The ever cranky Robert Farago has weighed in on the subject of Tesla Motors, and makes some valid points even if his overall tone is a bit overwrought. While acknowledging that the stated specs are impressive, he emphasizes that no one has been able to independently verify any of them, or even drive the prototypes. So far all first hand press impressions of the Roadster have come from the passenger seat. While no car maker would generally let media drive away with a development prototype, like the ones available so far, short drives are not unheard of, like the driving that Honda allowed us to do in the FCX concept last fall.

On the other hand, Tesla is a lot smaller than Honda and at this point probably can't afford to have any of us in the press breaking their cars. In our recent discussion CEO Martin Eberhard talked about some of the development testing that's been going on over in England and Sweden, which Farago seems to be unaware of. Assuming that I wasn't being fed a line, I think Tesla is a lot farther along than Farago thinks, and the Roadster will probably be more successful than products from some other companies. The first of the final validation prototypes recently arrived stateside and actual press drives should be coming in the next few months. Only time will tell how close the Roadster comes to meeting its published specs, and we should definitely remain skeptical until then.

However, I would definitely not call the Tesla Roadster vaporware at this point. To date they haven't yet promised anything that hasn't been delivered in the time frame they promised. Now if twelve months from now, production Roadsters still haven't been delivered to customers, or they are only getting fifty miles per charge in real world driving, or batteries are blowing up, then we can look back on the hype. At that time the conspiracy theories about the oil companies killing Tesla can commence. But right now that is completely premature and uncalled for. Let's just settle down and stop the gushing from the uninformed mainstream press and the bashing from the skeptics and be patient for a few more months. Then the howling can begin.

[Source: The Truth About Cars]

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