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Tesla Gets Testy ... Again. Why not?

Some thoughts on electric cars (EV), Extended Range Electric Vehicles, Hybrids, etc. Rather than pretend coherence I’ll bullet some general observations. Order doesn’t count. Nor relevance.

But first a recurring theme noted. Elon Musk, head honcho of Tesla is clearly a jerk. He complains, sues, threatens, whines (and whines) unless everything — particularly “tests” of his cars – goes exactly as the script in his head goes. Car tests, above all on a TV show (note the word “show” — indicating entertainment, not a scientific investigation), and in a newspaper are not to be looked upon as “tests.” Newspapers are not set up with fifth wheel contraptions or ways of monitoring repeatable processes.

These are not tests so much as “impressions.” Different writers approach the task differently.  John M. Broder, who drew the assignment from the New York Times to drive the Tesla S from Washington DC to Boston to check out the bragged-on range of a Tesla S and, in conjunction with supposedly appropriate spots on route where the all-electric vehicle could get re-juiced.

These spots were stupidly called “superchargers” thus lending evidence to my assertion that Elon Musk is a jerk. “Supercharger” is a word with a definite meaning in the car world having nothing to do with stationary filling-stations for an EV. The word is taken, Jerk. Find another for your lovely looking Tesla S that cannot do what many cars can do with ease, which is get from Washington to Boston on a sub-freezing day without being driven preternaturally slowly, or without adequate heat, or without the need to have the stops to feed one’s face dictated by what is being driven. (The car should enhance the trip, not dictate its circumstances.)

I rather think that John Broder was more interested in practicing his ability to write amusing, snide and clever copy about his experiences (one could legitimately hope for misadventure because that’s funnier) than in listening to the instructions from Tesla spokespersons, which if reported correctly were misleading and inadequate — not an unexpected quality of performance to anyone having to explain to a sentient human being in the 21st century how to drive a car from Washington to Boston.

Why all this is demonstrative of the jerk-ness of Elon Musk is that the entire operation is a mistimed, misplaced and WTF scenario. A few thoughts relevant to the matter: batteries lose a great deal of their usefulness as batteries when the weather is cold. Cold is a not an unusual characteristic of a winter day in the mid-Atlantic states.

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Travel Bug in Santa Fe.

Travel Bug, mentioned on DeniseMcCluggage.comI think of Santa Fe’s Travel Bug as “The Map Store” and confound people when I say that’s where I’ll meet them for tea (or coffee if they must.) But there are more maps here than ever existed when cartography was middle-aged. Books too, travel guides yes, but books about the places as well. Flags. Phrase books in obscure languages. Travel gear like packable hats and useful gadgetry. All in home-owned quirkiness. And it’s my chosen coffee house because it’s prices are well below Starbucks; it has free WiFi (and great patience); serves homemade sandwiches, soups, salads and store-bought pastries; has indoor tables and two outdoors sitting areas; ample parking, and is never crowded. A best-kept secret and here I go babbling. At 839 Paseo de Peralta (walking distance from the Plaza.) 505-982-0418.


Keeping Your Cool In The Snow.

[Published on The Detroit Bureau

Thirteen Vermont winters and a class win in the Monte Carlo rally might lend me cred as a driver in snow. However, probably even more useful, and certainly more concentrated, are a number of sessions I had over the years at the Bridgestone Winter Driving School in Steamboat Springs CO.

Learning to drive in conditions of limited traction is the most valuable experience for acquiring car control on any surface. Go take a day’s basic lesson on snow. Or if you’re already hot on the cold stuff stretch your skills with the session suitable for winter rally wannabes. Then treat yourself to a day on the welcoming slopes of Steamboat and make it a winter holiday for the books. Or Facebook.



[Published on The Detroit Bureau

When you next go out on the street that’s what you’re going to see. Blue. Bright blue cars and pick-up trucks. (I do like a blue truck.) You are going to see them because I started noticing more of that particular blue – not navy, not baby, but blue like mouthwash is blue; blue like my Alfa Giulietta that I tossed around Europe circa 1958 was blue.

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Driving Tips!

PROBLEM: Winter’s short days mean that more people are driving when the sun is low on the horizon. The car’s sun visor is often inadequate to keep the dazzle out of your eyes.

SUGGESTION: Keep a baseball cap in the car and wear it while driving. Tilting and turning your head to keep the bill between you and the sun is a more flexible way than the rigid visor to keep from being dazzled by the glare.

SUGGESTION 2: Join the Racing Images of the Month Club and receive a MEMBER’S SUITE cap. Here’s how.


Ideas, Fully Baked or Half Done, Have Their Own Website

So do you think it would be a good idea to have scrolling electric signs - Times Square-like - mounted in car windows so a driver could comment on another driver’s performance? Something like: “Thanks for moving over” or “You drive like my Aunt Nellie”? 

Well, I don’t either. (Who’s minding the wheel while you type in your busybody messages?)

So what about pellet guns that can splotch another car with color (different hues for different transgressions) thus announcing to the driving world what sort of road action to expect from the piebald car.

How about having a central site where you can report faults you noticed on other cars (such as a failed tail light) so that the word would be passed on to the owner?

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