The World’s Only Cool Electric Car

by Ed Lau on November 21, 2006

Everyone seems to want to drive a “green” car these days. No, I’m not talking about a Dodge Charger painted in sublime like the one that BBC’s Top Gear host Richard Hammond drives (get well soon, Hamster…bring back TG!). I mean enviromentally friendly automobiles that supposedly magically heal the earth as they travel.


Now I have test driven a Prius as well as a hybrid Honda Civic and I felt like I was sitting in some kind of PowerWheels toy. However, I’m from the mindset that believes cars have to look a certain way, sound a certain way and perform a certain way. I must tell you, “green” vehicles are horrible cars. They don’t sound like a car should nor do they have any kind of go under their engines. Not only that but for some reason, whoever designed them must be blind since most hybrids and electric cars are the ugliest things I’ve ever seen.

Of course, there are hippies everywhere that think that we should drive these and that the ugliness of the cars is just because we are slaves to consumerism! Screw that…consumerism and cool stuff like a Koenigsegg CCX is what makes life interesting!


Where would the fun be if we all drove steam powered VW Beetles, made necklaces and played hackysack all day? For those of us who love to drive, there is no substitute for a combustion engine. Regardless of polution or fuel consumption, when you hear that roar, there’s very few things that can give you that sense of power and savagery.

It seems, though, that someone has found a market for those of us would would drive an electric car if it looked awesome and went like a Roadrunner! Tesla Motors, presumably named after Nikola Tesla (scientist whose contributions to research on electricity and magnetism opened the doors for modern electrics), have made an electric car…that does zero to 60 in 4 seconds!

To give you some frame of reference, the Porsche 911 Turbo gets to 60 in about 3.7 seconds. However, the Porsche will hit 190mph while the Tesla is limited to 130. Still! 130 is pretty fast for an electric considering that most electric cars struggle to break 60!

Get this though: while the Porsche barely hits 20mpg on the highway, the Tesla’s electric motor (when converting electric consumption to gas equivalent) gives you roughly 135 mpg, or, according to the website, less than a cent per mile! Of course, you can only go 250 miles per charge (it takes 3.5 hours to charge to full) but hey, it’s not like you can got 250 miles without filling up in a regular supercar!


Especially when it looks like this! It looks like the love child of a Lotus Elise and a Porsche Carrera GT…although I’m not a big fan of the vents in the hood. Lose those and you have a very nice looking car. The car is, in fact, based on the Lotus Elise which may explain the similarity in looks.
Oh, and then there’s the price. The base model starts at $92,000 with all the regular amenities we’re used to with conventional automobiles. There are a variety of options which could put you well over 100 grand such as SatNav, Bluetooth phone integration and XM Satellite Radio. The first batch of a hundred is already sold out but you can order yours for a $30k or $50k deposit today and you should get it sometime in 2008.

This is a serious product for petroheads who have long believed that electric and hybrid cars are ugly and have horrible performance. The only problems I see for the Tesla Roadster is the 130 mph top speed, which isn’t that fast, and the charge time, which is rather slow but you can just plug it into any standard electrical outlet. Let’s hope that there will be more of these sorts of cars if electric is what is going to be standard in years to come.

in Cars

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Matthew Berman November 21, 2006 at 8:02 pm

Hey Ed,

Just wanted to say I like your site. We both kind of look like John Chows (Moto) site. Just wanted to see if we could do any link swapping or any other collaborative deal. Nice to meet you and hope to hear from you soon.

Thanks,

Matt

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Bruno Serge November 21, 2006 at 8:05 pm

“Of course, there are hippies everywhere that think that we should drive these and that the ugliness of the cars is just because we are slaves to consumerism! Screw that…consumerism and cool stuff like a Koenigsegg CCX is what makes life interesting!”

That’s probably the most idiotic comment I’ve ever read. Even if you could get a big enough loan to get the Koenigsegg, besides being drowned in debts for the rest of your life, it’s not very nice to use that car (that does what? 6 mpg?) to drive everyday, just because the way it performs and sounds is so orgasmic to you.
Thousands of people are dying of starvation and illness while you pretend to be so classy. And that, my friend, defines you as a jerk.

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Ed November 21, 2006 at 8:29 pm

For one thing, I simply implied that the Koenigsegg is a beautiful machine. The design is stunning.

While it is probably true that I am, in fact, a jerk, you are probably commenting on not only me but just about everyone that exists in our consumer driven culture and honestly, it is the interesting part of being here. You would be bored out of your mind if you gave all your money away. I donate a reasonable amount of my income to various organizations but I’m not going to rob myself of enjoying what I like.

Also, you really have to be a car lover to understand the enjoyment you get when you can drive a great car at a track or a closed road and such. By no means do I encourage street racing…that’s just dangerous and stupid so I try to stay within the speed limit. The CCX is not designed to be a daily driver…far from it.

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Ed November 21, 2006 at 8:33 pm

And Matthew,

Yes, John gave me the idea of starting one of these really and has been showing me how to do things.

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Mike November 21, 2006 at 8:37 pm

I saw one of these demoed at Yahoo a few weeks ago. It’s a lot smaller than I had imagined from looking at the pictures, but oh so cool!

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Ian Monroe November 21, 2006 at 9:01 pm

The Prius is classy looking. Modest, but still has style. And for its class of car, its pretty perky.

Those PowerWheel Koenigsegg car reminds me of a “snazzy” computer case. Just tacky.

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Bruno Serge November 21, 2006 at 9:32 pm

Yeah that’s all very nice, “being a car lover” and stuff, but lets face reality, people don’t have money for that crap. And even the guy driving the Dodge Viper in my college is most probably stuck with paying it for the rest of his life. How’s that for a guilty pleasure? I don’t care if you donate, most of the money donated to Africa gets hijacked for the corrupt governments to live even wealthier. I just think it’s wrong for you to propagate a wrong way of thinking, using an “I’m too good for that hybrid crap” reason which is extremely agravating. It reminds me of the macho men who used to love to brag, saying that “condoms are crap, I like au naturel” until they died of AIDS.
You like supercars? Cool. Hey you know what? Me too. But there’s no money nor environment for all of us to drive one. So go ahead, Mr. Classy, drive your classy car while all of us rott in beat up hondas and hybrid toyotas. And then use a blog to brag about how cool you are. ;)

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Ed November 21, 2006 at 9:40 pm

No one has enough money to purchase the Mona Lisa either but it can still be appreciated by art lovers all over the world. I don’t have money to buy a CCX and chances are, I won’t but I can still appreciate it as a peak in automotive technology and design.

I will propagate any way of thinking I please. As a car guy, hybrids simply don’t provide the same things that we have come to love about cars and let’s face it, nearly everything that you can enjoy is bad for you or the earth or the population of the world.

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Bruno Serge November 21, 2006 at 10:16 pm

I would expect that kind of final argument from a 12 year old little boy, not from a supposedly adult blogger.
I know the situation here, I’ve seen it before. You probably never even drove anything better than a honda S2000 and talking about how wonderful a Koenigsegg is, compared to a crappy hybrid, is your only way to let out your “car-loving” tendencies.

Who doesn’t love cars? You think people drive crappy cars because they’re not “car-lovers” like you? They do it because they have to. That’s like saying “hey I love food! I don’t know about those damn ethiopians, all skinny and s**t, but I loooove food!” It’s just plain stupid man. Do you think people drive hybrids for pleasure too? No, it’s because it’s cheaper on their pockets in the end, and because this country is on the very edge of oil consumption and pollution.

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Ed November 21, 2006 at 10:22 pm

Simply because something costs a lot of money does not diminish the quality of the product. While much of the world will never, ever own one, it does not make the CCX any less of an achievement. You liken it to a ridiculous way of spending money on something that serves the same purpose as a $10,000 vehicle. I consider it art.

The Prius lacks passion in design although the concept behind hybrids works. They treat it much like you in that it is simply a utilitarian good, not a chance to be creative.

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Ed November 21, 2006 at 10:30 pm

BTW: I apologize for deleting your comment. I meant to edit it. I try to keep this site clear of profanity. Please refrain from swearing here.

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the muffinman November 21, 2006 at 10:32 pm

yep hes a jerk, people are starving all over the world and all hes talking about is fancy cars, i wish life didn’t have to be this way. sometimes i wonder if some people are born without a soul. sometimes i wonder. :(

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Bruno Serge November 21, 2006 at 10:44 pm

Oh don’t get me wrong, although I drive a beat up honda, I love dreaming about expensive cars and the Koenigsegg IS a wonderful machine. And most hybrids I know have crappy designs. Probably because to make it cheap they have to hire crappy designers – that’s the way it is.

But considering the financial situation of most people + the environmental situation of this world, I wouldn’t dare to say anything bad about the driving feel of a hybrid. It’s like saying how low-quality are all recycled products in a super-polluted world, or telling the ethiopians that plain boiled rice is just nasty and they should try some green caviar.
I prefer sex without condom too, for example, but sometimes what you think is crappy it’s exactly what people need to use, and being a purist about it doesn’t help. Do you understand what I’m trying to say? When I become multi-millionaire, I’d probably buy a Tesla or something similar, just because I hate the inherent concept of all gas-guzzling sports cars.

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Ed November 21, 2006 at 10:52 pm

Why not? Simply because it is the sensible choice does not make it any less of a terrible car…and I’m not saying it’s a terrible car because it’s technology. The technology is great but since the beginning, every single hybrid has been made to be uglier than it should be…and feel absolutely terrible when you’re driving it. I’ve tested them and I hated it as a car.

I’m not sure you understand my argument. You said it yourself, the CCX is a wonderful machine. This is the sort of thing that makes it interesting. Just because Ethiopians can only have plain rice doesn’t make filet mignon any less of a great dish.

The problem with the first world is not consumption (although if you’re eating 16 Big Macs or something, then it probably is consumption). It is waste.

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John Chow November 21, 2006 at 11:36 pm

The electric car is the dumbest invention ever. They took a Elise and turn it into a bastard child. Then they try to sell it for $92K? A Z06 is faster and way less expensive. And with the money save, you can buy gas for life.

*Not that I need to save money* :D

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Gdog November 22, 2006 at 7:57 am

When I saw 18 comments here, I never expected to see a flame war…ROFL.

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ryan November 22, 2006 at 8:39 am

I am in the initial group of 100 buyers, just waiting for my Tesla.

I own a lamborghini diablo as well.

The 130 mph top speed is no big deal at all. I’ve driven my lambo over 130 approximately 3 times. Unless you are on a really straight stretch of empty road, going much faster gets hairy, fast. If you do 160, and the rest of the highway is doing 60, you are approaching other cars at 100 mph! It’s terrifying. It’s not safe. Also, its illegal, but that’s a secondary consideration.

The lambo could get about 8 mpg, if I drove it conservatively, which would be stupid. It is not a daily driver – you have to wrestle with it to park, even to get in and out. I’m planning on driving the Tesla every day. If for some reason I get to go over 100 mph, that’s great. I doubt I’m ever going to have the opportunity to take it up to 130.

I guess I’m just not a ICE gear head. I’m not, I’ve evolved.

This car is hot and sexy and fast and gets over 100 mpg. I love it.

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Wes Novack November 22, 2006 at 8:59 am

It’s a relatively brand new product John, hence the high price. You’re saying that a high product price makes something dumb? Ha. Far from the “dumbest invention ever” if it has a chance of decreasing the pollution being spewed into our environment.

Personally, I would rather not use gasoline due to where the profits are going (even if gasoline burning did not cause pollution).

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Jim November 22, 2006 at 9:16 am

The only Jerk here I see is Serge.

It’s true that while I will likely never have enough money to buy this car nor a Ferrari, I can see this car as a work of art. If a person has enough money to purchase this, why not?.

Let me try to understand Serge’s statements. What you are saying is that it is irresponsible to purchase an expensive car while people are starving in the world. Well then, should we make it mandatory to donate money? If so, you may as well live in a communist or facist country.. Everyone is equal there.

On the topic of Charities:
You may also find this interesting, the CEO of the American Red Cross makes a staggring $416,010 dollars per year, Which is approximately $200k more then the president of the United States, Or better yet, how about the boy & girls club of America, their President is making $491,000. Both of these organizations are non profit. Better keep donating your hard earned money to keep their salaries up.. Afterall, it’s hard to live on a meager and more normal $60k-$70k per year.

Now, both of these charities are supposed to be a non-profit organizations, they feed the hungry after all and it sure looks like at least one person doesn’t have to worry about that. Should these people be allowed to buy an expensive car? They have enough money to.

This is publicly available knowledge. Check out http://www.charitynavigator.org or other websites yourself.

We (the people in the free world) have a right to do whatever we want with our money. Sure, it is nice to donate to select causes, However, should it be mandatory? Absolutly not. If a person wants to drive a gas-guzzling Hummer and they can afford it, go for it. It is afterall. Their right.

PS. Most of the Oil and Gas that countries such as the United States receive is supplied from countries overseas. Quite often for the supplying country, this may be their only or at least their chief export. What do you think would happen if the need for oil would suddenly go away? The hunger that is currently in the world; would multiply.

So in a strange and Convoluted way, that Hummer or Ford Duley truck you see on the road is feeding the people in places like Yemen with every gallon of gas they burn.

see below website for information on who exports oil

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/rankorder/2176rank.html

As for myself, if I can ever afford the Koenigsegg CCX maybe I’ll buy one, Not just because it’s enviormentally friendly.. But simply because I like it and I’ll be sure to donate the money I save to Charity.

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zbeast November 22, 2006 at 10:06 am

Well the spec for this car is not bad.
It’s would make a nice city bomber but it’s still
a hobby card.

Everyone Say’s wow electricity is the futures.
but unless electricity is free or your stealing it from someone.
Electricity has to be the mostly costly source of power.
Gas worlds cheaper by comparison.

I’m betting the charge rate there quoting for the car (3 hours) is based on a 220 vac power .
So now only are you paying a lot for the car $90,000 base.
You have to pay to get you home modded to supply power to the car.
I hope you enjoy your $800.00 a month electric bill.
Oh ya if your in california be prepared to pay even more for electric power.
As there planing on phasing out coal fired power generations stations.
With no real thoughts on what they will replace them with.
So expect more summer brown outs and black out.

The story everyone keep sold is green power is suppose to be cheaper and renewable.
So far its more costly, unreliable and hard to get.
oh I so like being politely correct and green.

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SickoftheSixties November 22, 2006 at 10:53 am

Electric cars are hideous, overpriced, underpowered, grossly overrated and occupy an integral place in the vast Worldwide Hippie conspiracy to reduce all us real men who love the guttural whine of a beefy Tesla Super Slot-Car to neutered hand-wringing vegan vomit-queens who fret about the fact that for every mile of highway we tear up in our sybaritic glee we are killing a starving orphan in Nambajambia.
I Hate Hippies. I hate the children of Hippies twisted by the LSD-poisoned genetics of their Summer-of-loving parents, and I especially despise the grandkids of hippies who got the “Word, Man” thirdhand from Gramps and all his old commune friends hanging out on the back porch during Thanksgiving, passing a fatty around and arguing over how much greenhouse gas Mary-Joo-Wanna pumps into the environment.
I say drive a fast car, and smile all you want!
Hippies, remember! For every spliff you suck down, another iceberg breaks off of Greenland…

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mel November 22, 2006 at 11:42 am

I just want to say that Hybrid cars may not look very good or be hi-performance, but, with the control of fuel being in the east and our government letting gas company’s make billions in profits, this may be a choice and a chance to break this money rut. We need to look at this as a chance for change and stop beating up each other. Yes I know that the cost of these cars will go up with demand but it will still be better than constantly paying higher gas prices all the time. Right now there are no controls on just how high prices can go. So maybe this will be a good choice to stop rampent price gouging.

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the muffinman November 22, 2006 at 4:51 pm

guys what about hydrogen cars, you can do electrolysis on water produce hydrogen and oxygen and it will work perfect for burning in diesel engines, or it will be possible to design a special engine. after you burn hydrogen and oxygen you’ll get water as the by product. and that same water is reusable. its not that hard, i use to make my own hydrogen for fuel. its better than gasoline. i was planing on making a small generator that runs off hydrogen to see how efficient it was and i was also going to see if i can run a go cart using hydrogen.

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country mouse November 22, 2006 at 6:04 pm

wonderful set of comments.

Yes, hybrids are currently ugly and I consider them to be unsafe. I’ve not been impressed with how well the driver can see around them. Counting on a video screen to show you what’s in back of you is a recipe for disaster especially when you cannot afford to have repaired after the inevitable failure.

My gold standard for visual is the Volkswagen golf. Clear windows, lots of headroom, can see around in all directions reasonably well.

Oil company profits: if you look at the r-squared energy blog, you will find lots of data about oil company profits and their margins. Many other companies make a far greater profit on their revenue than the oil companies do. It’s just that the oil companies are so huge that the percentage looks like a greater resource that is.

Clash of culture: there is definitely a clash of culture between country mice and city mice. each mode of transportation has its benefits. Private: flexibility, freedom, time efficiency. Public: energy efficiency, apparent lower financial burden.

aesthetics: hugely important. So many things in our lives are poorly designed and hard to use therefore should be no surprise that the aesthetics of hybrid cars are really ugly. It’s almost as if they made them ugly because something virtuous cannot be attractive. Truth be told, most of the cars on the road today are ugly as well. As hybrid frames become more readily available, I’m sure some good car designers will come up with some nicely designed midmarket priced cars.

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Jonathan H. September 21, 2007 at 7:40 am

Hmm. Another site where people are spouting about how eco-friendly electric cars are. They, for the most part, aren’t.

Just because they have another energy source instead of gasoline isn’t enough. Most countries still use coal or natural gas for electrical generation. Unless your power company is using a clean source (hydroelectric, solar, wind, MAYBE nuclear, too, but probably not) you’re still not off the eco-guilt hook.

So for those of you who just want a nice-looking electric car, woo, sure. This one’s sweet.

If you really want to make the tree-huggers happy, though, take the bus. By preference, an electric one. And then spend your 92K on promoting renewable energy sources like windpower, solar, and tidal hydro; or try getting your local power company to switch from coal.

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web design company September 17, 2008 at 7:13 am

about time there is a cool looking car that is powered like this.

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Uncle B August 25, 2009 at 8:11 am

The debate rages on! Will electrics replace gasoline engined cars, the “Cheap Oil Era” forces prices of oil up, $75.00 bbl yesterday and rising today, and some folks think it won’t go higher, and some folks remember all too well filling SUV’s with $4.00 a gallon gas! There is nothing an American citizen can do to justify selling out his own countries economy to OPEC by driving a gasoline vehicle! Even the 40 % more efficient Euro-Diesels are beginning to make sense, and Mercedes sales are up! Fortunately, the Electric cars are not so readilly manipulated by the foreign ffuels folks, as the price of Diesel, and Electrics will soon be the norm! We are only one short technological discovery away from doing away with foreign fuel, either in electro-chemistry, or the biology of Algae based Bio-Diesel, take your pick! Solar in the South Western deserts has taken off, and is to the point where OPEC money will see greater returns investing in it than buying out patents to stop it, Bio-Diesel, same story, and Wind power is just beginning, and innocent underdeveloped technology waiting for important technological advances! The only way to keep oil as a monopoly for energy markets is to give it away until it is all gone, and even then, folks who want to make a buck can invest profitably in other energy forms, so Farewell oil monopolies, and hello Alternate energy forms, including clean Nuclear when that break comes! George Bush, you tipped Big Oil’s hand, we caught on, and now even Halliburton found it wise to move out of the country! And a happy good-bye to those sick bastards!

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Electric Car Conversion October 26, 2009 at 2:01 am

You can put the Prius into EV (Electric Vehicle) Mode, where it stops being hybrid and runs entirely on its battery. This only lasts for a couple of miles before it reverts to mere Eco, but if you do anything even mildly aggressive – get up to entry velocity on a busy roundabout!

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oes tsetnoc November 25, 2009 at 11:55 pm

very cool car but very expensive.

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Compare Gas and Electricity August 27, 2011 at 7:09 pm

I really like the line about the Tesla car “love child of a Lotus Elise and a Porsche Carrera GT”. This is a really beautiful car, and I’m amazed that more people aren’t buying these up like crazy with the fuel economy suggested. I think the electric car industry really needs to put more emphasis on the amazing cost savings from these cars. Plus, the Tesla designs and speed are really impressive.

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Edmond Lam~Dnomde Mal February 26, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Face it electric haters….you’ll realize that electric cars are actually BETTER than gasoline cars, whether fast or not…and YOU FORGOT ONE MORE THING. ITS BEEN A FEW DECADES SINCE ELECTRIC CARS WERE MADE. IT MAY BE LIKE 30 YEARS, but electric cars are still being refined every day, week, month, and year! In the near future, that is when electric cars would possibly be near to perfection. Besides, if the world does become like those dystopian places….well….blame on u haters :3.

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