New York Times author Randall Stross tore into Tesla in an "arcticle" a few days ago. When I say "article" in quotations, basically the piece is an editorial, but there it is...amongst the real news articles.
Well, in a nut shell Stross just bashed Tesla. In the very first paragraph, he says, "The seductive appearance, however, obscures some inconvenient truths: its all-electric technology remains woefully immature and don’t-even-ask expensive." He goes on to call the car "not much more than a functioning concept car" and talks about how the government shouldn't give low interest loans to the company.
Jason Calacanis rebut the article on his blog. And when I say "rebut"...I mean he tore him apart, point by point.
In his blog, Calacanis talks about how the first version of something is always expensive, whether it be a computer or a flat-panel TV or an electric car. He talks about all the upsides of a government loan to Tesla...
First, these loans come with a very innovative concept: interest. The country would get *interest* on the loan. Second, the country gets added value from the following:
a) Sustainable, high-paying jobs for potentially thousands of Americans
b) Those employees spending money, buying houses and paying taxes
c) Tesla licensing its technology to other non-US companies (as they are *already* rumored to being doing with Mercedes)
d) Who says Tesla can’t give the country warrants on two percent of their stock as an added bonus?
e) The country would not need to send mountains of cash to the Middle East
f) Smog levels would drop, and with them massive health care costs associated with smog
g) We would be doing our part to slow down global warming (and every bit counts)
He even tells Stross he's factually incorrect.
Tesla is NOT asking for a loan to build the Roadster. They are asking for a loan to build
a second, family-friendly, $60,000 version of the car called the Model S. The Tesla production run and technology is already paid for–Tesla has said this over and over again. You know this, yet you spun the entire article with the headline “Only the rich can afford it.”
I definitely agree with Calacanis. At the end of the day, my love for the Tesla Roadster is no secret. I certainly can't afford one and I can't even afford a Model S. But I think the benefits of advancing this kind of technology are huge. I think encouraging new innovation (as opposed to just bailing out the existing auto industry) is a really good idea for the new administration. And at the end of the day...I just think Stross is full of baloney and shouldn't have been lucky enough to actually drive a Roadster.