Tesla Model S: Last Year's Most Important Vehicle
Pick up a car magazine
this month in the past six months and you will struggle to find one without a Tesla Model S on the cover praising it as the ‘Most Important’ or ‘Best’ car of 2012. While I wholeheartedly agree with their praises, where’s the accountability?
Had you Googled Tesla a year ago, you’d have found pages and pages of doubt written by the very same journos that are now falling all over themselves to put it at the top of the list. Starting a car company can’t be an easy task, but countless publications took every opportunity to slay Tesla for their efforts early on… Calling the Model S ‘Vaporware’ even when preproduction models were rolling around on Tesla’s all-new and proprietary, factory-built platform. Can anyone imagine how hard it must have been for Tesla to get that far?? Surely it took much more effort than it does to pound out a few sarcastic words behind the protection of your keyboard.
And yeah, Elon musk is a bit if a nut. When I met him he ferociously hammered away an email on his iPhone for a solid three minutes before acknowledging that anyone was standing next to him. However, hasn’t history proven that it takes people just a few feet over the edge to get big things done? Ever heard of Howard Hughes? Or Frank Lloyd Wright? They and countless others were on the brink of being institutionalized, but changed the world for the better in ways that can never be reversed.
As for the machine itself, I agree, the Model S is a very important car. Being honest, none of the technology is that revolutionary, but what is impressive is that they’ve delivered it in a package that’s actually got everyone’s attention, could push it into consumers hands and change cars forever. Yes, batteries still have limitations… And while no one loves the smell, sounds and fury of a combustion engine more than me, from the very first moment I drove one of the preproduction Tesla Roadsters it was clear that, power sources aside, cars should be propelled by electric motors.
Instant torque delivery and one moving part in entire drivetrain? Take it from someone that has to maintain a fleet of 40+ cars for a living, life will be so much easier with electric cars… Are there environmental issues to hash out? Sure, but we have that problem anyway. Will they be powered by batteries as we understand them now? Most likely not, but how many other ways can we make electricity? Now, take a look at the Top 10 list on nearly any prominent auto publication and you’ll find the Model S right at the top. Look back a bit in their history and you likely don’t even have to scroll six months back to find harsh criticism and doubts that their ‘most important car of the year’ would ever see the light of day. It feels an awful lot like the financial reporting following the 2008 meltdown. Reporters across the globe were quick to point out that finance professionals ignored the obvious signals to pursue greater profits, but it was as if they had flipped a switch on their own reporting and were happy to step away from the bear traps they had lead there readers into just days before. Come on guys, we all make mistakes, but if you want to maintain creditability, at least start by admitting you had it wrong. This article was originally published by Zac Moseley for the Driver's Daily blog powered by the Manhattan Classic Car Club.