The Clean World Began with the Roadster — The Dirty World Ends with the Roadster 2

I am not pretending to be any more capable of covering the shocking revelation of the second-generation Tesla Roadster than any other enthusiastic EV blogger out there. However, this event brings back that peculiar sensation I experienced in the passenger seat of this particular Tesla Roadster back in 2011:

I was a petrolhead at the time. I had just spent a fortune restoring a Paris/Dakar-replica Suzuki motorcycle. I really did love that bike. However, when the kind gentleman from slammed the accelerator in this thing, my mindset — as well as my bowels — turned upside down. After that, my beautiful desert off-roader felt like a lame duck in rattling knight’s armour.

What had happened? Well, the sensation — that I had a hard time to formulate at the time — was the recognition of the beginning of the clean revolution in transportation.

Elon Musk chose to take advantage of the hype around the Tesla Semi to reveal one more thing, the Tesla Roadster 2:

This marks the end of the dirty world of transportation. The Roadster is not a sensible car. It is a symbol. The second iteration complements the original, and wraps up the message. The old Roadster marked the beginning of a clean new world. The new Roadster marks the end of the dirty old world. Or as Elon puts it:

“to give a hard core smackdown to gasoline powered cars!”

Once again, Tesla has left the traditional automotive industry in shock. In the next months, the media will get swamped with stories about what just happened. I advise you to pay attention. If you have a gasoline-powered car in your driveway, you should start to plan ahead — because it will be worthless within a decade. I guess…

Tesla Roadster 2008:

248 hp
270 Nm
53 kWh
244 miles (393 km)
0 — 60 mph: 3.9 sec
Top speed: 125 mph

Tesla Roadster 2020:

1,500 hp
10,000 Nm
200 kWh
620 miles (1000 km)
0 — 60 mph: 1.9 sec
Top speed +250 mph

8 thoughts on “The Clean World Began with the Roadster — The Dirty World Ends with the Roadster 2

  1. You forgot to list the price of the old and new Roadster. $100 vs $200K. So most of us will walk or bicycle and that makes a much cleaner World.

    1. You’re right, I actually forgot all about the price. Probably because it really doesn’t matter. In the big picture very few people will actually buy a car like this. Very few people bought the original Roadster. Very few people buy hyper-cars. Elon will get a lot of “Toys for rich people” talk about this, but that is missing the point. This new Roadster is a clear message to all automakers that it makes no sense building gas guzzling cars in the hyper-, super-, sports-, or race-car segments anymore. In this context 200K is cheap. A Bugatti Chiron in 10x more expensive and slightly slower than the Roadster 2. And thus, when automakers go all electric top-down, you will end up having a choice from several cheap, clean and functional electric cars. This would have happened anyway, but to reveal the new Roadster now just speeds the process up. That’s Elon’s masterplan.

      1. Exactly, this is the major point. Suck-squeeze-bang-blow is over. It no longer works for hypercars, but it’s also no longer the future of personal transport at any level. Scooters, muscle bikes, tiny hatchbacks, medium sedans, crossovers, SUVs, sport coupes, luxury sedans, all will being going EV. ICE is like tube TVs or dial-up modems or VHS tapes – an old tech that you’ll tell your incredulous young descendants about.

  2. All the naysayers have argued that EV’s will never make the mainstream. They used to point to the range as a limiting factor, less so today. They used to point to recharging times, but that’s changing with 350kW standards. They used to point to at the top trumps numbers, but the Roadster 2 has killed that arguement.

    ICE is dead, long live BEV’s.

  3. Although I am a Tesla fan I think it will prove to be tragic that our crapitalistic system seem to dictate a very expensive something before something that our planet really needs.
    Obviously Tesla could produce a nice 4 passenger EV that would be a big hit in the so-called 3rd world and even here, if there were not a zillion regulations that eliminate a low cost vehicle.

    1. I think that in spite of capitalism being the cause of much divide, it is companies like Tesla that uses this economic framework to develop a new platform for transportation and energy that we need to applaud. Even if it means building a ridiculous and expensive hyper-car in the procces. Accessibility and low price will follow. If Tesla survives long enough I am sure they will want to offer transportation and energy services to the most remote areas in the world you can imagine. It would not surprise me one bit if my friends in Zambia could hitch a ride in a Tesla Fleet autonomous minivan off their smartphone in about ten years. Now THAT will make more of a difference to world democracy than simply building the cheapest possible car that half of the worlds population can’t afford anyway.

      1. Yes, transportation (or mobility) as a service is the pot of gold at the end of this rainbow. Some insistent commenters protest that this particular electric vehicle ignores the world at large. Right…as if private vehicle ownership itself is a goal the entire world must pursue. First, provide all humans their needs, no matter their individual abilities. Only then can real mobility for the masses be a thing.

  4. Your choice of title for this piece is perfect and I think that it will turn out to be more true than many will at first believe. There is no longer any high performance ICE made, in any price range, that deserves to be longed for. And that will trickle down to the little grocery getters. While the Roadster rebooted is unattainable for most of us, it does symbolize the smackdown Elon expressed. EV is the way forward and the new roadster is rolling proof of that.

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