My background is not in portable power, but I would think that if someone could design a speciallized battery or quick-tranfer device, you could have a mechanical safety interlock to cover the connections. Even today's gas power vehicles aren't 100% safe for the emergency restarts. You can send yourself to the hospital if you don't know what your doing on a jump start and I don't know too many people that would want to carry a spare gas can in their car all the time.
Thanks for the link, Charles, I didn't see that story. That's just what I was afaid of - there is currently no good fix for what could be a common problem. At least gas mileage is fairly consistent over the environmental range. I would hope that at least someone could come up with a "quick charge" that would allow you to obtain enough charge to get a few miles to the nearest gas station (electron station?).
I think one underestimated aspect of this launch is that it's taking a mainstream, well-known and accepted vehicle, and in essence porting it over to the electric platform side. I think this augers well for market acceptance, and may go part way towards breaking through the consumer resistance barrier Chuck has written about so eloquently. Of course, the proof will be in the sales figures.
This has always been the issue with BEVs. Many years ago, spurred by oil price hikes and supply problems, the idea of a switchable battery pack was the solution. The idea was that, instead of charging at home (which I guess you could do as well), you would pull into a "station" and the battery pack would be switched out. The "station" would have a large number of packs and fast chargers. At that time the batteries were not as capable, expensive or comples as the current ones. My understanding is that the battery in the Tesla (which is arguably a much more capable device) is several hunderd pounds and costs about $25K. I am not sure that these are the current figures, but they give the order of magnitude.
The real answer is that the BEV is relegated to a second car for local driving. That wil limprove over time, but it does limit the market at the current price.
Good points, Jack. The heart of your argument is that the EVs can't replace a conventional vehicle. That makes EVs the vacation house of the auto world, primarily a luxury vehicle for those who are not seeking value as a primary quality of their auto purchase.
Just wondering, with these pure EV's coming out what is there for emergency power? If you aren't paying attention to your gas powered car, you walk to the nearest gas station, get a gas can and walk back with enough "power" to get back to the station for a complete fill-up. What happens when your stranded with an electric vehicle - especially since it seems that the miles-per-charge vary a lot more than mile-per-gallon such as due to temperature?
Rob - I think they are targeting the higher end markets because of the lack of penetration. The base cost of ownership has not yet come down to a competitive level, so the majority of people who are buying them are the early adopter - those that want something cool, are willing to pay for the environmetal benefits, have another car for long trips or hauling. The people that would mostly want the "cheap" version would also be looking at it as a replacement for their sole car, and these aren't there yet.
Tesla Motors’ $35,000, 200-mile electric car may not revolutionize the auto industry by itself, but it could serve as a starting point for a long, steady climb to a day when half of the world’s vehicles will be plug-ins.
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