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In a recent interview discussing Tesla Motors, CEO Elon Musk didn't really reveal much new information, although he did manage to misrepresent the performance capability of the Chevy Volt, again. He refers to the Volt's range extender as a "lawn mower engine" and says highway performance "will be anemic." While the Volt will no doubt feel anemic next to a Roadster, the reality is that the 160-horsepower electric motor will provide more than adequate performance for almost anyone's needs and should accelerate to 60 mph in about 8.5-9 seconds.
There's plenty more from the hour-and-a-half-long video interview to dissect, including bits about batteries and the high cost of electric vehicles. Check it all out after the jump.
Even when the Chevy Volt's battery pack reaches "depletion" point, it will still have a 30% charge left. The range extender only has an output of 100 horsepower, so it cannot provide full performance on its own. However, the battery can be depleted below the 30% depletion point to meet transient acceleration requirements when necessary. Cars are rarely used to their full performance potential all the time, so the range extender will be able to restore the battery to the 30% level.
Musk also discussed the Roadster and its cost. He of course emphasized that Roadster owners can get tax credits that bring the base price down just below $100,000. Musk compares this against similar performing cars from Porsche and others, which is valid, but he erroneously brings up gas guzzler taxes. While Ferraris, Lamborghinis and a number of Mercedes-Benz high performance vehicles are subject to gas guzzler taxes, no 2009 model year Porsche falls into that category.
Finally, Musk again brings up the backlog of Roadster orders. While Tesla officials generally decline to discuss cancellations other than to acknowledge that there have been some, Musk again mentions that the Roadster is sold out until November 2009, which is the same number he has been quoting for at least six months. That implies that even though the company is now selling cars in Europe and there have undoubtedly been new orders, those numbers have not outpaced cancellations. Given those slow new sales of the Roadster, it's no wonder the company is pushing orders of the Model S so hard.