“What is that car?” asked my California friend as we walked down the street. “A Tesla,” I said. “Who makes it?” she inquired. “Tesla,” I said once more. “What’s Tesla?” Here’s where my friend awakened to the truth about Tesla.
A Tesla, I explained, is the one car on the road you don’t want to have. It’s expensive, inefficient, limited in range, difficult to recharge, heavy for its size, can leave you high and dry, make people other than you very rich, won’t improve the environment an iota, and bears no relationship to the guy for whom it is named. Simple truths got her attention.
Starting around $90,000 or more, the Tesla S sedan presents lots of ordinary for all of that money. But California will give you $12,500 in tax credits, putting the car barely in the buying range of ordinary folks, even with the government largesse at tax time.
As for Tesla, the company, it must have been the darling car company in the eyes of CARB (California Air Resources Board). So enamored of the zero-emissions vehicle, CARB requires that 1.5 million cars on California roads by 2025 be ones that emit no carbon.
Let’s not forget that carbon — the much maligned atom in CO2 — is fingered as the manmade cause of global warming despite evidence to the contrary. If you believe the hype, it is you driving your hydrocarbon-powered vehicle that causes every malady imaginable on earth from the resulting rising global temperatures, never mind that the world hasn’t warmed in the last 17 years, and global warming actually isn’t. But don’t tell that to a Tesla owner.
Tesla figures prominently among eco-fanatics who think that by not burning fossil fuels in their all-electric vehicles they are saving the planet. They ignore the fact that electricity in their Tesla’s batteries came from burning some kind of hydrocarbons in a power plant. That point, to them, is beside the point.
In Seattle just today, firefighters extinguished a fire that destroyed a Model S Tesla. Its battery pack ignited upon impact with road debris, which just goes to show that a Tesla sacrifices safety for saving energy or the environment or some other myth its marketers made up.
Such self-delusion goes a long way in justifying the inordinate expense of the purchase while horrifying the taxpayers who paid in part for every Tesla owner’s car. These people include the middle class and poor, who subsidize the elite in their choices for private eco-vehicular transportation while the rest of us hail a bus.
Tesla, the company, will rake in $250 million by year’s end selling their ZEV credits. What’s a ZEV credit? When auto manufacturers fail to meet CARB’s standards for zero-emissions vehicles, they are forced to buy ZEV credits from other manufacturers. Enter Tesla, the leader in ZEV credits.
Tesla does well by the favoritism established by CARB standards, ZEV credits, and federal tax credits, from which the company makes between $25,000 and $35,000 for every car that it sells. Multiply that by the 20,000 vehicles it expects to make in 2013 along with 40,000 cars as expected production in 2014. So, here is America’s taxpayer poor subsidizing elites and pulling in profit for Tesla to the tune of $2 billion, in round numbers, in two years.
That’s the price we pay for the eco-lunacy from which the crony capitalists in the government’s favor make money while folks like my friend, Susan the seamstress, foots the bill. “Hmm,” she said, “you have renewed the fondness I have for my Ford pick-up.”