There’s a few things about Tesla that I want to say. First, I am learning what a junior high culture the stock market culture really seems to be. Elon Musk tweets some cryptic tweets and stocks jump? Really? Explains a lot really. But I’m not going to bother guessing what its about since everyone else and their uncle already has. Well, OK, one or two guesses. During the SuperCharger reveal it was mentioned that the Superchargers could put out 120kW, 30 more than the 90kW they max out at now. And/or they are going to add other standards, such as CHAdeMO, to the chargers so other cars can use them. Anyway, a lot of talk has been about Tesla possibly licensing their charging standard. I asked Brian Wismann about this in my last interview with him, and they hadn’t really considered it as they didn’t think Tesla was offering it. But they liked the SAE’s combo better as it was compatible with an AC and DC charging standards, with the AC J1772 being already in use. If you had a Tesla plug you’d have to have the J1772 adapter that Tesla owners use now on the bike somewhere, but you would still be able to use the J1772 AC chargers.
But the bigger Tesla thing is a new video walk through they have done. You can watch the whole 28 minutes or they break the whole video in to chunks. The thing I was most interested in was the steering wheel video. In all the reviews we have seen people talk very little about the dash and steering wheel buttons and little scroll wheels. The are all going on about the big screen and how distracting it is. One thing that annoys me is when a GPS screen is stuck in North up. But 90% of all that stuff on the 17″ screen is available on the dash, and the GPS instructions are in the “bird eye view”. Everything is available on you dash with little movements from your thumbs, with two separate info screens on the dash either side of the speedo. There is little to no reason the driver should have to look at the big screen for anything. I don’t believe all of this wiz-bangery was available until some software updates were made, but this makes the arguments against the big screen seem more trivial then they already were, and the Model S even more awesome.
Empulse vs. 2013 Zero S, extra
I saw someone type that the Zero was definitely the better value on one of the forums the other day. At first I thought they may have a point, The R is
$2000 $3000 dollars more than ZF 11.4 which is the same price as $1000 less than the standard Empulse which is almost 30ft-lb of torque down, which is $2000 $3000 more than the ZF8.5. And the Zeros are lighter, offer more torque, and much less maintenance in comparison. The Empulse literally splits the two in pack size. But, and I eluded to this in my big post about comparing these two, The Empulse come with more stuff standard. First off the Empulse comes standard with a J1772 AC connector. Big deal, you say. Only $400 for a J1772 socket that bolts right on to my Zero S. Yes, bu the Brammo comes with a 3kW charger, the Zero comes with a 1.3kW charger. Basically you won’t charge any faster with a J1772 charger than you will from a wall socket that has nothing else on the circuit. Other than making charging a bit more convenient, it simply doesn’t improve charge times, either way it’s a 6 (ZF8.5) or 7.9 (ZF11.4) hour wait from empty. Where as standard on the Empluse it cuts your charge time in less than half. But wait, you can buy a CHAdeMO charger ad charge the bike in an hour from empty . Yes you can, for $1800! This now makes the ZF8.5 only $200 less than the standard Empulse (which has a larger pack), and the ZF11.4 the same $200 less than the Empulse R which is very similar in power, and by all accounts faster. But the CHAdeMO chargers, if you have them near your, do make these bikes much more practical. So, not only does the Empulse split the pack sizes of the Zero S, it also splits the standard and optional charge times of the Zero S. More accounts say that the Brammo is definitively the better handling bike, but that the Zero is more than adequate. What we don’t know is what these bikes are like when they’ve been run hard for a long period of time, or exactly how much faster the Empulse is than the Zero. It could very well be negligible. My point is not that one is better than the other. If you want a sport bike you get the Brammo, if you don’t get the Zero. Easy. But my point is that the Brammo has a lot of value standard, and saying that the Zero is flat out a better value is a false statement. I really think it’s so close and the bikes are just different enough you can’t make a definitive argument either way. It’s like asking which is faster, MotoCzysz at the Isle of Man or Mission at Laguna Seca? How are you supposed to answer that?
Update: I forgot to mention Zero’s $750 2X quick charger you can buy for your garage. FF8.5 in 3.6 hours and the ZF11.4 in 4.6 hours from empty to 100%. I am assuming it is simply and extra 1.3kW charger making the total still only 2.6kW. And it’s big. not something you want to carry with you unless you are Terry Hershner.