Incorrect and Misleading Statements Published on the Web about TESLA Automobiles.
There are a number of incorrect statements published on the Web concerning Tesla automobiles that is damaging the perception of the cars. I own a Tesla Model S85D for over four years and have found it a superb automobile that is well engineered and constructed. I am a professional engineer who has taught engineering in universities and who has worked for companies in industry including the area of atmospheric physics as well as having owned my own materials testing company. I also own stocks in the Tesla Corporation since I believe that this automobile will help solve a serious problem with the environment. So far, I have lost considerable sums of money in owning this stock and would be happy if I could recover those lost funds. Even though I may not recover my losses, I consider this investment a good one since the funds I paid will help the Tesla Corporation survive which I believe will help save our planet. Elon Musk should be applauded for his vision and good work and for the contribution to the welfare of all of us.
I am dismayed at some published incorrect or misleading statements about the Tesla automobile. Here are some of the statements that I have summarized, and are not the exact statements made. Review of statements actually made can be seen on the Web. The reason for my not quoting those statements exactly and referring to their authors is that I do not wish to hurt their reputation or their employment. I am writing this article because I believe that great damage has been done to the Tesla Corporation and possibly to the future production of Tesla automobiles as well as other electric cars. This may perpetuate our reliance of gasoline powered automobiles. Such actions if continued will result in changes of our environment that will hurt the well-being of humanity.
TESLA CARS DON’T REDUCE CARBON DIOXIDE IN THE ATMOSPHERE.
Statement Summarized Even though Tesla automobiles are electric cars and do not emit carbon dioxide, the electricity generated to run them is made from power plants that do burn fossil fuels like oil. The implication is that these cars do not help the environment.
My Correction It is true that some of the electricity to run Tesla automobiles comes from power plants that burn oil. However, that is not the total picture. Tesla automobiles also run from electricity generated from other sources of electricity that includes hydraulic power from dams, wind power, and solar power. These alternate forms of energy generation are increasing in percentage of the total power generation. They are essential to reduce carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere that contributes to global warming. Even though there are those people who deny the effect of human contribution to global warming, their viewpoint is incorrect as verified by scientists who have no financial interest in making false or misleading statements.
TESLA CARS MAY RUN OUT OF ELECTRICITY IN STOP AND GO TRAFFIC AND NEED TO BE TOWED.
Statement Summarized It is true that if Tesla automobiles run out of electricity in stop and go traffic that they need to be towed. The implication is that it is much more difficult for the owner of this car to get his automobile running than owners of gasoline driven automobiles.
My Correction Tesla automobiles stuck in stop and go traffic do not consume electricity other that running the air conditioner or heater and operation of the electronics in the automobile when stopped. This results in a small amount of electrical energy. Therefore, the amount of electricity used up in a trip with stop and go traffic is close to that consumed without stop and go traffic. In contrast, gasoline powered vehicles consume considerably more energy by their engines while running in stop and go traffic as compared to running without such delays. The likelihood that owners of electric cars would run out of power in stop and go traffic is very small compared to owners of gasoline powered automobiles.
TESLA CARS HAVE BATTERIES THAT CATCH FIRE.
Statement Summarized Tesla automobiles do have batteries that have caught fire. The implication is that these cars are a much greater fire hazard than gasoline driven automobiles.
My Correction It is true that the batteries of Tesla cars do catch fire. However, there have been no reported deaths as a result of these fires and they occur very rarely. In contrast, per thousand automobiles driven, gasoline powered automobiles also catch fire, but in greater numbers than Tesla cars. There have been deaths in gasoline cars catching fire. Tesla cars are designed to prevent fires and these designs are being improved over time to reduce the likelihood of their catching fire.
TESLA CARS RUNNING IN AUTOPILOT AND FULLY AUTOMATIC DRIVE ARE DANGEROUS SINCE THEY HAVE ACCIDENTS.
Statement Summarized Tesla automobiles have had accidents while running in Autopilot. I is likely that they will be dangerous when running in fully automatic mode. Therefore, the use of this technology is bad.
My Correction It is true that some Tesla cars have gotten into accidents while running in Autopilot. It has been found that such accidents have occurred when the driver has ignored the warning to keep his or her hands on the steering wheel while driving. Also, there was an instance where the driver had fallen asleep while the Tesla was in motion. It is almost impossible to guard against totally irresponsible driving. However, the percentage of accidents caused while in Autopilot was considerably less than with cars that were driven entirely manually. Technology is continually improving with time making it much safer to drive with semiautomatic and fully automatic driving compared to cars driven without these features.
Disclosure: I am/we are long TSLA.
Additional disclosure: I have long positions in Tesla stocks and own aTesla ModelS85D. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it . I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.