November 21, 2014

Partly cloudy

Grafton man driven to get electric car

EATON TWP — Dennis Radesic always has had an interest in alternative energy sources. Several years ago, he converted his farmhouse to be more energy-efficient with
geothermal heating.
So when he learned that Tesla Motors was creating an all-electric car built from the ground up, he had to have it, even if it meant waiting four years.
On Friday, Radesic’s patience was rewarded when his new Tesla Model S vehicle — a car that will never require gasoline — arrived. Radesic said it was that feature that won him over.
“I have a really big problem with gas usage. The prices are just ridiculous,” he said.
Others may share Radesic’s sentiments.
Tesla Motors paid off a $451 million government loan nine years early from the sales of its $70,000, highly acclaimed electric car. The Tesla Motor S was rated Motor Trend’s 2013 Car of the Year and Automobile Magazine’s 2013 Automobile of the Year.
A driver traveling at a speed of 55 mph can travel 206 to 265 miles on a Tesla Model S battery, according to the company’s website.
According to Motor Trend’s review of the vehicle, one of the most impressive features of the vehicle is its unique user interface — a giant touch screen in the center of the dashboard that controls everything from the steering, air conditioning and suspension.
Another unusual feature of the vehicle is that it has no engine. Instead, the Tesla Model S has an extra space for storage.
Radesic, who studied his new purchase Friday morning, admitted that he hadn’t figured out all of the features, and he jumped when the door handles moved by touch. Still, he was excited to take the car out for a ride, and he remarked on its smooth ride.
Although the vehicle was pricey, Radesic said he bought it to make a point. He said he believes the oil industries have made it hard on the consumer, with high gasoline prices and cars that aren’t much more fuel efficient than vehicles in the 1930s.
“I’m not into cars. I’m not into real fancy cars. That’s not why I bought this. I did it to make a point,” he said. “The technology for higher efficiency engines has been out there since the 1930s but none have been produced because big companies buy up the patents and then do nothing with them.”
Radesic said his switch to geothermal heating 12 years ago saved him money, and he believes the vehicle will do the same. Before, he was paying $600 a month to heat his home, not including his electric usage. After investing $14,000 in upgrades, his highest electric bill has been was $220.
“My geothermal system has six wells drilled down 140 feet and pull heat out of the ground. In the summer, it pulls heat out of the house and puts it back into the ground which gives me air conditioning,” he explained.
Radesic said he believes that the electric cars, like the Tesla Model S, will come down in price if consumers decide to invest in the new technology.
“Somebody’s got to get them on the road. Somebody’s got to pay the money to get the thing going,” he said.
Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or

  • JBell

    Expensive run around car. $70,000 for a 250 mile range. The environmental affects for charging/replacing batteries will be more harmful than a gasoline powered car that can drive anywhere without a 24hour charge.

    • Phil Blank

      Here is another problem, or problems.
      If the battery should die, what is the cost to replace it?
      How much carbon is released making that car, its parts and the battery?
      Where can he recharge it that is not his home or family & friends homes?
      There are no chargeing stations avaliable to the general public, unless you live in California.

      • ThatGuy

        The environmental harm caused by creating the Model S (or any other electric vehicle) is relatively a temporary issue. Battery efficiency increases at a rate of about 8% per year and with that the ratio of pollution to efficiency will drop (along with the price of electric vehicles), where as gas is, has been, and always will be…gas. Batteries are also recyclable and if the they die, there is a warranty. There are (literally) thousands of electric car charging stations in the US (and that’s not counting California), and the model S (or any other electric car for that matter) will generally take anywhere from 6 to 4 hours to charge at home and do not drive until it is empty. In a public fast charging station it will take 30 minutes or less at a tesla supercharging station, and 1 hour if you are completely empty.

        Do your research. You do not have to support electric vehicles, but DO NOT form opinions based on your assumptions of a technology you are not familiar with.

        • Frank Siegfried

          How much coal or natural gas or oil has to be burned in order to generate the electricity needed to recharge this vehicle?? Trade off one for the other. Unless you can recharge it from the sun, you are still, down the line, burning fossil fuels to power this car.

          • daveman1

            We don’t import coal or natural gas from hostile countries, and electric is orders of magnitude more efficient, and does not spew toxins directly into our communities. There’s lots more, but you get the idea.

          • WeaponZero

            It depends on where you live, by average around 37% of our grid is coal and 32% is NG based on 2012 numbers. But again, it depends where you live 10 states for example have 90%+ of their grid as renewable energy. As far as how much oil is burned, around 1%. The only place that burns oil for power is washington dc.

            To note though, the Tesla Superchargers are powered by the sun. Also, it is more clean to burn fuels in a plant then it is to burn them in a small engine like a car.

            But if it really bothers people, companies like SolarCity offer affordable leasing options for solar panels on their roof.

      • WeaponZero

        The probability of the battery dying is extremely low. Your much more likely to run into engine failure then to have a Tesla Model S battery really die.

        That said, the Tesla Model S 85kwh battery is covered by an 8 year no fault warranty for unlimited miles.(in comparison, most car engines are 3-5 years warranty for 30-60k miles). The NCA battery within the Model S though is easily capable of lasting 15-20 years and over 500k miles.

        Tesla also offers an option to replace the battery after 8 years if you wish for 8-12k.

        As far as how much is released making the Model S, probably much less then its gasoline counterparts as there are much less parts in an EV then a gasoline car. The Tesla Model S is also manufactured in California where the environmental regulations are much higher then any other state.

        As far as charging goes, you can charge at almost any outlet. Tesla will have 100+ superchargers though by 2015. Most of the charging of EVs will be done at home though. Statistically speaking, most people travel 40 miles a day. You can easily recharge 40 miles over night even on a standard 120v outlet.

  • Peter Aldrich

    You know what PT Barnum said..