Guest Blogger Dan Koellen is a SARTA Board member and Chairman of the Sacramento Angels.
I have had the pleasure of driving my 2010 Tesla Roadster since July 2009. And I have to emphasize the word ‘pleasure’ when describing my driving experience. The first thing you notice driving an electric vehicle is the instant, continuous and colossal acceleration. The beauty of an electric motor is that it delivers a hefty amount of torque at zero rpm; and it is torque, not horsepower, that launches you from a standing start with neck snapping ecstasy. Just hit the accelerator and you go; no dropping the clutch while your engine is roaring at NASCAR levels is necessary. And there is no shifting! With a really wide torque range and 14,000 rpm red line only one gear is needed. Easy!
Range Anxiety?! What range anxiety? Like any vehicle your ‘mileage’ depends on how you drive. “Spirited driving” will drain the coulombs out of the battery at a greater rate than conservative driving. It’s the same as gas guzzling, tire smoking starts with an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. Even with spirited driving, my range is over 150 miles per charge. Need to go farther than that? Put the car in extended range mode and you easily get over 200 miles; I know because I have tried it. For everyday use the range is more than enough.
The great thing about driving an electric car every day is it is so easy and convenient. Just turn the key and you are ready to drive; just press the accelerator and you are moving, no shifting required; park in the close in and usually empty ‘electric car only’ spaces in the parking ramp; and don’t worry about service visits to the dealer. There isn’t much to service: no oil, no spark plugs, no fuel injectors, and not much wear on your brake linings (regenerative braking is awesome). Just plug it in at night and it is all charged and ready to go in the morning, just as if someone takes your ICE car to the gas station for a fill up each evening.
Traveling in Tesla Time? No, this is not a fossilized Grateful Dead song. Tesla owners refer to Tesla Time as the extra time needed to get somewhere after answering questions and general conversation with the inquisitive passersby who appear when you park the car.