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"World's Safest Car" To Get Underbody Blast Shield To Avoid Embarrassing Car-B-Q Moments

Tyler Durden's picture


Once upon a time, Tesla's Model S was supposedly the world's safest car. Then a few of them spontaneously combusted either in the comfort of their own garage, or while doing the unthinkable, i.e., driving over pieces of debris on the road, and questions emerged just how much money was used to bribe the NHTSA which had rushed to proclaim the Model S the safest car it has ever tested without apparently doing any actual testing. Today questions of NHTSA bribes re-emerged louder than ever after NHTSA reported earlier it had "closed an investigation into fires involving electric sports car maker Tesla Motors Inc's popular Model S sedans after finding no "defect trend." Obviously a forced recall by Tesla would have promptly shifted the spontaneous combustion from merely its cars to its all important for marketing purposes stock price.

Yet there was one person who did not quite agree with NHTSA's assessment: Tesla boss Elon Musk.

Elon Musk, chief executive and founder of Tesla, announced on Friday that all Model S cars – the company’s top model – manufactured from this month will be fitted with a triple underbody shield.

Because, you see, the "world's safest car" needs what is effectively a bomb blast shield planted in the floor. Just in case.

In a blog post on Medium , Mr Musk said the company decided to fit the shield to reduce the risk further. It follows an “over-the-air” software update to increase the ground clearance of the Model S at highway speeds to reduce the odds of a severe underbody impact.

What risk? Isn't the Model S the world's safest car... at least in those times when it is not burning uncontrollably of course.

Mr Musk said Tesla would also retrofit the shields, free of charge, to existing cars upon request or as part of a normally scheduled service.


Although he noted there have been no casualties as a result of the fires, Mr Musk wrote: “We felt it was important to bring this risk down to virtually zero to give Model S owners complete peace of mind.”


During the course of 152 vehicle level tests the company found the shields prevented any damage that could cause a fire or penetrate the plate that already protects the battery pack.


We have tried every worst-case debris impact we can think of, including hardened steel structures set in the ideal position for a piking event, essentially equivalent to driving a car at highway speed into a steel spear braced on the tarmac,” Mr Musk wrote.

And yet one piece of stray metal allegedly managed to lead to this:


One thing is certain: if after the inclusion of what is effectively a mafia-style bomb blast shield Tesla's continue to have occasional Car-B-Q moments, it will be far more difficult for the damage control brigade to come up with excuses. Which, of course, is all an enterprising arb, who buys the car and "hedges" with a few million in puts really needs for one of the best possible pair trade returns in 2014.


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Fri, 03/28/2014 - 12:56 | 4602879 Deathrips
Deathrips's picture

When does it get a fire extinguisher? Will that be bullish for the stock? LOL



Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:04 | 4602907 StacksOnStacks
StacksOnStacks's picture

I think it needs it's own Sprinkler System.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:21 | 4602966 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Maybe if they just put some Obama-Solyndra tubes or Obama-A123 Batteries in them everything would be better – the assets can probably be had pretty cheaply.

Just keep it in the Obama Hope-for-Technology family.

Tesla just a tax-funded government project


Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:25 | 4602985 redpill
redpill's picture

I'd still buy one before I'd buy a Chevy.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:41 | 4603059 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

Teslas will be collector cars in 20 years like Delorens and that's about it.

And what happens to a Tesla when it get hits by lighting???

I bet they didn't do that test!

They need to just put in a big "core eject" spring to shoot the burning battery pack out the back

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:15 | 4603079 Deathrips
Deathrips's picture

Oil makes those cars and the are charged by oil or oil produced energy systems. How again are these things "enviro friendly"? They use more than gas in life cycle analysis, than gas powered vehicles. MOPE



Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:58 | 4603343 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

The bigger problem is the ACTUAL range of any Tesla when it's either above 90 degrees Fahrenheit or below 28 degrees Fahrenheit (hint, the already relatively short range drops by 33% to as much as 50%, respectively - according to AAA).

100 miles to 130 miles on a full charge is not going to cut it in many parts of the country, whether Houston or Chicago.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 19:26 | 4604247 mjcOH1
mjcOH1's picture

"I think it needs it's own Sprinkler System."


Halon....alkali metals cook right well when exposed to water.  

It's a win-win.   Snuff the fire.  Snuff the irate owner   Resell the car.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 20:38 | 4604389 Matt
Matt's picture

Those new military sonic-magnetic extinguishers would be pretty slick.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:21 | 4603224 Renewable Life
Renewable Life's picture

Jesus christ, here we go again with the Telsa onslaught!! Last week, some Obama approved GM CEO announces that after fighting for 20 years in court and fucking denying they had anything to do with 350+ burn deaths of mothers, fathers, and children in fucking GM automobiles, the BITCH admits it, says SHE'S SORRY, and GM is going to "turn the page"!!!!!

Are you fucking serious???? 350+ human beings get cooked to death, and NOT A FUCKING PEEP ON THIS BLOG about boycotting GM AND Ford got hit 10 years ago for billions in damages for the same fucking thing and they never would admit it!! Now fast forward to Telsa in 2013-2014 and you have less then a dozen cars ignite, NO FUCKING BODY IS HURT OR INJURED, and we are going to keep talking about this, like its the greatest automobile ripoff in history!!!

GO DRIVE THE FUCKING CAR (Tyler) PEOPLE, before you keep this bullshit nonsense up! I've driven it, its off the fucking hook, its like NO OTHER car on earth, its the real deal, and I'm sorry the oil industry and all the confused sheepple of the world can't see it or figure it out!  And I get if you don't want to drive it, or buy it, or fucking look at it, but stop the bullshit progaganda about how bad it is then. 

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:31 | 4603266 Wannabee
Wannabee's picture

+100 RL
I was going to rant but you said it much better than I.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 16:39 | 4603681 Isotope
Isotope's picture

I will repeat a quote that I used before from Peter Delorenzo of

"We all know Elon is a genius and that Tesla is the miracle of the new automotive world, but the fact remains that the miracle workers at Tesla skipped a step. It’s something that GM – you know, that tired old rust-belt auto company from a bygone era – learned while developing the Volt. The GM engineering team zeroed in on a critical area of concern with the Volt’s batteries when it came to protecting them upon impact, something like, “Gee, if someone were to really crash one of these things there could be a problem with the batteries, so, we better do something about it.” So the GM development team triple-wrapped the Volt battery pack to reduce the chance of “piercing” during accidents."

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 20:54 | 4604428 Matt
Matt's picture

The problem with containing the batteries, is the explosion will be worse, and/or the fire will go any-which way. As I understand it, the original philosophy with the Tesla is that the bottom was not shielded, but there is shielding between the batteries and passenger compartment, so that the fire is directed away from the occupants.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:47 | 4603315 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

GM being completely fucked-up does not make Tesla's fuck-ups any less important.  That's like saying:  "This liar is honest because he didn't lie as badly as that guy over there."

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 20:55 | 4604431 Matt
Matt's picture

How is it a fuck-up? What happens to a gasoline powered car if a piece of metal impales the gasoline tank with 20 tons of force? Or are you one of those people who "helpfully" suggests maybe the whole airplane should be made out of the blackbox?

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:47 | 4603317 BandGap
BandGap's picture

The car might be fine but the batteries ARE NOT FULLY tested. I'm glad you enjoyed your test drive.

The battery technology needs to get to the next generation OR strict, very strict, controls MUST be used when they are manufactured.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 20:59 | 4604439 Matt
Matt's picture

The batteries are tested. This is as good as it gets using Lithium and (I think) Cobalt Oxide together to make a battery. Great energy density, but self-oxidizing in case of fire, and water makes it worse. 

Safer batteries will almost certainly have lower energy density, thus either dropping range or increasing the weight and cost of the vehicle.

Maybe microwave transmitter towers sending energy uni-directionally to wireless powered cars is the way of the future, less captial intensive than putting power rails over all the roads.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 16:31 | 4603656 sheikurbootie
sheikurbootie's picture

I'll add to RL's diatribe, stop already with the fucking "eat the rich" anthem too.  I'm nearly rich and would dispatch everyone of you peasant motherfuckers that attempt to eat me....  Go drive your tricked out fucking fart can Honda Civics and go fuck the fuck off. 


Fri, 03/28/2014 - 17:24 | 4603809 PacOps
PacOps's picture

My 30 something daughter and I had a discussion about apologies this morning and how often I hear them now not only from her but everywhere in our society. Recently I sent written instructions to an escrow company on how to distribute some money. They did not follow my written instructions. When challenged I was told that they way they did it was quicker and that the girl who processed it had apologized. I said it was not about the speed of the transaction but following instructions! Anyway I pointed out to my daughter that we were from different eras - and asked her if she would like to know what we called people in Vietnam who were always apologizing. (I spent 4 years incountry - 66-70) - she bit ... those people, I said to her, were either about to get someone killed or were already dead. She said my point was well taken.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 17:47 | 4603901 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

Anyone who buys a Tesla deserves a Tesla.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:35 | 4603280 Deathrips
Deathrips's picture

Junkers that junk without explanation, are cowards!



Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:04 | 4602912 quintago
quintago's picture

Debris spotting is the new it

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:09 | 4602927 666
666's picture

After this modification, the USSA military will be buying Model S Teslas since they will be perfect armed personnel carriers able to survive land mines and other obstacles. This could be the new secret weapon Obummer needs for the upcoming war in the Ukraine.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:17 | 4602951 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

The next model will have built-in recycled halon globes.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:20 | 4603217 Dr. Kenneth Noi...
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater's picture

Still safer than a Ferrari or Porsche Carrera GT..  I bet Paul Walker's family would rather he'd been in a Tesla.


We believe these changes will also help prevent a fire resulting from an extremely high speed impact that tears the wheels off the car, like the other Model S impact fire, which occurred last year in Mexico. This happened after the vehicle impacted a roundabout at 110 mph, shearing off 15 feet of concrete curbwall and tearing off the left front wheel, then smashing through an eight foot tall buttressed concrete wall on the other side of the road and tearing off the right front wheel, before crashing into a tree. The driver stepped out and walked away with no permanent injuries and a fire, again limited to the front section of the vehicle, started several minutes later. The underbody shields will help prevent a fire even in such a scenario.

Which other car is safer than that?
Fri, 03/28/2014 - 16:49 | 4603714 Libertarian777
Libertarian777's picture

i'm interested to see when someone sprays water on a lithium based fire.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:01 | 4602882 Big Brother
Big Brother's picture

Clearly, one cannot test for all possible risk conditions.  But really?  Someone on the engineer team needs to address "small puncture hole in chassis leads to complete unit conflagaration" in their DFMEA.  Damn those flames are high!

Let me know when said DFMEA is subpenaed by the NHTSA.  Until then, this is Edward Norton, risk-analysis-as-usual ala  "Fight Club".

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:51 | 4603326 BandGap
BandGap's picture

The metal punctured the anode or cathode material, introducing air and water vapor into a system required to be anhydrous to function normally. It was a chain reaction and I would not doubt that it got hot enough to melt the metal frame. No shit this requires a blast shield, better be a great heat insulator which I bet it is.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 17:01 | 4603743 Big Brother
Big Brother's picture

The metal punctured the anode or cathode material, introducing air and water vapor into a system required to be anhydrous to function normally. <--- Mechanical root cause

It was a chain reaction and I would not doubt that it got hot enough to melt the metal frame. No shit this requires a blast shield, better be a great heat insulator which I bet it is.  <----  Long-term corrective action.

In hindsight the TESLA safty team probably did not proceed with the right battery of tests with the sole result of making the car explode.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 12:58 | 4602884 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

I kinda don't get the ZH jihad against Tesla. Just let the market figure this one out, okay? You are starting to sound a little bit wound-up and dare I say it -- like a disgruntled nanny.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:03 | 4602904 Shad_ow
Shad_ow's picture

Is reporting a problem now considered a jihad?  Is that why the MSM won't report the intentional destruction of America?

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 21:14 | 4604473 Matt
Matt's picture

hundreds of times as many gasoline cars burst on fire, but how many articles have you seen on Zerohedge about that, compared to dozens about Tesla?

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:10 | 4602914 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

I'm not junking you, but I believe the Tyler thesis regards the overpricing of Tesla's presence in the stock market

Each morning I commute passed the the Tesla repair center  at 49-62 Van Dam St in Long Island City, that's under the LIE approach to the midtown tunnel.  If you told me that the building and lot belonged to Aconcagua Auto Body or Tex Mex Auto Glass Tint-Outs, I would believe you more readily than if you had told me it belonged to a well-known cutting-edge tech-industrial outfit in the billion-dollar class.  I mean, they don't even clean up the styrofoam around the perimeter fence.  The only indicator that all is not as it seems is all the Teslas in the parking lot, and the fact that the mechanics are young white men.  Fancy that!

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:13 | 4602937 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

An article titled "25 reasons Tesla stock is overpriced" would make sense. I might read it with interest.

The rest of this just looks liie someone with a short position who's trying to talk the stock down.

What, is ZH now Road&Track? Why do I care about the actual car? If I want to buy the stock, then maybe tell me why the company fundamentals cannot justify the price or why the industry segment is toxic, but apart from that most people buy stocks in companys whose products they will never own nor even know anything about.

I am a friend of ZH. I contribute here a lot. I can tell my friend when he's had enough to drink and just go home, buddy.

That's just how I roll.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:21 | 4602968 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

I think that if you admire Musk for innovation, you should be warned that he might be made a sacrificial lamb. 


Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:27 | 4602992 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

I don't know the guy and don't care to know him. Guys don't matter much, they come and go, industries and ideas remain. I think the car design is "interesting", if enough others agree then the price of the stock goes up. If not, it goes down.

Or have I missed something?

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:31 | 4603014 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

"25 Reasons Tesla stock is overpriced" would be a waste of time to read; anybody with above-room-temperature IQ knows how and why that stock is overpriced.

IT'S A FUCKING ELECTRIC CAR. 120-year old technology whose EROEI doesn't pencil out. It is a car for rich people who don't mind grossly overpaying for their toys. Because it is a toy, not a serious transportation alternative for people who live on an actual budget.

Unfortunately, the stock price rests on the assumption that it is a serious transportation product. Which it most definitely is not.

There, I just wrote the article. Satisfied?

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:07 | 4603158 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

So you just wrote an article about the habits and weaknesses of rich people.

You should write another about why nobody should buy a Gulfstream G280 personal jet. I mean, the EROEI is in the shitter. Or a Bugatti Veyron, who needs like a million horsepower, what the actual fuck.

This is their game. Let them play it. Who cares. Seriously.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 18:02 | 4603958 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Are you fucking serious??? You wanted to know why the stock was overpriced, and I told you. Now you go off on some fucking tangent about why rich people have their heads up their ass?

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 19:19 | 4604227 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

You think the stock is overpriced because rich people are buying the car as well as the stock, and you think they should not be buying the car because you would not buy it yourself, so the stock is overpriced.


Moving on.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:14 | 4602939 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Isn't Tesla merely a carbon-credit selling success story? (i.e. "a scam")

Oh, and last night I saw that 60 Minutes is doing a feature on Tesla this weekend. (some might call that a "Tell")

AFAIK, I'm still waiting for the first "green" technology company that isn't yet another example of Rent Seeking 101. How much free money has Tesla gotten from Uncle Sugar, again?

(btw, I didn't junk you either (though I should've, for your belief that Tesla is a market driven entity ;) ))

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:21 | 4603222 Dr. Kenneth Noi...
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater's picture

It's a bunch of whiny short bitches.  Nothing of value is lost by ignoring them.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 12:58 | 4602886 fooshorter
fooshorter's picture

Omg Somebody is actually innovating something and producing something real rather then fucking trading meaingless paper! Lets flame them as they have growing pains!  

And the big three NEVER had problems.... right.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:03 | 4602900 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Most of the autos I see burning along side the freeway are Japanese imports!

Oh wait ... most of the cars moving on the freeway are Japanese imports, too.

No matter, I have a point and I'll get around to it eventually, once I've decided what it is!

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:49 | 4603094 NaN
NaN's picture

Yeah, cars burn all the time. It just proves how much energy is stored inside and provides that extra thrill that a loud, tuned exhaust cannot touch.

H2 powered cars will be even more thrilling, but less picturesque because H2 is barely visible when it burns, like the space shuttle main engines.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:02 | 4603144 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Turns out, we're all kind of stupid that way.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 18:52 | 4604160 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

The thing that makes gasoline cars more efficient than electrics is that they only one of the ingredients needed for combustion. An average car, as far as I recall, uses about 80kg of oxygen to the tank. That's the weight it doesn't have to carry, because the air already contains it. Gasoline mixture does not combust at room temperature, meaning it can be transported in a cheap, light-weight container.

An extra bonus is that as the car drives, it gets lighter with reduction in the amount of gasoline.

An electric has to transport a double set of reagents - heavy ones. They weigh the same, whether the car is charged or empty. Many ingredients that go into the batteries act as catalysts, conductors and insulators. The batteries themselves have to be sealed to prevent the chemicals from freely reacting with eachother. All that results in an elephant-worth of dead weight. Sure the car ends up being simpler on the inside, but the tires and brakes wear out a lot quicker, and which 2 parts an average car owner replaces most frequently? You bet! Tires and brakes!

An electric car is an expensive toy for rich people. If they can afford it - good for them.

As I've said - Tesla owners do deserve what they get.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 19:31 | 4604229 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture


They get what they want. Every time. And they don't care about the details. Ever.

If that bugs anyone here then find a way to deal with rich people and their perverse sense of entitlement. Because so long as they exist you will have people like Elon Musk selling them a rich man's dream, and worrying about that isn't going to feel very good.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:04 | 4602906 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

These are toys for the rich and powerful. Pricing of Tesla stock is exhibit ZZQ for how the market is completely fucked.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:06 | 4602918 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

So? Who cares what the stock is?

Phone call, it's for you, someone called Reality.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:21 | 4602965 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

Tesla stock price is reality? I think it is a lie personally.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:24 | 4602982 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Unless the exchanges are in on the scam, the price is whatever the market is paying.

I guess I just don't get it. Something about all this is going over my head.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:18 | 4602952 Dave
Dave's picture

I'm not rich or powerful but I want a Tesla roadster and I don't give a shit about Tesla's stock.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:20 | 4602959 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

"I'm not rich or powerful but I want a Tesla roadster..."

Thanks for proving my point?

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:19 | 4603207 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture


No really, I'm curious. Everyone has their undies in a bunch, like democracy and motherhood are being held at knife-point, I'm sitting here wondering why.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:30 | 4603261 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

He wants a Tesla (as in he doesn't have one and he doesn't need one because it is essentially an expensive toy) and he isn't rich and powerful (doesn't meet the requirement of ownership which I stated). So he's an example of the point being, they are toys for the rich and powerful. I would say it is one significant example of gross misallocation of wealth that is slowly suffocating our society. I think that is why the tylers post Tesla crap but I'm not sure. Maybe they know someone who owned one that started on fire.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:49 | 4603321 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Then why end there?

I want a Mercedes S550. $92K, I can't afford it, but they look like great cars. I know a guy drives one, he's rich. Wanting it doesn't make me stupid.

Those $200 sneakers, I want them. The guy playing ball on the TV wears them, I like him, his sneakers are something I can do for myself. Wanting sneakers I cannot afford doesn't make me a failure.

I want to win the lottery. Lot's of money there. I buy a ticket once a month or so. It's silly, but I do it anyway just for 5 minutes of thrill. Doesn't make me a mouth-breathing deadend of human evolution.

Actually, I don't want any of those things myself. Never play the lottery either. But those are the kinds of things normal people do, because we are awash in messages that tell us if we don't struggle for those kinds of things or maintain those kinds of values, we're losers.

The problem is probably not the desire. The problem is the system that created that kind of anxiety about those kinds of things.

Making regular people want rich things is a symptom that the rich-toys segment of industry is failing for lack of growth.

Makes me happy.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 15:55 | 4603539 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting nice things. That wasn't my point. I do think there is something wrong with a society over-investing a lot in really expensive toys (toys for the rich and powerful). I think Tesla's stock price is an example of misallocation of wealth.

"Making regular people want rich things is a symptom that the rich-toys segment of industry is failing for lack of growth."

Luxury cars sales are growing faster than anything else! The fact that people believe they need nice things to be happy is a long time symptom of an empty spirituality.

Sat, 03/29/2014 - 00:25 | 4604891 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Hmm, then get thee hence and alleviate some suffering: (One of the most efficient charities in the world)

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 16:01 | 4603554 g speed
g speed's picture

I think the point is perception --- It is (Tesla) what people think it is --be it the stock, the car, the environment, the CEO, etc etc--and of course it is priced accordingly. 

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 19:23 | 4604238 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture


Markets are an essay in psychology, most of the time. Sometimes the psychology is messed up.

People buy $200 sneakers for much the same reason.

Whatever floats your boat, is how I figure it.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 15:39 | 4603495 playnstocks
playnstocks's picture

Dude, seems like your panties are tight.. sensitive are we?  WTF

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 18:01 | 4603955 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Go play outside.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 20:22 | 4604359 playnstocks
playnstocks's picture

Telsa is a peice of crap... Why do you really care what anyone else thinks of it!

You dont own the car or the stock..

You need to go outside and play!

Stop playing with yourself inside!





Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:04 | 4602909 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Innovating??? It's a fucking battery-powered car. It's revolutionary, all right-- a revolution in marketing technology. Musk had the genius idea to design and target his electric car to rich people with more money than sense. That's the only thing he gets credit for.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:07 | 4602922 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

Yeah the idea has been implemented in functional autos for only about 115 years now.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:07 | 4602923 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

I think the car is probably pretty cool too, but you might need to be an actual engineer to appreciate it at that level.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:17 | 4602948 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Well see, there's your bias, right there.

It may be the best "shiny" you can find, but that still doesn't change the fact that it's just another scam pretending to represent our future salvation.

Because... Al Gore.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:21 | 4602962 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Look I'm just an engineer, I stay away from the whole religious doctrine thing, and if I see some merit in a design or approach I can like it for that.

I also like things that have no practicality, or no market potential, or no bling. I just like interesting designs.

I walk through the drab world and I see interesting machines, and they make me smile.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:23 | 4602977 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

What do you find novel or innovative about Musk's product?  I would like to know that.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:57 | 4603090 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

There is nothing found in his overall design of an electric car that does not also appear in my electric bike. Excluding the over-the-air software updating I suppose. Though my software is so simple it doesn't even need updating, which I feel is the better approach and a matter of first-principles.

So I like what he (or rather, his engineers) has done with an electric car because it affirms the approach I have taken with electric bikes.

I think my bike is a lot cooler too. I know for fact that my bike going down the road in traffic gets a lot more daredevils hanging out of car windows taking phone videos than any of his cars do or ever did.

Let me tell you son, that right there. I can throw his guys a bone, we're working the same side of the street afterall. But they and I both know, I'm working on a whole other level.

Engineers and their pissing games. It's all good fun.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:57 | 4603132 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

Ten years ago all he made were ox, now he makes electric cars, if this rate of improvement continues by 2024 people will be driving on Uranus.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:17 | 4603196 Itchy and Scratchy
Itchy and Scratchy's picture

Avoid the dingleberries!

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:24 | 4602983 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

So being an engineer you appreciate designs that start on fire?

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:29 | 4603005 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Everything burns. Houses even. We seem to have made a pact of some kind with fire. Blame Prometheus.

Moving on.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:33 | 4603271 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

I've never had a car that started on fire. Even my Pontiac 6000 that was literally falling apart.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:55 | 4603336 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Your house has probably never burned either. But they certainly do, every day.

Maybe I just see the world differently than everyone else here. If so, then that's fine. I would like to think I see the world as it is. But I realize there is no way to independently verify that one. So I go with my gut. I'm just a cat making his way, don't fault me for taking a road untraveled. I do it because it is the interesting way.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 16:01 | 4603552 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

"I'm just a cat making his way, don't fault me for taking a road untraveled. I do it because it is the interesting way."

What is truth?

The road you are on is the one most traveled.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 18:03 | 4603959 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

I make a point of routing around illusions. Hang with me long enough and you'll get there.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:30 | 4603010 Big Brother
Big Brother's picture

No, but if you get your fires down to around 2-3 per million, you go home knowing you've done a good job.  Not sure if they're there yet. 

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:00 | 4603140 NaN
NaN's picture

Lithium batteries at scale are a big challenge. Evidently they still need more safety factors/mechanisms in Telsla cars and the 787.

I hope they make sure the safety circuits are not compromised by shifty manufacturers.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:13 | 4603183 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

I think what we are seeing with the Tesla approach is a failure at scale. Not all things scale without problems; the same battery that will give great service in a cell phone won't scale up to work in a car, simple as that. Nobody knew that in advance (well, someone probably did, but nobody listened) but now we sort of know that.

Boeing had a similar problem with lithium batteries in their planes. Wow, you boys really dropped the ball on that one.

There are actual ways to do this correctly. I could advise these guys, probably would do it if they bought lunch, but they don't care. They'll go along in this straight line thinking they'll solve all the issues at scale and then it's all free money.

Nope I don't think they will. Too bad, it might have been interesting.

Someone will come along who gets that part. Just give it time.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:17 | 4603201 Itchy and Scratchy
Itchy and Scratchy's picture

Not to mention the Tesla vibrators too!

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:53 | 4603108 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Well, as an EE/CE dropout I can only say, "Where's the merit in a technology that would not exist without criminal backing in the form of rent seeking?"

I'm of the opinion that if something is a good idea, then true entrepreneurs will seek capital from those who believe in the merits and want to share in any profits it generates. But the idea that organized crime can allocate capital more efficiently... well, that's a religious doctrine in itself, as far as I can tell.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:09 | 4603168 NaN
NaN's picture

If only the world was as pure as ideology...

Before the interstate highway system (the most expensive public works project ever), traveling across the country was back-roads and private tolls all the way. Are you willing to say the interstate system should never have been built or should have somehow been done through a corporate consortium for the sake of reality-simplifying ideology?

Sat, 03/29/2014 - 00:28 | 4604896 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

I'd rather own a Shelby Cobra -- speed, handling and no need for an extension cord!

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:24 | 4602980 Big Brother
Big Brother's picture

I am an engineer and I agree with your statement.  The engineers there have got to be a happy bunch.  

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:34 | 4603031 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

I talked to one of them, once. He was looking at my electric bike, we were going over all the systems and engineered solutions (it is a lot of bike and has a lot going on) and finally he said I should come work at Tesla.

No way I ever would. I build my own designs, not the designs of someone else. And I happen to think mine are better and feel I can demonstrate why. Certainly, they please me.

But I appreciated the sentiment, and said so. It was a rare moment of recognition after years of hard work in anonymity. But that is the kind of hard work suits me.

Sat, 03/29/2014 - 00:29 | 4604898 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Most of the time, working for someone else and doing a good job is like pissing in a dark suit; you get a warm feeling, and nobody notices.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 15:55 | 4603540 Cupid Stunt
Cupid Stunt's picture

+1 BB.......the rest of us have to be beaten for tailpipe pollution yet the rich can forget their coal powered crap spewed out 0000s of miles away......

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 16:37 | 4603675 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

That's right, they think they do. They do not, they just think they do, and that is what Musk is selling them.

He can do that. Smith&Wesson can do it too. So can Nike and Pepsi and Monsanto. I don't take any issue with how things are marketed, because they are marketing to human weakness and I am not weak that way, so it's not my problem.

There are real issues here, and every one of you are talking around those real issues. If you keep doing that you will eventually trip over something real, and when you do so do not just get up and walk away like everyone else does.

That is all the point I am trying to make. If poorly, then blame me for that. But do not miss the point in the process.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:01 | 4602894 giorgioorwell
giorgioorwell's picture

Tyler's continued obsession with taking down Tesla stock price/Elon.  I would have though Elon fit his definition of an Ayn Randian super capitalist/enterpreneur hero, oh wait, Obama likes him.  Every major car manufacturer has dealt with major safety recall issues, from the almighty Toyota to almost half the crap being churned out of Ford/GM/Chrysler.


What, pray tell, is Tyler's car of choice?  A Volvo?



Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:16 | 4602940 jcaz
jcaz's picture

Re-read the last paragraph of the story..... Slowly.... Feel free to move your lips as you do...... The point isn't the car.....

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:31 | 4603016 giorgioorwell
giorgioorwell's picture

What's your point?....Tyler's angle is always about arb opps/pair trades on any particular piece of news, you must not read ZH on any regular basis if you're not familiar with Tyler's near constant stream of anti-Telsa outrage.  The only trade that he seems to have on this is being short TSLA and he's no better than anyone else talking their book.   

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:49 | 4603097 thorgodofthunder
thorgodofthunder's picture

Tyler Dirtbag has never made a correct call on anything in his history of blogging:

-Gold price?  WRONG



-US Housing Market? WRONG

-Tesla? WRONG

-Facebook?  WRONG

-Twitter?  WRONG


Tyler is a nothing but an envious outsider shooting spit balls at a Black-Ops marine from a passing car window.  He's fed bits of seemingly insider info to appear intelligent but the reality is if you followed his advice here, whether directly or his negative inferences on pretty much any investment aside from gold, you would have been crushed and way way way worse off financially than you would have been if you invested in anything.

Tyler Dirtbag is a joke.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:06 | 4603154 Itchy and Scratchy
Itchy and Scratchy's picture

I'll put you down as undecieded!

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:10 | 4603176 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

Your "hero" is one of worst crony capitlalists around.
Google a list of taxpayer financed subsidies this "entrepreneur" pockets for every car sold.
(And the cars most likely pollute more than the worst Soviet cars from the 50's.)

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:01 | 4602895 lustylobster
lustylobster's picture

Musk's blog post:


HN discussion from earlier today:


The mexican car crash sounds like a scene from an action movie - and the guy walked away from it. 

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:02 | 4602898 stormsailor
stormsailor's picture

YEAH, but we do make the best meaningless paper in the world.  it is a gift.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:03 | 4602902 Cryogenic
Cryogenic's picture

Not sure what the fuss is about here.

This is pretty much like a washing powder or toothpaste advertisement that touts an even more improved product every few months.


In conclusion the worlds safest car is now even safer, move along now.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:04 | 4602911 Shad_ow
Shad_ow's picture

Hard to move along if you have been fried in your car.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:08 | 4602921 TheRideNeverEnds
TheRideNeverEnds's picture

Good news, maybe they will randomly explode less now.  Sometime in the next decade if they become profitable the stock will really get some legs on the upside...  

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:14 | 4602941 edifice
edifice's picture

"Kaylee!!  What in the sphincter of hell are you playin' at?  Did the primary buffer panel just fall of my gorram ship for no apparent reason!?"

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:17 | 4602949 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

"sphincter of hell" okay that one goes on a sticky note on my monitor for use later.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:37 | 4603047 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

+1 for Firefly reference. What a crime that they killed that show.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:21 | 4602961 F.A. Hayek
F.A. Hayek's picture

Can anyone tell me where the electricity comes from that powers the batteries when recharging?

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:22 | 4602974 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Sure. A wall outlet, commonly. I think 220 volts are required.

Anything else I can help clear up?

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:25 | 4602984 F.A. Hayek
F.A. Hayek's picture

Thank you, most helpful. And where does the wall outlet get the energy from? I'm trying to get to the source so that I can understand where along the way this becomes a 'green' car company. Is it because I don't have to get my hands dirty with all that coal?

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:39 | 4603057 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

LOL, don't pull on that thread. You'll unravel the whole sweater!!

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:39 | 4603061 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

The rich people that buy the car are more interested in it's value as a status symbol. It's the same twisted set of values that inform everything the rich do, sorry to say.

If Musk wants to ride into town on the green pony to sell his wares, I don't see a problem with it. The whole "green products" movement is a scam aimed at a segment of consumers (read that twice) who want to consume with pride.

Well they should probably consume less, but that's just an opinion.

So it doesn't matter where the electricity comes from, in the end. The electricity, and the manufacturing, and the distribution, and the marketing and all that are destroying the world, nothing else matters.

I can like an interesting machine as being interesting, but you should know that I harbor no actual hope for the future of machines.


Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:46 | 4603085 F.A. Hayek
F.A. Hayek's picture

Ok, we finally got to my point and now we are in agreement. The whole green movement is an absolute joke, and you're right - it's for the self-righteous greenies to feel better about consumption. Consumerism. What a fucking joke.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:55 | 4603118 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

I think my complaint about the "Tesla sucks" meme here is that it very deliberately overlooks this very point.

I happen to be "green" but I am not a "green consumer". I simply do not consume. I spend (some would say, waste) a lot of time fixing things that break, or making things from scratch, or recycling discarded things that have more useful life, and this is how I define living a green lifestyle.

I will of course be flamed for this, as a dirty hippy communist. It's sad. I happen to be an accomplished mechanical and civil engineer, but that won't matter. Punch the hippie.


The "buy green" movement is a fraud. It should be a "buy nothing" movement, but where is the money in that? So it will never happen.

Not complaining, people throwing away useful junk is the source of my pleasure.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:18 | 4603206 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

I'm not an engineer but lived in rural area for some years where you need to be able to fix things.  Now I live in a city where most people have never fixed more than a broken shoelace.  I can't get over it.  Anyway I get a particular pleasure from fixing things that I'm not supposed to be able to fix.  It's not about money, though that's a nice bonus. 

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:28 | 4603252 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

It really is about beating the system, isn't it? Don't you feel like a rebel when you pick up some kitchen chair discarded because a joint came lose, drop a little glue in it, and then go put it in the shop to sit on later while you plot your next great attack on the consumption welfare system?

I half expect men in black to break into my house someday and haul me off. I'll be screaming "Tinkerers of the world, unite!"

In the mean time I'm enjoying this subversive pleasure.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 19:19 | 4604228 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

Yep.  A a recent one was my wife's car key:  Stopped working, new battery didn't fix it.  So I popped it open an gave it a good look with a magnfying glass.  There was wire that was loose.  So I took out my $8.99 Radio Shack soldering iron and soldered it back onto the board.  Bingo!  VW charges something like $200 for new one.  Every time I push that button and the doors unlock, I get a little smirk.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:22 | 4603230 bluskyes
bluskyes's picture

There's no profit to be made in Reducing, and Reusing. That's why we only hear about Recycling.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:29 | 4603256 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Yup! Gold star.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 17:39 | 4603859 DoctorOfLove
DoctorOfLove's picture

dirty hippy communist

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 18:04 | 4603966 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

I had to be said.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:03 | 4603150 Shad_ow
Shad_ow's picture

Yes and thanks.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:46 | 4603083 Elliott Eldrich
Elliott Eldrich's picture

Here's a thought exercise that might help explain what is going on. Imagine there were no electric power plants anywhere, and instead everyone wanting electricity in their home would have a private, diesel-fueled generator. Imagine how much that would cost to run every day, not to mention the noise, the smoke, and the sheer inefficiency of such a setup.

Considering the average person spends something along the lines of maybe $100 a month on their electricity use (this is a wholly made up number, but will suffice for this example,) try to imagine what someone would spend to keep a diesel generator running 24/7? Considering that 1 gallon per hour is a reasonable consumption rate for a diesel generator that can produce 10 kilowatts worth of power, or about enough to keep the average house lit and working, and with diesel at roughly $5 a gallon, running this generator for a day would cost 24 X $5 or $120 for one DAY of power. Compare and contrast: $100 per MONTH or $120 per DAY for the same net result. 

TL;dr version: Central power plants are vastly more efficient at converting fuel into electricity than small, local, mobile powerplants, e.g. the engines in most cars. This efficiency translates well into greatly reduced operating costs for well-designed electric vehicles.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:03 | 4603141 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

You just made a retarded argument-- you are comparing apples to oranges.

Gasoline is an energy SOURCE and an ENERGY STORAGE TECHNOLOGY, all in one. Hugely efficient.

Electric cars require a very expensive energy storage technology, and then must rely on an electric power plant (which is on average 35% efficient vs. your internal combustion engine which is 25% efficient) to deliver power over wires (typically around 7% loss, so now you are down to 28%) to your battery (which loses another few percentage points). Which nets out to maybe a 1% efficiency gain.

That 1% gain in efficiency has to pay for a very expensive electric battery that wears out after 6 or 7 years.

It simply doesn't pencil out.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:19 | 4603212 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

And don't forget the "externalized" costs of nuclear power. See Fukushima for a demonstration.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:34 | 4603275 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture


Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:34 | 4603276 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

Hey, quit using logic and reason here. The GW folks would rather think in terms of rainbows and unicorns.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 15:03 | 4603361 Mike Hunt III
Mike Hunt III's picture

I've looked into building an electric car from scratch and based on national average price for electricity and gasoline, I come up with a car that would go 100 miles on $3 of electricity or $10.50 in gasoline. This seems to be in conflict with your estimated 1 percent efficiency gain. However, I don't see this battery powered car being less expensive to operate over the life of the battery pack. I think batteries will need to reach about 2000 charge/discharge cycles (or much cheaper batteries) before it starts to make economic sense. The trend of lower price per kwh and increased charge cycles seems to indicate that we will eventually get there.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 15:13 | 4603382 Elliott Eldrich
Elliott Eldrich's picture

2000 discharge cycles you say? Well, as it just so happens, there are no less than three battery chemistries I can think of off of the top of my head that would fill the bill in that regard: LiFePO4 (LFP), LiNiMnCoO2 (NCM) and LiNiCoALO2 (NCA.) All three of these chemistries can be recharged over 2000 times, and at the end of that lifespan they are still able to be charged to 80% of their original capacity. Of those three, I'm thinking the LiNiCoALO2 chemistry is the most promising in terms of energy density, specific power and longevity.

As it turns out, AllCell is currently using the NCA chemistry in their battery packs, for example they have a "naked battery pack" for electric bicycles that weighs about ten pounds, and is able to hold 740 watt-hours of charge (36V x 20Ah). AllCell is notable for their "Phase Change" medium that they use for passive heat moderation, the battery cells are contained in a medium of wax and graphite that is able to dissipate heat within the pack in case of a thermal runaway event, effectively extinguishing the failed cell before the heat can spread to other cells.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 18:05 | 4603973 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

You should go back and check your figures. Nothing really meaningful has changed with battery technology or power generation technology in 100 years. If the idea was such a winner, it would have succeeded by now.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 18:49 | 4604116 Elliott Eldrich
Elliott Eldrich's picture

Really, so a 4x increase in energy density and a 10x increase in number of charge cycles is "nothing really meaningful." Congratulations, you just graduated to "troll" in my book. Please don't be offended if I never reply to you in the future, I've learned not to feed the trolls on the internet. 


For those who are willing to educate themselves about the developments in battery chemistry over the last 30 years or so, this web page is a good starting point:

Sat, 03/29/2014 - 00:03 | 4604859 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture


Sat, 03/29/2014 - 00:02 | 4604862 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

A 4x increase in energy density is a fart in a hurricane.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 22:38 | 4604693 Mike Hunt III
Mike Hunt III's picture

I used 300wh per mile for a 2900lb car(Porsche 914). That's 30kwh@$.10 per kwh equals $3.00. The gas powered version (2600lb.) getting 33mpg uses 3 gallons of gas. At $3.50 per gallon that is $10.50. Three dollars worth of electricity vs. $10 of gasoline. What are your numbers?

Also you need to keep up with technology. Today's battery is 4 times more energy dense than lead acid of yesteryear.

Sat, 03/29/2014 - 00:05 | 4604866 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Sorry. You have to factor in the cost of the battery as well. That will kill your energy savings. Especially when you consider that the battery will have to be replaced.

Sat, 03/29/2014 - 08:20 | 4605160 Mike Hunt III
Mike Hunt III's picture

I was only responding to your claim of a 1% well to wheels efficiency difference between gas and electric. I don't know the exact efficiency difference but based on cost of the two fulels (gas,electricity) of $3 and $10 in my example, I'd say the efficiency advantage is much greater with electric. Having said that I still believe gas powered cars have an overall lower operating cost per mile (includes all parts, batteries, fuels etc). But I don't think we are as far away from battery/gas overall cost parity as you seem to indicate.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:21 | 4603227 Itchy and Scratchy
Itchy and Scratchy's picture

It will come from Electicity Land!

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 15:42 | 4603505 Rising Sun
Rising Sun's picture

from power generating stations that use fossil fuels to heat the water that turns the turbine

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 21:33 | 4604528 Matt
Matt's picture

Or rooftop solar panels, considering a good chunk of the Teslas are in California.

Still not sure on the total embedded energy and carbon in making semiconductor solar panel systems, plus the batteries on the car itself.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:21 | 4602964 pezhead
pezhead's picture

"Because, you see, the "world's safest car" needs what is effectively a bomb blast shield planted in the floor. Just in case."

F*ck - this site is awesome - sarcasm and vitriol wrapped in bacon

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 21:38 | 4604543 Matt
Matt's picture

Frank Rosenthal (Sam, Casino) really appreciates reinforced flooring:

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:42 | 4603070 PennilessPauper
PennilessPauper's picture

Good news for Tesla sales.  Now if the rest of the car companies could do someting about exploding gas cars and trucks we would really be on to something.


Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:48 | 4603093 Deepskyy
Deepskyy's picture

So the great technological marvel of green energy needs it's entire undercarriage protected with a skidplate to keep it from bursting into flames, all the while my dino juice sucking (well... sipping) 87 Corolla doesn't even have the shitty fiber and plastic covers anymore, and it can manage to make it 216k miles without bursting into flame due to road debris.


Tell me again why why I should embrace the fancy new toy of the global climate change alarmists?  Not that I could afford one on my adjunct salary anyway, but just hey, just for kicks right?  A man can dream!  And my dream is of another 93 YJ with a bulletproof gas hogging 4.0 thank you very much. 


Fri, 03/28/2014 - 21:39 | 4604549 Matt
Matt's picture

How many times have you hit a chunk of metal on the road at 100+ MPH and it punctured your gas tank with so much force, the whole vehicle was lifted off the road?

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:03 | 4603145 Itchy and Scratchy
Itchy and Scratchy's picture

I'm in! I've been lookin' all over the place for a car with a built in BBQ!

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:28 | 4603247 Duude
Duude's picture

The worst defense of Tesla's flammable nature came from Elon Musk. Elon compared the number of vehicle fires of the relatively youthful Tesla to all other vehicles. The facts are the average vehicle on the road is 11 years old. Older vehicles make up virtually all of automobile electical fires with the exception of vehicles that were parked in a garage attached to a home in flames, vehicles doused in gasoline and lit up after being involved in a crime. and the Tesla model.  No joke, this is what Elon Musk used to defend his automobile company.   But I don't buy the idea Elon had to bribe anyone at NHTSA. The NHTSA ultimately answers to the President of the US. Obama is a huge supporter of electic vehicles. He even required GM put more money into that unprofitable part of their business while negotiating GM's multi-billion dollar bail out.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 15:39 | 4603496 Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

Yup, the Tesla, like the Volt were not ready for prime time when they were released.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 21:41 | 4604559 Matt
Matt's picture

A fairer comparison would be comparing rich douchebags in sports cars driving excessively fast and crashing, say Porche owners versus Tesla owners, but only counting drivers who consistantly exceed 150% of the speed limit.

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:32 | 4603270 Itchy and Scratchy
Itchy and Scratchy's picture

Dang it! I only got flame decals on my duster!

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:58 | 4603345 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:53 | 4603330 Carbon Beach
Carbon Beach's picture

Wasn't the world's safest car a Cadillac featured in the movie Casino?

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