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November 28, 2013 / paulio10

Tesla Electric Cars Beat Gas Cars Any Day

I’m not sure you realize what the Tesla Model S electric car is really about.

Have you ever stopped and thought about it?

Tesla cars have fewer parts than ordinary cars. Like, 5-10 TIMES fewer parts. I mean, the automatic transmission of a regular car alone has a CRAZY amount of parts; more than 3000 little, moving parts. That’s more parts than the entire rest of the car! Wikipedia’s page on Automatic Transmissions has a section “Parts and operation” that describes a ridiculously complex arrangement of parts that all somehow manage to work, well, most of the time. But complexity is the enemy of reliability.

You never have to check the radiator fluid level in your Tesla.
Radiator fluid is only there to cool down gasoline engines, because gasoline engines create massive amounts of heat that must be carried away by radiator fluid constantly flowing by, or the engine will melt into a glowing mass of broken metal, seizing immediately and permanently, triggering another $4000 repair. That fluid then needs to be cooled somehow, before being sent back into the engine to heat up again. The water pump can fail, resulting in the same catastrophe. Leaking radiator fluid can rust dozens of other parts under the hood, causing untold damage that may need repair in your future. None of this mess happens with Tesla Model S cars.

Your Tesla’s battery isn’t filled with water – that is so old-fashioned! You don’t have a single battery which, when it fails without warning, stops your car completely from running. Most cars have no gauge to see how your battery is doing, much less a digital communication system to monitor it. Why is that? You depend on your car to work whenever you need it, yet you’re blind when it comes to your battery’s status – it’s crazy. Tesla cars have many batteries, not just one. And if any battery is weak or starting to fail, the car’s computer knows it and will take action to notify you or Tesla about that fact, so the problem can be dealt with long before your car fails to start.

You never have to add oil to the engine of a Tesla, check the oil level and color and smell, or worry about oil leaks and repairs. Forgetting to check the oil does not result in shortening your engine’s lifespan due to metal fragments floating around in the oil and rubbing against the engine’s most valuable pieces, wearing them down. Running out of oil won’t seize the engine suddenly while you’re driving down the freeway at 65 MPH, endangering your life and all those in the cars around you. You won’t have to replace the seized engine with an inferior one from a junkyard, at a cost of $3000-5000 and a lost day of work.

You never have to add transmission fluid – or repair leaks, or replace the fluid every hard-to-remember-thousand miles. You won’t destroy your transmission by forgetting to check the fluid, so you won’t incur $1000-3000 repair because of it, and feel guilty about it.

Your fuel injectors can never get clogged, because you don’t have fuel injectors. You never need to buy “fuel injector cleaner”, or wonder if that stuff even works. Fuel just isn’t needed in an electric car.

Your Tesla electric car works at high altitudes and low altitudes. It starts and runs in snow and ice, as well as the high temperatures of the desert like in Arizona Nevada, etc. Why wouldn’t it? Your cell phone works in those environments, doesn’t it?

To start an ordinary car, the ignition carries electricity to the starter motor, which has to turn freely after sitting overnight in the cold; its metal gears must mesh properly with the engine, to try and get the engine turning; but it must disconnect those gears once the engine’s started, so the starter doesn’t slow down the engine once you’re driving. At the same time, gasoline has to previously have been flowing from the gas tank to the engine through tubing, in order for the engine to begin burning that fuel immediately after the starter lets go. The spark plugs have to fire at the same time, using very high voltage (transformed from the low-voltage battery); the right mixture of air has to be included with the gas or the fuel won’t burn properly. All this has to work within 2-3 seconds of ignition, because all of this is a tremendous burden on the battery; if all of this doesn’t work within 6 or 8 attempts at starting the car, your battery will be drained to the point where it cannot start the car anymore, and now you’re stuck.

To start a Tesla Model S, the ignition carries electricity to the motors that turn the wheels. You start moving by pressing the accelerator pedal.

Safety – you aren’t riding around atop a huge tank of liquid explosive gasoline.

Safety – you aren’t sitting behind a huge block of metal with spinning spinning parts involved in a continuous series of micro-explosions.

You aren’t polluting the air with poisonous gasoline-based smoke right in front of your family, friends and neighbors. You aren’t contributing to your city’s smog problem. Sure, the electricity you charged your Tesla with may (or may not) have come from a polluting energy source like a coal plant; but that coal plant operated with “economies of scale” to produce less poisonous exhaust than thousands of little gasoline-burning cars do. Plus, the pollution being generated is not focused 5 feet away from your loved ones.

You aren’t polluting the air with the irritating sound of the modern gasoline-burning engine. Especially if your muffler rusts or has other problems, causing a much louder sound echoing throughout your quiet neighborhood, and causing you to spend money on yet another type of repair. Teslas don’t have mufflers, they don’t need them. Have you ever been woken up at 2AM from some idiot revving their car’s gasoline engine incessantly? That sound will hopefully go away soon, just like the shocking whip-crack of the old horse-drawn-carriage days.

No 40-point inspection and constant up-sale every 3 months or 3000 miles when you go in for oil & filter changes. You don’t have to waste time and money on maintenance every 3 months, because your Tesla doesn’t have oil or oil filters. You only need to go to the repair shop if one of the few parts in a Tesla actually starts failing. And, many of those parts are monitored by the computer, unlike an ordinary car, so you don’t have to wait until you hear “a strange sound” before knowing to go in for a repair.

From the Tesla web site:

…it periodically monitors itself and can alert Tesla, with your permission, to issues so that they can be resolved quickly and easily. Many issues can be resolved remotely, but if your Model S does require in-person attention, you can bring it to a Tesla Service Center, schedule a Tesla Ranger visit, or have your car picked up in exchange for a loaner at no charge with our valet service.

Tesla cars don’t roll forward a little the instant you take your foot off the brake. That’s a stupid side-effect of gasoline-driven engines, because they need to “keep moving or they stall”. Electric cars cannot stall any more than your cell phone can stall. A Tesla car is an electronic device much like your cell phone is.

Your Tesla car, left alone for 6 months in the garage, will start just fine on the first try. The batteries are fully charged, since it was hooked up to the power and trickle-charging during that time. Unlike ordinary cars, where the gasoline “goes bad” in the tank (how is that possible?), and you have to figure out how to put “fresh” gasoline in it, get fresh gasoline in the fuel line going to the engine, and get the engine running again…assuming all the other fluids are still OK  and haven’t leaked out as well.

TL;DR:

Fewer parts to fail, not 7 different fluids to check, no regular maintenance 4-8 times a year, with salesman accosting you each time. Only needs maintenance if something goes wrong. Automatically senses many types of problems – computer tells you before you’re dead-in-the-water.

No giant metal constant-explosion device – no overheating, no exhaust choking your loved ones. No sitting over a large box of liquid explosive as you careen along undivided highways at high speeds.

No stupid muffler, no fuel-pump, water-pump, air-valves, exhaust-tubes, cooling systems, transmissions, starter motor, gears. Simple, not complex; way more reliable. All that extra junk is crazy old.

Tesla cars are really more like a cell phone than a car. Starts just fine in extreme cold and heat, like your cell phone does. Because, why not?

Seriously, it’s time to buy a Tesla.

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