Tesla Model S Takes On Ford Model T in Multi-State Race


The Starting Point - Ford's Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan

The Starting Point – Ford’s Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan

Ever since the February 2013 print edition of Car and Driver magazine landed in my mailbox nearly 2 months ago, I’ve been pondering how to present to you its feature story titled “The Race of the Centuries: 2013 Tesla Model S vs. 1915 Ford Model T.”

Interior Image of Ford's Piquette Plant

Interior Image of Ford’s Piquette Plant

The problem was that it’s so expertly written and in such detail, that there’s no way I could accurately summarize the story in less than a few thousand words.

Luckily, the story has now hit Car and Driver’s website.

Here’s the basic summary of the Model S versus Model T matchup:

“So as not to be seen as blithely unappreciative of a new technology’s inevitable teething issues, namely the Tesla’s limited driving range and the nation’s inadequate charging infrastructure, we developed a kind of handicap for the Model S. The Tesla would not go up against a new car, which would enjoy a de facto head start thanks to more than a century of development. Instead, it would compete against a car more in line with an electric vehicle’s limitations. Hence, we looked back over automotive history for a suitable candidate. Way back, in fact. Actually, a bit further, and further still, and keep it going, just a ­little ways more . . . until we pretty much bumped into the horse again.”

“How would the car that’s heralded as the savior of humanity stack up against the humble Tin Lizzie?”

Interior of Tesla's Fremont Plant

Interior of Tesla’s Fremont Plant

The full story, along with ~90 stunning photos, can be found by clicking the source link below.  We highly recommend you read it in its entirety and then let us know your thoughts in Comments below.

Source: Car and Driver

Categories: Ford, Tesla

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7 Comments on "Tesla Model S Takes On Ford Model T in Multi-State Race"

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I’ll call that a truly fair and balanced, and truly entertaining writeup. It’ll win no converts to either side, but shall serve as historical documentation once ultracapacitor-boosted fast charging stations are ubiquitous and inductive roadbed loops allow for highway cruises that don’t deplete one’s battery.

I would buy an Electric Model T… Seriously.

This page mentions a rumor about Ford reviving it as a sub-50 mph electric: http://m.carbuzz.com/Article.aspx?Id=13659

CD’s distaste for Tesla is obvious. So this is just an attempt (to me) to mock Tesla while trying to appear to be fair. It’s subjective to say it’s fair if you pick a route that has no SuperCharger support. Why don’t they test the Model T against a horse by picking a route without gas stations?

In the past, CD has mocked Tesla’s ability to update the vehicle software (tremendous plus as Edmunds put it) by calling Tesla customers as “beta testers”.

Anyone buying a high technology gizmo today, is a beta-tester. The complexity of these current generation devices can’t be understated. Almost every product with a computer processor and operating software, from TVs to refridgerators, require firmware updates. This is also true with the Model S, which is soon to recieve version 6 firmware updates. The Model T was also an experiment in a similar sense, but crafted in simple brass, iron and wood.

I don’t see how CD’s classification of EV owners, is in any way inaccurate.

I agree. The “racers” could have also charged up at any number of campgrounds along that route which provide 50A service for much quicker charging. The taping of the seams and removing the floor mats is a joke.

There is a great analogy between the Model T and Tesla. Ford decided to make his own steel. Iron Ore went in one end of the factory and Model Ts came out the other.

In Tesla’s case, Lithium, Nickel, Cobalt and Aluminum go in one end and Tesla’s Model S, X and E come out the other.