In the early 1900's there were electric cars but they suffered from heavy batteries with limited range. Tesla has put a fancy suit on the same old problems. Tesla cars look cool. But really have they solved the problems of the last century?...Clearly not. The only leap in technology I see is advertising.

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