I've repeatedly stated my personal love of electric vehicles, and I've insisted that EV's important for the future of transportation. But it's time to point out that EV's are just simply better than internal combustion vehicles.
Myopic deniers will cry foul of that statement, and wave insistently at the applications that current IC vehicles dominate with no EV competition. This is an error of perception born of the circumstantial state of market and infrastructure. Yes: there currently are not electric vehicles in most niches. And, no: there is not charging infrastructure for many non-Tesla customers. But that's like denying that steam ships were better for commerce than sail when there were more sailing ships than steam ships.
First, let's examine this beauty - the thing that Tesla.com taunts me with when I log in: the Model S that I would own if I didn't have [waves arms] other obligations. It simply a great car, and achieves all the performance and functionality I would generally want from a performance sedan - better than any EC car could. Simples.
But this rant is about more than that, because there's more to car-hood than sedans.
The recently announced Roadster is a backhand to the performance ceiling being scrabbled at by the current array of exotics. It's worth mentioning that many of the extant hypercars already employ some electrification to achieve their lofty performances. Even so, the only cars that hope to compete with the new Tesla Roadster will be other hyper-performance EV's.
And finally, we come to this. This moseys into my own realm of technical expertise. It's stated capabilities are remarkable, and has had me (and many of my peers) frantically doing math. I have been bullish about the capabilities that Tesla might be able to impart into a class-8 vehicle, but what they claim blew my guesses out of the water. Even so, after considering what's possible, and aside from some arm-waving regarding the chemistry, it falls within the realm of feasibility with current technology.
And I have to tell you, it's exciting.
It needs to be pointed out that the megacharger suggested by Tesla would need to be rolled out, but they've proven that they can do this. And their projected manufacturing timeline is hard to think other than purely wishful thinking - speaking as one of the hundreds of thousands of people clutching a Model 3 reservation impatiently. And the price tag for the tractor is pretty dang high, so will take some time for its efficiency and lack of maintenance to pay off the cost differential.
The thing to consider, though, is that we're comparing IC vehicles that have essentially plateaued in capability with only minor incremental improvements possible, to fundamentally new EVs that represent merely the bottom of the steep development curve. Just as there were undoubtedly sailing vessels that were swifter than the early steam ships, they required vastly more effort to accomplish it and couldn't hold back the superior technology once it was developed.