Saturday, November 10, 2007
I've seen the future and it's orange
Regular readers will know I am not a fan of the infernal combustion engine. Which is why I photographed the car currently standing on our drive. It doesn't use an internal combustion engine. This little orange number goes from 0 to 60mph in under 4 seconds, its energy consumption is the equivalent to 135mpg, and it is electric powered. It is a Tesla Roadster, and it is the brain-child of a Silicon Valley start-up backed by A-list names including Sergey Brin and Larry Page. There is a waiting list for the Roadster which goes on sale in the States next year, and George Clooney and Matt Damon are among the names down for the $98,000 car of the future.
Once you are on the road two things strike you. It is very fast, and it is very quiet. In fact it is so quiet that there have been problems with pedestrians stepping in front of it because they couldn't hear a car coming. The Tesla Roadster comes from a Californian company, and will go on sale on the West Coast - if you look carefully this UK registered pre-production model is left-hand drive, wrong side for us. But the development and building of the car takes place at Hethel, a mile and a half from our house here in rural Norfolk, and one of our family is working on the technology in it.
The only downsides I can see are the 245 miles range per battery charge and the absence of a CD autochanger. Now that would cause problems on our annual one thousand mile pilgrimage to Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.
None of which will stop the Tesla becoming the de rigeur Hollywood fashion accessory of 2008. Electric cars are the big thing there, as today's Guardian report on the current screenwriter's strike confirms - The police are threatening to hand out tickets for "contributing to noise pollution" if the pickets continue to hold up their "honk" signs to passing motorists - "There are a lot of Priuses honking," says Andy McElfresh, another Jay Leno writer, "a lot of non-writing Priuses".
And creative people going on strike takes us back to when market forces and music collided.
Interesting background here on the Tesla name. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk