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Government Security Transportation United States Technology

What If the Next Presidential Limo Was a Tesla? 330

cartechboy writes "The presidential limo is known as "The Beast," and it's getting to be about that time where it's replaced. Currently The Beast is a General Motors creation with a Cadillac badge, but what if the next presidential limo was a Tesla? Stick with me here. The Beast is a massive vehicle, which means there would be plenty of room in the structure to have a long battery pack a la Model S. Plus, it could use the upcoming Model X's all-wheel-drive system. Tesla's air suspension would keep it from encountering high-centering issues. There could even be a charging port on both the front and back so a battery truck could hook up while driving, like in-flight refueling. Obviously the battery pack would need to have extra protection so it wouldn't have any issues with road debris, but that's a minor issue. Tesla is an American company, and that's a requirement for The Beast. So is it that far fetched to think the next presidential limo could be a Tesla?"
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What If the Next Presidential Limo Was a Tesla?

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  • by Lumpio- ( 986581 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @05:37PM (#46477571)
    Does it make any practical difference? Is there any point to this post?
  • Fanboi much? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @05:40PM (#46477613) Homepage Journal

    Everyone wants to provide the presidential vehicles. Does Tesla provide as many jobs as GM?

    The votes those employees provide are probably the most important factor when deciding who gets to provide the presidential ride.

  • by RevWaldo ( 1186281 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @05:40PM (#46477615)
    Would you depend on this vehicle if your life was at stake. Tesla can certainly bring it, but the internal combustion engine has over a century of demonstrated reliability.

  • Armor (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sugar and acid ( 88555 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @05:41PM (#46477631)

    The Presidents limo is in a heavily disguised armour. It weighs multiple tonnes.

    An electric design just can't make the range or extended get away speed required with the protection needed.

    Of course the one true maker of presidential limousines is ford....

  • by Kevoco ( 64263 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @05:42PM (#46477649)

    and is built on a GM truck frame.
    I have a hard time imagining this level of protection working for an electric vehicle.

  • by brainboyz ( 114458 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @05:44PM (#46477669) Homepage

    You mean more than it already does loaded with armor?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 13, 2014 @05:48PM (#46477715)

    Exactly. No one knows the specs of the Presidential Limo; that's all classified, but the power train in that thing has got to outstrip anything Tesla is capable of yet, because all of the equipment and armor plating and the requirement for the number of staff the president always has with him, I think Tesla's a few years away from matching that.

    Tesla's a great car, but their key hurdle to really make a difference is pure horsepower. Once you can replace an 18 wheeler's diesel engine with an electric drive system, then you've changed the world and made a real impact on emissions. Personal cars are a good start, but freight hauling is the real deal when it comes to replacing oil for transporation energy.

  • by Cimexus ( 1355033 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @05:48PM (#46477719)

    It already weighs a LOT due to all the thick armor plating. In fact some places have issues with allowing it because it exceeds the design tolerances for the pavement. The added weight of battery packs wouldn't really be that significant, especially if they can save weight on the engine or other parts.

  • by Onuma ( 947856 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @05:52PM (#46477761)
    I'm fairly certain the current Beast is not HEMP protected. It's solidly constructed, but it doesn't have copper knife-edge seals and a complete faraday cage around all of its electrical and electronic components.

    Besides; if there are EMPs anywhere in the area of the principal, there's already a major breakdown of security and things are likely out of their control. Their escort vehicles, mobile phones, radios and other electronics are all useless by that point, not even counting the other unknown factors which would subsequently arise.
  • Charging solutions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cimexus ( 1355033 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @05:58PM (#46477843)

    While I have no doubt that you could build a fully electric vehicle that would meet the specs required for the President's limo, I think the biggest hurdle will be charging it. The Beast is one of the only vehicles in the world that drives in countries all over the world without being registered, or modified in accordance with the local market. I've seen the Beast myself here in Canberra, Australia a couple of times. It is kind of a novelty seeing a left-hand drive vehicle with US license plates cruising around on the 'wrong' side of the road in Australia. :)

    But I digress. Countries all use different shaped plugs, different voltages etc. and the charging infrastructure in some places the president might visit is not always reliable. Yes you can ensure that US embassies and the presidential plane/other vehicles have the right systems in place. But you never know what might happen ... one day they might be stuck somewhere with insufficient range and no charging options. Gasoline OTOH, you can find almost anywhere, and can carry a spare supply of it quite easily compared to lugging around some kind of backup battery. I think for that reason it'll be a while before you see a vehicle built for this purpose be fully electric. Maybe a hybrid would work. But I think all-electric vehicles need to become more widespread globally and another decade or two of track record behind them before they would fit the bill for this need.

  • by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @05:59PM (#46477859)

    You obviously never collected comics. Geeks who did are fond of "what if?..." special issues because the exploration of the possibility of something weird is fun.

    You remember what fun was like, right?

    Don't worry - I'll get off your lawn now.

  • by Jarik C-Bol ( 894741 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @06:12PM (#46477983)
    It weighs that much and gets that bad of milage because its as close to being an Abrams tank as you can get while still looking like a limo. I don't think the president has much of a say in the vehicles they use to transport him, and "The Beast" exists mostly because of Kennedy and various other attempts on American presidents. Besides, there are far more effective ways for the president to "Lead" us into a greener future. (Maybe cutting back on those vacations that are half a planet worth of jet fuel away for one.)
  • by dstyle5 ( 702493 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @06:30PM (#46478111)
    I hope my just submitted "what if" about unicorns ruling the universe will make the front page as well. Given what they are posting these days I think I have a 50/50 chance of making it.
  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @11:23PM (#46479779)
    It may not go very far very often, but it absolutely must be capable of going far for those few times when it's essential. I wouldn't be surprised if there are contingency plans to use the current presidential limo to escape every major metro area that the President could find himself in, and the car itself is designed to survive antitank weapons.

The moon may be smaller than Earth, but it's further away.