Cities Need Tesla Badly, But…


Space: The final frontier for SpaceX.

paris_wild_intersection_crazyCities: The final frontier for Tesla. The need for automotive change is most demonstrable in cities. Mexico City is forcing cars to stay home due to smog, just as Tesla begins a timely push into Mexico. We’ve already know about Chinese cities. And even Paris sometimes rations car travel due to air quality. Cities desperately need transportation that is both electric and autonomous: Electric for the zero-emissions part, and autonomous for congestion relief, by reducing the number of cars. And for safety’s sake. Ride-share attacks may be few, but they poke a nerve.

This all sounds like a slam dunk for Tesla, except Tesla isn’t yet fully urbanized or fully autonomous.

Not fully urbanized: The Model S/X are too fleshy for many cities. The Model III can’t come fast enough. In fact, thorough infiltration in some of the world’s cities will require an even smaller Tesla. And urban charging is still a challenge. Destination chargers will soon outnumber gas stations in NYC — but they don’t have Supercharger speed. They take about four hours. And across the globe, Chinese high-rise dwellers — and that basically means every single human being in China — often deal with agita from property owners about charger installation.

Not fully autonomous: Urban chaos still doesn’t compute well. Everyone knows Tesla has something in the oven, but what? And when will it come out? Do these photos revealTesla’s latest work, or was this Model S an innocent mule for someone else’s research?

TeslaMondo believes Tesla will find a better method of urban charging and also soon make Teslas pilot themselves unaided betwixt anarchic taxis, anarchic rickshaws and anarchic pedestrians. Then the world’s cities will really belong to Tesla. Until then, they still belong to dirty, superfluous ICEs.

And Mars still belongs to Bowie.

*Editor’s Note: This post appears on TeslaMondo. Check it, and others on Tesla, out here.

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26 Comments on "Cities Need Tesla Badly, But…"

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“Destination chargers will soon outnumber gas stations in NYC — but they don’t have Supercharger speed.”

A couple of points of clarification …

1. Gas stations are a “destination”?
(maybe for some people?)

2. Tesla’s destination chargers (HPWC) are capable of delivering 80A, ie: 18 kW, or ~65 miles of range per hour.

Also the average driver averages only ~34-48 miles per day (based on driving 12,500 miles per year. With PEVs capable of 80-120 miles (150-200 miles in a couple of years) there will be little concern with driving just 34-48 miles per day. A 10-15 DC charge could add 35-50 miles for the few days driving exceeds 80+ miles. 🙂

Tesla cites the HPWC as charging @ 58 mph.

What? The article never claimed gas stations were a destination. It simply said ‘destination chargers’ will outnumber gas stations, the distinction being a destination charger being one located at a property such as an outlet mall, restaurant, gym, etc.

Cities need to start installing public chargers all over the place. That way, most cars could drive emissions once everyone buys plug-ins. Pure EVs would always be emissions free. Plug-In hybrids could hook up to the chargers when parked and thus drive almost all their miles on electricity within the city.

Imagine how much better our cities would be without the smog, toxins, and noise of ICE.

Cities, big cities, have almost as many parking ramps and parking lots as cars and trucks that inhabit them.

The best parking ramp customer Retention/Loyalty business plan that I’ve seen is at the General Motors home office, the GM Renaissance Center.

Here at the Beaubien Place Parking Ramp parking is $3.00 per hour, pretty standard, but the perk of FREE Electric Fueled Vehicle Charging/Refueling looks like this:

Link Goes To YouTube-

So, Big Parking Industry, for office, apartment, condo or event, offer not only long term 110V AC Charging but the perk of 240V #EVPlugNStay.

Guess who gets my business!

Refueling problem solved.


Thomas J. Thias



Regarding Mexico City, it does not really need Tesla. Clean mass transit as well as more human powered or electrically assisted bikes are more appropriate. They have gridlock. Uber is replacing the dirty taxis and the blue smoke buses and they need clean vehicles for that purpose. Actually the Bolt is closer to what they need than Tesla Model 3 based on it being purpose built for ride sharing. There is almost no room left to park all the cars let alone have them actually driving.

As someone who has studied urban planning it is not the lack of self driving cars that is killing our cities in traffic but bad road layout and stoplight placement. Such as you have a lot of suburban streets carrying huge volumes of traffic like a interstate on overloaded streets with stoplights every 100 feet for every shopping mall and store. What cities really need is stoplight consolation and cul de sac opening where cul de sacs are turned into though streets to relieve cars having to drive three or four miles to go on a trip that is only a thousand feet away. A lot of cities also need lightrail, streetcar and metro subway lines extended by two or three times. A example of a traffic nightmare is Northern Virginia and Washington DC. The trouble with this area is that it needs the Washington DC metro extended out to Leesburg VA and the Washington Metro extended down south to Fredircksburg. Also Interstate 95 in this area needs to be widened to 14 lanes and a new alternate ten lane wide interstate bypass needs to be built between New Jersey and Richmond Virginia. The reality is that cities in the… Read more »

Ocean Railroader said:

“What cities really need is stoplight consolation…”

Did you mean “consolidation”?

Not sure how you can make eliminating stoplights work, unless you build overpasses everywhere so cars don’t need to stop at intersections. A more practical solution is to replace traffic lights with roundabouts, but even that would be highly problematic in any downtown area, where most buildings are built right up to the sidewalk, and there is literally no room to expand the roadway without tearing down buildings.

Now, if virtually every car on the roads was autonomous and wirelessly connected, then certainly stoplights could be eliminated; cars would just interact wirelessly to grant right-of-way and avoid collisions. But that possibility is decades off.

I have thought about roundabouts I would use roundabouts out in the suburbs on the side streets that are not main roads. In that a lot of the stoplights in my area on the side streets are at low traffic intersections where you don’t see that many cars most of the day.

The City of Richmond is building a bike boulevard where they have replaced a stoplight or two with roundabouts in very tight urban settings to slow down cars. But the nice thing is you can’t blow a roundabout in a crappy car that likes to skid.

I would use the interchanges to replace all the six and even a few ten lane wide intersections that we have out in my area’s suburbs. The reason why is that the bulk of traffic congestion is triggered when the massive lines of cars have to stop at the giant stoplights.

I would not trust the self driving cars going though the intersections where the stoplights used to be other then roundabouts. In that I wouldn’t trust them. Also what about pedestrians?

Public transportation and smart traffic systems are the answer. We could double-decker all the interstates around here and it would not make a substantial improvement. There are too many vehicles on the road. Period.

VRE would gladly extend their rail service to all-day service 7 days a week, but the freight lines they have to use are slow and congested, so they can’t run enough trains to make it convenient for riders.

Metro desperately needs 2nd sets of tracks for express lines. It’s a beautiful and safe system, but it is absolutely crippled by the fact that every train has to stop at every station.

At best, the cars should stay in the ‘burbs, where things are spread out. If this place was overhauled intelligently, traffic congestion would be substantially mitigated.

Mythbusters tested stopsign intersections vs roundabouts, and roundabouts moved a lot more cars in a given period of time. This was tested with volunteers of all US drivers – people that are not professional drivers and have little to no experience with roundabouts.

I’m not sure how the author thinks $70k Model S or even $35k Model 3s are going to replace rickshaws or cheap ICE vehicles any time soon. Chinese companies like BYD with cheap, lower range cars will turn less affluent cities around much faster than Tesla. Even LEAF stands a better chance.

As for autonomous driving reducing congestion, with no lane markers and human drivers constantly splitting lanes and following no obvious rules, I’m not sure autonomy will be able to handle that for awhile.


“I’m not sure how the author thinks $70k Model S or even $35k Model 3s are going to replace rickshaws or cheap ICE vehicles any time soon. ”
Pretty simple — look at the source… I’ve yet to see a single article by TeslaMondo quoted in InsideEVs (except for the occasional rumor identified as such, or a owner-supplied video) that wasn’t asinine, fanboyish and shallow. I truly don’t get why they get quoted here so often.

Why cars and cities are a bad match…


Cities should take back their parking spaces…

The latter will work well with autonomous electric cars.

I will argue that Mexico City needs Zero far more than they need Tesla. Zero’s can improve air quality and congestion at the same time. Swapping an ICE for an EV does nothing for congestion.

Cities need good and clean public transportation, not expensive luxurious Tesla!

This article got it all wrong to start with.

Maybe the only legit part is that all taxi or ride share service needs to be converted to Tesla like vehicles…

Cities like Beijing and Mexico City would still have bad smog even if every car allowed in the city are all ZEV.

Beijing is stuck in a basin. The air get clear when they shut down all the coal and steel plants upstream from Beijing.

The cars only contributes about 20-25% of the emission. The rest of the emission come from using coal/charcoal for hitting and cooking in the winter by the poor and dust pollution.

I hate it when the poor hit each other with coal and charcoal. 😉

Auto-correct can change the meaning of sentences and give them an unintended, but funny new connotations. 😀


yeah… Heating is the better word.

But in a fight, I prefer getting hit by charcoal than coal…


Cities like Mexico City need large cars?

Urban cores need a combo of mass transit and bicycles (pedal-only and/or electric)… EV cars don’t solve any congestion issues whatsoever.

As much as I’m a fan of Tesla, it’s not the place to look for a mass replacement for gasmobiles in a third-world country. Even the coming Model ≡ won’t be affordable to the average citizen of Mexico.

Look rather to China or India, to make really cheap EV cars in large numbers. And in third world cities, things like EV motor scooters and NEVs (Neighborhood Electric Vehicles) are much more likely to find buyers than a $70,000+ Model S, or even a $35,000+ Model ≡.

Tesla is hoping to ramp up to 500,000 vehicles sold annually by 2020. That’s still a drop in the bucket compared to the 89.4 million cars and light trucks sold internationally last year.

Agreed! The solutions are bicycles, electric bicycles, scooters, start/stop engines, and shorter range plug-in hybrids (yes, even the PiP). Most of the pollution is from gridlock idling. While large battery BEV’s will help, they are too expensive.

The idling problem isn’t just grid-lock, it’s at red lights, as well. Stop-start tech helps, but it only works if you’re stopped. Most gridlock is not at a standstill, but just creeping along. That’s why we need genuine hybrids – the engine would not run at low speeds unless the battery was low.

yes, we need E-bikes and E-scooter and all forms of NEV inside the city limit.

Maybe only buses and NEVs are allowed during 6am to 10pm inside the city limit would be a good start.

What would happen if Tesla was actually able to both make and sell/deliver all of their current planed 500,000 vehicles in 2020?

Would they then be able and be interesting to step down to a sub-compact car, like Honda Fit, or Geo Metro sized, and built it with 125, 175, or 225 mile AER, and sell it at a list price (Base Model) of just $15,000 (125 mile range choice), and $18,000 for the 175 mile pack, with a top price of just $21,000 for the 225 mile variant? (Non Performance Version!)

A car like that would need Gigafactory 2, 3, and 4, to supply the cells and packs of the 2 to 4 million units annually that such a vehicle would need to begin to deliver to match the demand!

Tesla could also move to Motorcycles, to push even lower prices, and would not need a 185 mile range like the ZERO Motorbike, it could be a big draw with 60 to 100 miles range for places like Italy, Mexico City, so long as prices got down to the sub $7,000 targets!