It is generally understood by most people that the effects in the performance are accomplished through sleight of hand (also called prestidigitation or léger de main), misdirection, deception, collusion with a member of the audience, apparatus with secret mechanisms, mirrors, and other trickery (hence the illusions are commonly referred to as "tricks"). The performer seeks to present an effect so clever and skillful that the audience cannot believe their eyes, and cannot think of the explanation. The sense of bafflement is part of the entertainment. In turn, the audience play a role in which they agree to be entertained by something they know to be a deception. Houdini also gained the trust of his audiences by using his knowledge of illusions to debunk charlatans, a tradition continued by magicians such as James Randi, P. C. Sorcar, and Penn and Teller.
As someone who has worked in the electric utility field for quite some time now, I think I have a pretty fair handle on how the system really works. (As opposed to the people who purport to be able to produce something from nothing.) While I applaud the folks who are trying to bring a viable electric car to the market, I am professionally appalled at the misdirection involved. For example:
LOS ANGELES – It's safe to say Jeremy Snyder gets a charge out of the two-seat Tesla Roadster whenever he pulls one off the lot — and not because it's equipped with an all-electric engine.
As he pulled one of the sleek new automobiles down a side street Thursday and put the pedal to the metal, its lithium-ion battery-powered engine didn't give off sparks. It just emitted a powerful hum, something like a much quieter version of a jet taking off.
"Accelerate pretty good?" asked Snyder, head of client services for Tesla, who knew the answer.
"I call it a turbine sound," he said of the sound. "Because it's an electric motor it's got 100 percent torque all the time. So it just pulls you like when you're taking off in an airplane."
After several years of development, the Roadster — with sleek lines like a Ferrari or Porsche and a sticker price of $109,000 — officially moves from the drawing boards to the market next week when Tesla's first store opens. It's near the University of California, Los Angeles, in the city's toney Westwood neighborhood where Beverly Hills, Brentwood and Hollywood practically intersect.
"Because it's Hollywood and glamorous, this is the flagship store," Snyder said.
The next store is to open in a couple months near Tesla's headquarters in the Silicon Valley city of San Carlos, where the car was developed with venture capital of more than $40 million from such investors as Google Inc. founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. More stores are planned for Chicago, New York and other cities by early next year.
Although a fully loaded model can set a buyer back as much as $124,000, that's still cheap compared with a high-end Ferrari. And its 6,831-cell lithium-ion battery pack gives off no emissions. (Emphasis added)
Factually correct yet completely misleading. The car itself may give off no tailpipe emissions, but the electricity that is required to charge it comes from somewhere. That somewhere is probably a fossil fuel burning facility. The amount of emission has not been eliminated, it has merely been shifted elsewhere.
Regardless of the source of the power, it still takes x amount of power to drive a car y miles. That power must come from somewhere. Given the physically-limited nature of the power supply (physically limited by nature of the laws of physics, mind you) the electric car is not a magic bullet that will end emissions.