Let’s All Go To Electric Avenue
When I arrived at St. Arbucks at about 7:30 AM several of the Usual Suspects were already there, sick fools that they are. Didn’t they know it was freezing out there?
Even in the middle of an Arctic Blast Cold Front I order iced coffee. I just can’t take my meds with hot coffee. Its Science meets Coffee.
This particular morning it was Coffee meets Exotic Cars.
“What kind of car is that?” asked a Suspect.
“I think that is a Tesla,” I said. “But it doesn’t look like one I’ve ever seen,”
The driver looked to be a man about 50 years old. As he was getting some sugar for his coffee I spoke up.
“Excuse me, but is that a Tesla?” He looked up from his coffee.
“Yes, it is. A ‘Model X.’ It’s a brand new model.”
I never knew, and he never said so, but for the next ten minutes this Tesla driver gave us more information about his car than any salesman on the showroom floor would have. I suspected that he might be just that.
My initial impression of this new car (only a month old we were told.) was that it bore too much of a resemblance to the old Pontiac Aztek – perhaps the ugliest vehicle ever designed. But this was an Aztek with all of the latest shaky technology. You can take an ugly car, add an electric power plant and gull wing doors, and you have an ugly car that comes with an optional 5 mile long extension cord.
Not really, but it does come with a price tag that snuggles up to 100K.
We asked the Tesla rep what kind of mileage he gets before he has to plug it in to recharge. He said that officially it got 300 miles between charges, but reality took it only 140 miles – unless he turned off the radio. Then he could milk it up to 240 miles. I thought to myself that, given the temperature outside, if the Tesla had a functioning heater he might get about three blocks before needing to plug it in.
Mr. Tesla’s cheerleader gave us a bit of a show when he took out his key fob, pushed a button, and the two rear gull wing doors lifted up, ready for flight. It would have been more impressive if the front doors had done the same, but they open up just like the doors on a used Fiat. Most unattractive on a car lacking a Flux Capacitor.
Given the fact that his insurance premium was about 50% higher than a conventional car of equal value I think that the Tesla is the gentleman’s expensive toy and mobile conversation piece. It is ugly, impractical, and perfect for someone who doesn’t like to travel far from home. For the same amount of money I could do a lot better – Even buying a nifty car and lunch for all of the Usual Suspects.
It was not even 8 AM when he silently pulled the Tesla out into traffic and disappeared. I certainly didn’t think we would have entertainment at that hour. No cover charge, but it did have a two drink minimum.