Tesla spent two weeks in Copenhagen for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, Dec 7 to Dec 18. We spread the word about Tesla Motors to climate change experts, policymakers, journalists, and fans. We decided to exhibit the Roadsters on the streets of "Hopenhagen". We wanted to demonstrate that zero emissions vehicles are a reality, and show that the Roadster is capable of driving in severe weather conditions – snow, rain and freezing temperatures. Over the course of the two weeks at COP15, the only things we needed were an electrical outlet and a few car washes. We did about 400 drives around town. The event saw the biggest lineup of Teslas in Europe to date – 10 Roadsters. U.S. Ambassador Laurie S. Fulton invited Tesla Motors to a reception for California Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also attended the event. A pair of Tesla Roadsters welcomed the guests at the red carpet entrance. Guests included heads of state, ministers, and business leaders. Virgin CEO Richard Branson chose a Tesla Roadster as his car service for the event. He became so fond of the car, he insisted on driving it himself - and provided rides for other high-level international VIPs. He drove a Radiant Red Roadster - to match the Virgin brand! UN Secretary-General Bang Ki-Moon was offered a ride, but like Branson, asked to drive it himself. We were thrilled to be a part of such a noteworthy event. See more photos here.
NICE! Sounds like this could hardly have gone any better. Congratulations.
Excellent product, at the right price, at the right time. Congratulations.
Outstanding post! You definitely move in the right circles in the right way.
While policy makers fail inside the conference, your vehicles are succeeding outside the conference. Let venture capitalism show the way!
With Climategate, as well as increasing skepticism about the causes of climate change on the one hand, and the potential efficacy of GHG emissions-control programs on the other, I am so glad that Tesla doesn't need fear of climate catastrophe to motivate Roadster purchases. If, tomorrow, we learn that we're doing nothing significant to change the climate or that there is nothing we can do to stop changes that are now underway, the Roadster and future Tesla vehicles will still stand as things to be desired, simply for the value proposition they represent to the individual driver. The Roadster is a hot car, period. The Model S, if the final production car resembles or improves over the prototype that has already been demonstrated, will be an excellent alternative to petro-based fuel-burners in its price range. That Tesla cars and EV in general are kinder to the environment is only icing on a very tasty cake.
Tesla has gone about this the right way. If an environmental pitch can stimulate sales, open doors, and generate positive press, so much the better. But even without it, the product practically sells itself on features that will please a driver who has no interest in "saving the planet" at all. In short, Tesla cars offer something to everyone. If the company can continue to release successively less expensive models, it will eventually offer the best of all worlds to just about everyone. Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year to all the Teslans. Keep driving forward.
Great automobile - this technology helps reduce usage of fossil fuels for meeting our transportation needs, and thus the consequent carbon emissions. However, calling it "zero emission" is not entirely correct, as this is only true if the power used to charge the vehicle batteries is generated in non-fossil fueled plants. In America, for the most part, this is not the case. Thus the emissions are simply relocated from the vehicle's exhaust to the power plant's chimney, although the electric vehicle does result in lower overall fuel consumption per unit distance traveled. This technology should rightly be named "reduced emissions" instead, unless the context clearly relates to power generated from nuclear, wind, solar, hydro, etc. (that is, non-fossil fueled) plants.
Saying that the car itself is "zero emission" is correct, since the batteries, electric motors, etc don't produce any greenhouse gases. (one could get pedantic about the ambiguity on what we care about its emitting, but it wouldn't be a very pointful discussion). And remember that other methods of electricity generation have their own environmental impacts (poisonous chemicals used in solar panel manufacture, damage to fish or bird habitats for hydro or wind power, nuclear waste)... none of these are intrinsically linked to the car, either. And no, I'm not saying fossil fuels are better; they're not.
Yes, most electricity generated in the US is from fossil fuels (thank you, by the way, for recognizing that even so it reduces pollution compared to gasoline-powered cars; most people don't realize that)... but we shouldn't blame the car for any issues we have with the power grid. After all, if we change where the power comes from, electric cars get the benefits with no effort on the part of the consumer. This is very important.
Thanks, Ben - excellent comment. Yes, from "well to wheel", Teslas are by far more efficient overall, as well as the cleanest, not only in terms of emissions, but also in overall waste (no leaking oil, no oil changes, no air and oil filters to throw away/replace, etc.).
Also, along Ben's comments - energy isn't free. There is going to be waste, from the nasty compounds and byproducts in solar cell manufacture, spent nuclear fuel, colossal ecosystem disruptions caused by hydro, etc. Efficiency is good, and it is essential to push the envelope as much as possible. I'm going to reserve a Model S this Spring.
However, the only real solution to the real, true, impending energy and pollution crises is that we just have to use less - combine trips, carpool, take public transportation, etc. Conservation is just as critical as well-to-wheel efficiency.
OK, I'll get off my soapbox now and pass the hat...
Hear, hear! Tesla can surf over and past the AGW nonsense.
Speaking of nonsense ... even a coal plant is more efficient than an ICE machine.
Prezakly. Well spoke!
Sensible, but wrong. Surplus trumps conservation when it comes to energy. Check out focusfusion.org and lawrencevilleplasmaphysics.com -- the project is proceeding apace, and will rewrite the global economy within about 5 years.
Every green and conventional power alternative will be economically cut off at the knees by a 20:1 to 100:1 competitive disadvantage.