Posts Tagged ‘motors’

Peas in a Pod: The Tesla Model S and the Fisker Karma are Very Hard to Tell Apart

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Ah look, from Marin it’s a red Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid in red and in the background it’s a silver Tesla Model S electric car.

Don’t they look super similar?

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Ah memories:

“On 14 April 2008, Tesla Motors filed a lawsuit against Fisker Automotive, alleging that Henrik Fisker stole Tesla’s Model S hybrid technology and was using it to develop the Karma. Tesla’s suit claimed that the design work done for the Model S sedan by Fisker Coachbuild was substandard, and that Fisker Automotive diverted its best ideas to the Karma.[77] On 4 November 2008 CNET News reported that Tesla Motors would discontinue its suit after an interim ruling in favor of Fisker et al.[78] A news release on the Fisker Automotive website stated that Tesla was ordered to pay US$1,144,285 in costs.[79]

If You Think a Segway Personal Transporter is Right for You, Then You Should Consider an A2B Electric Bike, Like This Guy’s

Monday, February 4th, 2013

I’ll tell you, some of the people from the (former?) Ultra Motors company or whatever just hate my guts ’cause I don’t put on my old high school cheerleading uniform (it still fits! can you believe it?) and wave my pom-poms for the overweight, overexpensive, overstyled A2B electric bike-scooter things being made the past half-decade.

I think they had an HQ office in San Francisco once.

Anyway, these days you can buy an A2B on craigslist for like $1000-something and there is a subculture of users out there.

(Somebody should interview these people about the pros and cons of commuting on an overly-expensive, high maintenance A2B…)

Like this guy, I see him on McAllister a lot:

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Now that personal transporter contraption from Segway was supposed to create a transportation revolution or something, but it didn’t. There are still a handful of people around town who use them, or fantasize about using them to get to work ‘n stuff.

IMO, the Segway people would be better off using an A2B bike for commuting.

Just saying…

MUNI’s Oldest Bus Makes the Trip Up To Coit Tower Today – From 1938 With Love – Orange and Black Paint Scheme

Friday, December 28th, 2012

It’s MUNI Centennial Day. so get all the deets right here from the Market Street Railway.

Hey look, it’s old 042 on a trailer on Market Street, recalling a time when MUNI didn’t suck.

Or is it really old 062? I don’t know.

Here she is, from the front:

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And the back, complete with a 12-cylinder horizontally-opposed engine and a five-speed manual transmission behind the driver, just like on a Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer:

Keep on keeping on, White Motor Company.

PS: MUNI sucks, nowadays anyway.

Vintage 1938 “White Motor Company” Bus Back on Market Street, Sort Of – MUNI’s Oldest Motor Coach

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Hey look, it’s old 042. recalling a time when MUNI didn’t suck.

Or is it really old 062? I don’t know.

Here she is, from the front:

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And fromthe back, complete with a 12-cylinder horizontally-opposed engine and a five-speed manual transmission behind the driver, just like on a Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer:

Keep on keeping on, White Motor Company.

PS: MUNI sucks, nowadays anyway.

Nissan Celebrates Delivering Its 6500th Electric Car – That’s More Than Tesla, CODA, and Solyndra Combined

Monday, September 26th, 2011

During the time period that people from the disappointing Tesla Motors and CODA Automotive electric car “producers” were criticizing the design of the Nissan LEAF, Nissan simply worked hard to become the first mass-producer of electric cars.*

Of course, 6500 units over the past nine months might not sound like a whole bunch to you, but that’s more than what the vaunted Tesla,** CODA, and Solyndra*** have delivered altogether.

(The case from CODA against the LEAF can be found right here. Oh, and you can find Tesla fanboys celebrating the disruptive Northern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami right here.)

Presenting the Nissan LEAF. Adorable, huh?

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Heh, what a burn:

“6,500 no-gas Nissan LEAFs™ have now been delivered to excited owners. Across the country each day, new drivers are getting to enjoy the Nissan LEAF™. And as the first and only car manufacturer to mass-produce 100% electric cars, it’s clear that Nissan is 6,500 steps ahead of the pack.”

Ahead of the pack, baby.

You see, Nissan delivers while the others merely promise delivery. In CODA’s case the same basic car has been promised every year since 2007 and in Tesla’s I think it’s similarly been years since Tesla was supposed to have delivered the follow-up to that ridiculous Roadster, you know the car that got an airbag waiver from the feds cause Tesla said it would go out of business if it had to follow the rules that a manufacturer like, I don’t know, Nissan has to follow when it builds a car like, I don’t know, the LEAF.

Anyway, you’ll have to keep waiting for a Tesla Model S.

But don’t let me stop you from writing a check right now for $50k**** for a CODA Sedan, direct from China via Benicia.

Go for it, see if I care.

Oh hey, Nissan’s Drive Electric Tour is coming back soon. Sign up now, if you want:

San Francisco

11.18.2011 – 11.20.2011
11.25.2011 – 11.27.2011

Hurray!

*In the past century or so – somebody else might have been churning out BEVs back in the day. I don’t know how many old-school electric cars were mass-produced back in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

**You know how much kerosene Tesla Motors has bought for its globe-trotting CEO? My guess would be hundreds of thousands of dollars worth, by this point. Isn’t it ironic, don’tcha think?

*** Oh, I guess Solyndra didn’t even try to make cars. Oh well. Tell me, is there an issue with “ced[ing] the solar panel industry to China?” I mean, who cares if China builds solar panels?

****Including delivery and use tax, no negotiating! I think that you’ll have to pay normal purchase and registration fees for the CODA, but I’m not sure since I’ve heard that the state of CA waived these charges for some Tesla purchasers…

All Electric Cars Suck (Except the Nissan Leaf): #1 – Tesla Motors Sues the BBC for No Apparent Reason

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Here’s Tesla Motors’ account of its recent pathetic-cry-for-help / lawsuit filing against the BBC.

And here’s some reaction from the media.

And here’s the defense from, more or less, the sainted BBC.

So Tesla, let’s agree that that Top Gear TV show has, at the very least, a flair for the dramatic, a bit of cheesiness built into its DNA. So, why then, did you give them cars to test?

Oh well.

Here are the first two grafs from Tesla’s corporate do-boy:

“Tesla Roadsters in over thirty countries have driven more than ten million real-world miles. [SO WHAT, WHO CARES?] That’s 500,000 gallons of fuel that didn’t burn [HEY TESLA, HOW MUCH JET FUEL DID YOU BUY FOR YOUR CEO OVER THE YEARS? 10,000 GALLONS? 100,000 GALLONS? JUST ASKING, BRO] and over 5.3 million pounds of averted carbon dioxide emissions. [WHY NOT JUST NOT DRIVE INSTEAD, TESLA? AND HOW MANY GALLONS WERE BURNED TO MAKE THE ELECTRICITY TO POWER THE CARS?] The credit goes to approximately 1,500 Roadster owners around the world who drive their electric vehicles in all conditions; [THEY'RE LIKE HEROES, OR SOMETHING, RIGHT?] they’re an enthusiastic group who often talk and blog about their experiences. ["HERE'S A SNAPSHOT OF MY BRAND-NEW SIX-FIGURE TOY" - IT'S JUST LIKE, "LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY GRANDCHILDREN."]

“Tesla is committed to building the best cars in the world. [HAHAHAHAHAHA! AFTER EIGHT LONG YEARS, YOU'RE "COMMITTED," HUH?] And in doing so, [IN DOING WHAT, ACTUALLY? THESE TWO SENTENCES DON'T BELONG TOGETHER - YOU DON'T THINK YOU'RE BUILDING THE BEST CARS IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, OR DO YOU?] catalyzing change in a very traditional industry [OBJECTION, FACTS NOT IN EVIDENCE] by convincing drivers that EVs can match and surpass automobiles run by combustion. [BUT YOUR EV'S ARE MOSTLY RUN BY COMBUSTION] That’s not an easy task. [O RLY? TELL US ABOUT THE MISMANAGED TWO-SPEED TRANSMISSION FIASCO, RICARDO, WHAT ABOUT THAT?] But the Roadster has changed a lot of minds. [THE ROADSTER IS A FAT LITTLE PIGGY WHAT COSTS WAAAAAAY TOO MUCH MONEY. TESLA MOTORS IS A FAT LITTLE PIGGY WHAT SUCKS ON GOVERNMENT TEAT WAAAAAY TOO MUCH]“

Anyway, check the video, below, if you want.

Why yes, I’m extreeeeeeemely comfortable in this very small, very heavy, very expensive rolling toy. Why do you ask?

And leave us not forget: All hail the Mighty Tesla Driver: “Look at me! Look at me! Ooops.” That was on Geary in the Western A, I believe.

The video you’re not supposed to see. I’d never seen it before, personally. It makes the Tesla Roadster look like the overweight, overpriced, electrified POS that it is.

And here’s part of the defense from the BBC’s  cheesy Top Gear show.

Enjoy:

1. We never said that the Tesla’s true range is only 55 miles, as opposed to their own claim of 211, or that it had actually ran out of charge. In the film our actual words were: “We calculated that on our track it would run out after 55 miles”. The first point here is that the track is where we do our tests of sports cars and supercars, as has happened ever since Top Gear existed. This is where cars are driven fast and hard, and since Tesla calls its roadster “The Supercar. Redefined.” it seemed pretty logical to us that the right test was a track test. The second point is that the figure of 55 miles came not from our heads, but from Tesla’s boffins in California. They looked at the data from that car and calculated that, driven hard on our track, it would have a range of 55 miles.

2. We never said that the Tesla was completely immobilized as a result of the motor overheating. We said the car had “reduced power”. This was true.

3. Tesla claims we were lying when we said the brakes were “broken”. They now say that all that had happened was that the fuse to the vacuum pump had failed, which meant that the brake just had to be pushed down much harder than usual. Well – to my mind, if the brakes are broken, then they’re broken, and if this happened to your car, you’d take it to the garage to get it fixed. Odd it seems so trivial to Tesla now, because on the day of filming they insisted on repairing the fuse before we could carry on driving the car.

The above points will be argued over in the near future by brainy people wearing wigs, but in a layman’s nutshell, this is where we stand on the matter. Before I finish though, I must clear up one important issue: scripting. It’s alleged by Tesla that on the day of filming one of their employees caught sight of a script that had been written, before the car had even been driven, already containing the verdict that in the “real world” the Tesla doesn’t work. This, they say, proves our guilt, because we’d condemned the car in advance. May I just say in reply:

a) The truth is, Top Gear had already driven the car prior to filming, to enable us to form a view on it in advance

b) Our primary reasoning behind the verdict had nothing to do with how the Tesla performed; our conclusion was based mainly on the fact that it costs three times more than the petrol sports car upon which it’s based. It takes a long time to recharge, so you can’t use it as easily for the carefree motoring journeys that are a prerequisite of sports car driving. You can actually reach that conclusion without driving the car. As it happens, when it did come to the subjective area of how the car drove on the track, we were full of praise for its performance and handling.

c) Just so you understand there’s nothing devious going on, you need to know how this filming business works. When you film a car review, the reviewer is only the tip of the iceberg. Behind the lens is a film crew, and only a day’s worth of light to shoot the eight minute film. This means we have to prepare in advance a treatment – a rough draft of a script so that the director and film crew can get to work right away, knowing what shots they will need to capture. It will contain the facts about a car, and what we think of its looks and so on, but how well the car actually drives is added on the day. If we’ve driven it ahead of filming, as we do with most cars, we will also have an idea how it feels to drive. But, and this is crucial, as we uncover fresh information about a car whilst filming it, it is entirely normal for the treatment to be modified as the day unfolds. Jeremy is always tweaking the scripts to reflect what his driving experience has actually been on the day.

There you go. I’ve said my bit, and now we’ll hopefully shut up and prepare for our day in court.

PS: As this is going through the courts right now, we’re afraid we’ve had to turn off comments on this one, but we wanted to let you all know how we see it.

Andy Wilman is the Executive Producer of Top Gear”

Jerry Brown Throws Down: Owners of Recalled Toyotas and Lexuses Get Loaner Cars

Friday, February 26th, 2010

California Attorney General Jerry Brown can’t abide you fretting over your recalled Toyota or Lexus - so he just struck a deal with Toyota USA so that you’ll be taken care of when getting service.

It’s all going to be on a case-by-case basis, so if you’re totally freaked out and you just don’t want to drive your car no mo, then maybe your dealership can send somebody to come around your place to pick up your car, fix it and return it as good as new. Or you can get a loaner if your repairs go into extra innings.

Read the news, below.

Jerry Brown, automático para la gente:

Brown Forges Deal with Toyota to Help Consumers While Recalled Vehicles are Repaired

Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that his office has reached an agreement with Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc. to provide California Toyota owners with at-home pickup and vehicle return and cost-free alternative transportation while their recalled vehicles are being repaired.

“This agreement goes a long way towards easing the burden caused by Toyota’s massive recall,” Brown said. “It will now be much easier for Toyota owners to get to work and take their kids to school while critical safety repairs are made on their cars.”

Under the terms of today’s agreement, Toyota will provide owners of recalled vehicles the following services:

- Pick-up and return of vehicles by the dealership;
- Transportation to the dealership and/or to the owner’s place of work;
- Alternative transportation, such as a rental car, loaner vehicle or taxi reimbursement for a reasonable period that the customer is unable or unwilling to use his or her car; and
- Expedited scheduling for repair services.

These services will be provided by Toyota through the dealers at no cost to either the owners or the dealer.

The following Toyota vehicle recalls are covered by today’s agreement:
- September 29, 2009 for floormat entrapment;
- January 21, 2010 for sticking accelerator pedals;
- February 8, 2010 for anti-lock brake system issues; and
- February 12, 2010 for drive-shaft failure.

The following vehicles are involved in the recent Toyota and Lexus vehicle recalls: 2005-2010 Avalon, 2007-2010 Camry, 2009-2010 Corolla, 2007-2010 ES 350, 2008-2010 Highlander, 2006-2010 IS 250 and IS350, 2009-2010 Matrix, 2004-2009 Prius, 2010 Prius, 2009-2010 RAV4, 2008-2010 Sequoia, 2005-2010 Tacoma, 2007-2010 Tundra, 2009-2010 VENZA, and 2010 HS 250h.

More information on the specific vehicles affected by the recalls can be found at www.nhtsa.dot.gov and www.toyota.com/recall.

Californians are encouraged to contact their local Toyota and Lexus dealers if they believe they are eligible for these accommodations. Consumers can also contact Toyota’s customer service center at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus at 1-800-255-3987.

This agreement will remain in place until all Toyota vehicles subject to the recall have been repaired. If additional safety recalls arise, an extension of this agreement or other appropriate provisions will be pursued.

Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc. is based in Torrance, CA.

Tesla Motors Prattles about “Range Anxiety” – But What About Loan Repayment Anxiety?

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Ah yes, the horrible Tesla Motors company, based in nearby San Carlos, CA, comes now to diagnose the public’s “range anxiety” concerning electric vehicles. Their point is that if you keep on charging up an electric car, it will keep on running.

O.K.

But why did Tesla need to get bailed out by the Feds to the tune of a half-billion dollars? Did they try to get private financing? Oh yes, numerous times, but, for some reason, they felt the need to take the money from the Feds. If Tesla is such a great company, why don’t they pay back the government loan right now and thereby relieve taxpayers of loan repayment anxiety?

Oh well.

Here’s some Photoshop Phun – what’s been changed in this photo?

1. “Founder” Elon Musk has been enlarged to make him look more like a man-child playing with a rich man’s toy on the Feds’ dime; or

2. Indoor sunglasses have been added to make “founder” Elon Musk look more like a man-child playing with a rich man’s toy on the Feds’ dime; or

3. Pink XXL Crocs shoes from Costco ($14.99) have been pasted on.

 You Make The Call:

You know Tesla, your fast little toy has impressed some people, but your track record over the past six years is not impressive at all and it remains to be seen how you’ll do over the next six years.

Just saying…

Who’s Doing More “Aggressive Work” on Electric Cars – Nissan or San Francisco?

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Remember that Tesla Motors corporation? They were the cock of the walk in the electric car world a few years back. Remember? They finally got a bunch of money from the feds, but they’re going to need to hurry. Why? ‘Cause a real car company is going to start to sell a vehicle that people might actually want to own. The new Nissan LEAF coming soon, so that’s disruptive to Tesla’s business model.

Will it actually go 100 miles on a charge? Maybe not at first, in real life, but it’s a start. Nissan too is getting government money, but that’s only after they’ve put a ton of their own hard-earned yen into the LEAF project.   

Nissan had to choose where to sell the first LEAFs (or is the plural LEAVES?) and they chose the bay area and and handful of other places. O.K., maybe our Quimby-esque Mayor hectored them into doing so and that’s the only reason they’ll be selling LEAFs in town, I don’t know. IMO, Nissan is doing the vast majority of heavy lifting here while San Francisco is simply spending a couple mil. we got from the feds. Is that a public-private partnership? It’ll do, I s’pose.

General Motors / Saturn never really had its EV1 / Impact electric vehicle available for lease to rich people (GM just didn’t lease them to all comers – you had to prove to GM you were worthy) in the bay area back in the day because of all our hills – that was a major factor. (The few people that got EV1′s here were always worried about running out of gas, so to speak, causing them to drive at night without the headlights on and/or guide their crippled steeds into bus zones for temporary parking, and later on, DPT towaway. Remember that, G? Good times.) Getting a LEAF will be a much easier affair.

You already know the Nissan Versa. The LEAF will be a swoopier version and, of course, electric powered:

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Here it is. The LEAF is a babe-magnet, apparently.

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via kosabe

How much will it cost? Don’t know. Should you install a charger station now, while the permits are free? Don’t know. Will this be a popular car in the bay area? Probably.

Anyway, the deets after the jump.

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Tesla Motors Roadster #6 is Fixed Up and Back on the Road – Hurray!

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Here’s the thing you might notice when you espy all-electric Roadsters from Tesla Motors in the San Francisco Bay Area – all the drivers appear to be attractive, thin, athletic women from their late twenties to their early 40′s.

Now of course there are some exceptions, but they tend to prove the rule. Test drives don’t count- everybody’s test-driven these things already. And crashes don’t count either – whenever a Tesla crashes, it’s always a man behind the wheel. (Isn’t that right, ladies?). In my eight-or-so sightings so far on the Streets of San Francisco and beyond, it’s been all women, until this guy:

See him? It’s famous cracked-up-within-hours-of delivery Tesla #6! 

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It’s good to know he got his rig fixed up and he hasn’t killed hisself yet.

Oh yes, another exception is the Lotus Elise. Whenever you see what looks like a Tesla (from some angles it’s really hard to tell, srsly) driven by a dude, it’s actually a Toyota-powered Lotus Elise.

Like this:

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So, if you see a fellow in a Tesla Roadster:

1. He’s cracked it up, or about to crack it up (just like the way one of the “Founders” had a single-car accident in the pre-Tesla era with a “deer,” (that’s the ticket, I’ll blame my accident on a deer – that has verisimilitude!)

2. He’s only test-driving the thing.

3. The car you think is a Tesla is actually a gas-powered Lotus.

Perhaps some mens are too big to fit comfortably in these things on a daily basis, despite all the effort put in to make them easier to get into and out of? Maybe men buy these things and then hand them off to somebody else to actually drive? Possibly.

Any questions?