I’m with you on this one Jason. Randall Stross’ article (it’s really an editorial, but not marked as such) rips into Tesla as “not much more than a functioning concept car” and suggests it would be foolish of the government to grant it a loan under a 2007 Federal loan program designed specifically to encourage development of vehicles that conserve fuel.
Stross’ argument is that Tesla only makes cars for the rich (their first model is $109,000), and the technology is unproven. But Tesla has announced two new vehicles, both at much lower prices (and one targeted at $30,000). Stross’ facts are wrong, and his opinions are misguided. If Tesla succeeds, it will be because it was able to sell cars to the mass market.
I’m against government meddling in the markets. But I would far prefer to see Tesla get any part of that money, if it must be distributed, than any of the big three automakers. As I wrote this weekend, the best thing for them, and for our country, is to just let them die. They are incapable of innovating given their current financial and logistical structure. Tesla, on the other hand, is actually doing something interesting.