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SnakebyteXX
08-02-2006, 07:12 AM
How much has Big Auto lied? Take a drive in this four-wheel electric orgasm, and find out

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

http://www.sfgate.com/g/pictures/2006/07/25/ga_morford_tesla02.jpg

Electric orgasm on wheels, baby.


Oh my God do they ever lie.

All of them: Big Auto, Big Oil, BushCo, Pennzoil and Havoline and Saudi Arabia and crusty Alaska Senator Ted Stevens and the oil lobbyists and lackey scientists working for the Department of Energy and all the rest, on down the line and right up to your garage door.

Lie lie lie lie lie like evil little ratdogs because they are, after all, corporate greedmonkeys and war profiteers and duplicitous oil-sucking cretins (is that too polite?) who would eat their own mother's heart for a notable uptick in share/barrel price. Nevertheless, it's always a bit of a jolt when you see it all up close and personal and they basically rub it in your face.

Just look. Look over here. It's a new sports car. It's a new sports car that looks deliciously like a Lotus Elise and reportedly drives like Michael Schumacher's wet dream and goes from zero to 60 in about four seconds with so much torque and freakishly instantaneous power it makes the gods swoon.

This car, it has a top speed of 130 mph. It has a range of 250 miles. It also has GPS navigation and air-conditioning and air bags and it surely will come with a very badass sound system. It has heated seats and (I presume) iPod integration and Bluetooth. You know, just like a real car.

Oh, and by the way, this car? It's completely silent. It is 100-percent emissions-free. Doesn't even have a tailpipe. Because it has no internal combustion engine of any kind.

It's not a hybrid. It's pure electric, powered by a "3-phase, 4-pole AC induction motor," which I'm sure is rather impressive if you know what the hell it means. But it means one thing for certain: The only oil in this car is in the buffing fluid for the leather seats.

It's called the Tesla Roadster, unveiled just recently to a gaggle of giddy auto peeps in Santa Monica and coming to an elite showroom in about a year for around the price of a Porsche 911.

That's right, it's not a prototype. Not some eccentric inventor's crazy basement fantasy. It's a real car. Street legal, drivable, gorgeous, available soon. The Tesla guys have already earned their share of press, given how they managed to wrangle millions in backing from the Google boys (among others). Rumor has it that the Guvernator himself, after going for a test drive during last week's press day, has already placed his order for one of the little luxo speedsters, presumably to feed to his fleet of rabid Hummers.

Did I mention the Roadster costs about 80K? Who cares? The price is irrelevant. The fact that this car even exists in such a pure and obvious and performance-oriented form, does. Simply put, it is the most flagrant proof yet that we have been brutally, savagely misled.

See, they lie. And they've been lying for years, decades. They lie about how difficult it is to replace the internal combustion engine. They lie about how unfeasible it is to eliminate auto emissions without sacrificing real performance (the 130-mph Roadster's lithium-ion battery system is estimated to be twice as efficient as a Prius and three times as efficient as a hydrogen fuel cell).

But they lie, most of all, about how much we still require foreign oil, because these billion-dollar corporations claim they can't possibly afford to develop sufficiently advanced technology in your lifetime to create a 100-percent emissions-free, oil-free, ultragreen vehicle that still has all the comforts and performance of a regular car.

Nice pipe dream, they say. Here, have a bloated SUV, they say. Sorry about all your dead kids in Iraq, they add, smirking like a chimp and blowing their noses into a big pile of Halliburton profits.

Did you already know? Did part of you suspect that we could be, if we were directing our country's massive resources at all correctly, already mass-producing the technology that could quickly wean us from our dependence on foreign petroleum?

Did you already calculate that if even a fraction of the $300 billion -- a truly staggering amount -- we've wasted on BushCo's failed and disgusting war could have gone to revolutionizing our nation's energy infrastructure (like, say, funding large-scale development of the Roadster's technology), instead of annihilating a pip-squeak nonthreatening nation over its oil reserves while simultaneously serving as the most successful terrorist-recruitment poster in world history, the United States could be considered the epicenter of integrity and invention once again? Of course you did.

But oh wait. Such an obvious, lucid redirection of resources and ideology would require someone with true vision in the White House. Someone with integrity. And intelligence. And fearlessness. And an articulate understanding of complex ideas. And a Congress to match. Never mind.

I know, it's not exactly a new story. Just go see "Who Killed the Electric Car?" for proof of how corporate greed eats innovation like so many CornNuts. Then go see "An Inconvenient Truth" for a story of brutal denial and sheer idiocy among the political and corporate elite. Then rent "The Corporation" to see how social responsibility ranks right up there with modest golden parachutes on the list of U.S. corporate values (though that may finally be changing, given the undeniable business woes caused by global warming). Voilá America in a nutshell.

But Tesla is different. They're an independent company. They don't have to answer to the Bush or ExxonMobil or GM. Indeed, its execs say that any sales of the pricey sports car will help propel its core technology even further and maybe create an economy of scale to make mass production of regular cars much more feasible.

In other words, screw the monoliths; enthrall the wealthy individual enthusiasts first, sex up the media with cool pictures and dazzling performance, prove you can make serious profits with green technology and the big corporations will have to follow.

Sure, why not? Why couldn't the Roadster's ideal combo of sexiness and performance and entrepreneurial grit trickle down to the consumer mind-set and generate some fanatical buzz, force some change, help take us back to a culture where true innovation and radical thinking aren't considered a threat (sorry, GOP) but rather the mark of a vital and thriving country?

Hell, mass-produce that Roadster motor and toss it in a nice little Audi TT or even a Ford Focus, slow it down a little and add a trunk and slice the price by 60 percent and advertise it as zero pollution and zero trips to the gas pump and a big throbbing middle finger to Saudi Arabia and BushCo and distended world-humpers like this guy, and watch the eager throngs line up.

Of course, these cars do need one thing to juice their love: electricity. Which we are, at over 100 global-warmed degrees all over the nation last week, straining like mad to produce in sufficient amounts to keep our air conditioners cranked to stave off the dire heat problems created, ironically, by all those years of lying. But hey, one massive ecological crisis at a time, you know?

web page (http://www.sfgate.com/columnists/morford/)

wolfdancer
08-02-2006, 07:36 AM
Richard, great article, thanks.
Maybe with a little different Title, it would get more eyeballs here.....
I forgot about SF gate...usually a good read.

onepocketfanatic
08-02-2006, 08:59 AM
Nice article, and yes...it is all about money. Washington is run by money, not what is in the best interest of the country....but what is the interest of special interests.
It's like one guy said on a program...if you are in D.C. and you have a pocket full of money....and the other guy is just your average citizen....who do you think the elected official is going to want to talk to? It is a no brainer.

nAz
08-02-2006, 09:11 AM
Electra cars get great 0-60 times, instant torque the power does not need to build up like in a conventional engine... not for nothing but this is all old news i believe most people know the oil giants as well as the auto industry in general have been holding back the electric car and hybrid cars for years... im sure they are doing it just to look out for our protection.

Gayle in MD
08-02-2006, 11:32 AM
Thanks for a great article...

Three Words...


Corporate Fascist Pigs

And...their meeting place is Cap. Hill!

TomBrooklyn
08-06-2006, 07:16 PM
I'm not sure what the point of this article is.