By this time, there are few new details that can be revealed about the symbol of green speed luxury, the all-electric Tesla Roadster. We know it makes car enthusiasts drool,
hydrogen-supporters angry, and the rest of us green with envy — if only we could bring kids, dogs, and significant others along for the ride. But then again, this ain’t that type of vehicle.
Car enthusiast/comedian Jay Leno was given the keys to one of the new vehicles recently and posted his impressions up on the Times Online. Here are some great quotes,
“Tesla is quite smart in that it is reaching the enthusiasts of the market. If you like sports cars and you want to be green, this is the only way to go. The Tesla is a car that you can live with, drive and enjoy as a sports car. I had a brief drive in the car and it was quite impressive. This is an electric car that is fun to drive. Prior to this, most electric cars were driven by people with earth shoes.”
Do you have earth shoes? I have no idea what Jay is talking about here, but I want some.
“Would I buy one? Well yes, I would be interested in it. Right now theyâ€™re $100,000, so consequently itâ€™s something rich people would buy. But most new technology starts out with rich people. Antilock brakes started out on the big Cadillacs and Lincolns. They didnâ€™t start out on economy cars. To start with itâ€™s the rich buyers that can absorb the cost. Anybody who buys a Tesla now is making a statement about buying responsibly. Itâ€™s a way to make a high performance statement for the new millennium.”
I like how Jay explains that new technology is often embraced by those who can afford it — with a trickle-down effect happening later. One of the criticisms of the Tesla has been its high price — which, c’mon, for an independent company making a first time vehicle using innovative technology is almost a given. It’s 5-10 years down the road after the first Teslas hit the road that I’ll be looking forward to actually owning something similar.
Till then, I’ll stick with Earth Shoes. Hit the interview for more impressions!