Transplant Athlete
Thursday, June 11, 2009
  Smackdown In Silicon Valley

Like most people, I followed the development of the Tesla Roadster with anticipation. I will never own one (way out of my price range), but the Roadster shows what can be done with electric propulsion. It will finally shut up those car guys who think that electric cars are nothing more than golf carts. It's got real world range (250 miles). I've been driving for 20 years, I've probably logged 400,000 miles behind the wheel, and I can count on my fingers the number of times I've gone farther than 250 miles in a straight shot. 2 cross country trips, and maybe 6 trips to Florida, a trip to Maine, There might have been a trip or two to Massachusetts thrown in here and there (ok, so maybe I need to use my toes too). 95.5% of my driving is within that 250 mile range. I'm getting off on a tangent here

Anyway...The company was founded by Martin Eberhard, but within a year, he had brought Elon Musk on as an investor. Originally, Tesla was to use a stock body from Lotus for the Roadster. Lotus makes cool cars and using off-the-shelf parts would make it affordable. By the time Elon Musk was done, nearly every part required some modification by Lotus, which forced Lotus to retool (ka-ch$ng Ka-ch$ng), which lead to the delay in the Roadster's introduction. There was a story floating around that Elon's wife had trouble getting in to the Lotus because the seat is so much lower than the doorsill, so Tesla paid $1.5 Million (and who knows how much time) to get the door sill lowered. Eventually, Elon Musk forced Eberhard out and co-opted the "Founder" title for himself. It was only a matter of time before the lawsuits started flying. The lawsuit alleges a lot of things, among them that Elon Musk falsified his educational credentials. Also it alleges that Eberhard was promised the second car off the production line and that Musk sold it to one of his friends instead. The funniest allegation is that before they delivered a car to Eberhard, they rammed it into the back of a truck during an "endurance" test. Essentially dropping a totalled POS on his doorstep and a "Take that MF."

You know, the OJ trial never really interested me, but this one, I'd pay to see. I know, I know, this is never going to trial, Tesla will settle out of court, but imagine all the sordid silicon valley tales that will emerge! It'll be a Po Bronson tale brought to life. I think Elon Musk is headed for a day of reckoning.


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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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