It doesn't surprise me that Tesla's gurus won't talk about how they're "squeezing all the extra juice" out of their battery options. Isn't that a key differentiator and competitive edge for EV companies? Why should they give away their secrets if they're able to come up with a design and a chemistry mix that gives their cars an edge? More power to them--and those that can afford the cars!
Beth, you are right that battery technology is the crux of the matter with electric vehicles. They were more forthcoming with the roadster because it was a new thing and there was not much competition. Of course that has changed. With the roadster, the battery pack weighs 900 pounds, as I recall. It reportedly gives a range of up to 400 miles (I am not sure under what conditions). The Model S has a completely different form factor, and I expect a whole different technology. This is an area that is progressing fast.
It's clear to me. It's the little things like lower weight tires, lubes, aero, fewer gears, brake retract springs, etc that can easily double the range of a given battery.
As the battery pack gets larger it's less stressed so can put out more of it's capacity per unit of vehicle weight.
In lead battery EV's going from 25% battery/vehicle weight range is about 30 miles but with 50% battery weight range hits 100 miles as an example.
In fact the about plus 50% lead battery weight is how I'll get 100+ mile range along with the above 'tricks'. I keep the battery weight, cost low by having the EV without battery only weighing 550 lbs mostly by using a composite body/chassis that weighs 235lbs.
As I've been saying it's not so much the battery but the vehicle it's put in.
Thanks, They certainly didn't reduce weight much to gain range! But it is a $100k Luxury car.
I really can't see why most EV's need over 100 mile range when for 130lbs one can have a 35kw Lotus Range extender IIRC and get unlimited range for many $1000's less. I'm doing a 4.5kw version that weighs 40lbs in mine.
I'm all for the eff of EV drive but moderation is the smart choice.
Had they went composite body/chassis both the production line start up costs would be 1/3 and unit cost by 40% for the same performance and more quiet, stiff.
With this type of range, it would seem the EV could move beyond a second car and become a primary car. Another question, Chuck. Does passanger weight and load have much of a factor in affecting speed or range?
Rob: I would presume the price alone takes the Model S out of the the second-car realm. Most consumers can't afford a $50,000 second car, let alone an $80K or $100K second car. Price aside, though, I would presume the 300-mile range will appeal to more people who want to use it as their main form of transportation. Those consumers are the ones who plan on driving no more than about 130-140 miles from home (assuming they're making a round trip). As for passenger weight...I have no idea how many miles would be lost off the range if you have four big passengers in there. Range calculations are already highly theoretical, and the weight of passengers adds one more variable to the equation.
That's quite impressive, Chuck. As for charging these vehicles, is the infrastructure beginning to build out for charging these vehicles on the road? Since the charge would take some time, I would guess the infrastructure would be more than a simple outlet at a gas station.
It doesn't surprise me that there are takers for this, even at these outrageously high prices. Consider luxury vehicle + politically correct purchase + love of technology and you've got a perfect car buy for a very select few. The fact that they sold out for that particular version just shows they didn't anticipate how big the very targeted market would be.
Tesla is no more knowledgeable than any other electric car automaker (Nissan, GM, etc) about how to get the most miles perkWhr. For electrics, which benefit from regen braking, weight is not that important, sans very hilly country, which was studiously avoided by Tesla in claiming 300 miles of range. They also did not run the heater or AC, drove at a constant speed and never opened the windows or stopped or started. Aero is important,as GM found out while developing/testing their Volt, also tire rolling resistance (use skinny , highly inflated tires). That's about it. Nothing else makes any significant diference. Tesla is exaggerating greatly any small increments they got from tweaking motor rpms, etc. That battey is off the shelf-for the 300 (ho,ho) mile range pack it contains 7600 Panasonic 3100mAH 18650NCR laptops. They are retailing for around $14, or over $106,000 for the pack.Tesla is estimated to be charging over $45,000 to their customers, which is probably about what they are buying them for. The entire battery system probably weighs close to 1000 pounds. They have a very selective warranty (they don't cover total discharge -fried battery pack) of 8 years or 150,000 miles (unlikely with capacity losses and recharging cycles of around 500).
The battery is obviously the car's fatal flaw. Imagine the resale value after 7 or 8 years, near the end of the battery's lifespan. Battery capacity losses are not covered by warranty, and Tesla avoids saying much of anything about those batteries, since anything they say will likely kill sales. If you buy a Model S avoid the "300 mile pack." Get the smallest battery pack option and wait for decent batteries (you'll need to own two cars, of course).
Ok let's see. Tesla has a bunch of new patents that say they know better than others on how to make a better electric car. But supposing that wasn't the case, at the very least we can say they took those ideas and put them in while the other guys didn't.
The mile range claims come from EPA standard testing consisting of 45% highway driving and 55% city driving. "City" means stop and go in traffic. You could be right about not using the A/C, etc but whatever they did is the standard that others follow as well. Or do you think the Prius guys run their A/C and blast their audio system while taking their EPA tests?
You're probably right when implying Model S won't be worth much after 7 or 8 years when it's battery drops to 70% of it's capacity but neither will a 5-series BMW. A 2005 model 545i with an MSRP of $55K back then, can be had now for $13K - coincidentally, ~$42K less than when new. If you decide to keep your $40K and not buy a new battery pack you would still get ~100 miles out of the 160 miles model. I agree with you that, from a pure investment perspective, the 160 mile model is the way to go. It's the exact same car than the 300 miles one and in 7 years a replacement batter will likely make it a 300+ mile car anyway.
Architect, why do you think having the batteries in the chassis low is bad for a crash? First it nicely improves handling so one can avoid a crash and the battery box strengthens the chassis improving the overall strength the rest of the body is attached to.
It also seals the batteries under the car keeping them seprate from the passenger cabin in a crash.
I like it better than the Volt's as one can't get crushed against the battery pack in a side impact. An earlier EV of mine had such like the Volt and I won't do that again. Now I put then up front as crushable mass to absorb frontal crash forces instead.
If mine hits production my seats with excellent side support will move inward during a side impact taking the person/me with it away from intruding things. I'll also use kevlar as the most inside composite layer to spread loads and stop point intrusions. Safety is a system, not single things. For lowest weight, cost they all need to work together and do more than 1 thing.
Architect, My condolences on your lost. But in your grieving you seem to not be thinking well.
Take my seating. In fact it's I who ripped the idea off from F-1, Nascar, Drag racing etc who's driver walk away most times in T bones, etc at far higher speeds. It's in their rules as it should be.
To say GM does things right ignores it's history of opposing things like seat belts, etc.
One doesn't have to completely avoid a crash, just making the crash hit from a safer angle, say from Tbone to quarter panel hit thus handling can make a difference in even instant crashes.
I can't tell you how many times I've driven out of a crash, in the 1,000s over my 2-3 million miles on the road. I consider it the best safety feature as the crash you are not in is the safest of all.
My batteries are where they need to be for the correct CG making my CG both near perfectly balanced and 4'' lower than a Corvette's. I just design the weight for crash protection since it's already there. One of the ways I keep it light without hurting safety.
My body is at least 3x's stronger than a Durango's with better, more effective safety systems as used in racecars.
As for my head hitting the window I'll be held into the seat with it's side bolsters and 4 point seatbelt that my head can't hit the window in any survivable crash. My head hit my rollbar in my last crash though it didn't hurt me, I eliminated it by putting it inbetween the composite skins and will have other padding, etc in my new one.
I'm looking into side airbags too and my door sill is above my waist giving very good side protection.
While one can never be completely safe as too many in SUV's they thought were safe, have found out sadly bigger is not always better. And it's handling that makes SUV's less safe than a compact car as clearly shown by deaths/mile data.
Also larger vehicles are less strong/ unit of weight, especially trucks/SUV's. My roof is likely 5x's as strong as most SUV's were until recently.
While my vehicle looks simple and it is, a lot of thought, smart tech went into it to make it safe.
I love how people always compare EV's to economy cars when they ones available are high tech and luxury cars and sould be compared to similar high tech luxury, sportscars.
And you can be sure in 5-10 yrs most EV's will be worh a good amount more than similar ICE's. Don't believe me try to buy a 12-15 yr old Toyota RAV-4EV at more than it sold for.
Plus when a battery pack goes bad it usally just a few cells and can be repaired for far less than say a camshaft, valve job in a BMW. Several companies are doing a nice business repairing Prius packs that are now coming out of warranty instead of paying big bucks for new ones. Same will happen to others once they are older.
I think another good business model will be aftermarket generators to turn EV's into serial hybrids either rental or for sale once enough are on the road.
Pack rentals is another A Better Place is doing in some states and countries solves these problems of range, battery replacement, etc.
Ramon, for this size battery pack heating and A/C are rounding errors. Plus it will be preheated/cooling before it's unplugged.
Regen at best is 50% eff so weight both from the extra rolling drag and extra acceleration is a big deal.
Panasonic/Sanyo cells go for far less OEM like $.25/wthr or $250kwhr as I recently called them for pricing for my EV's. If you are paying that price you need to lear how to shop better. Similar cells are used in RC cars/planes/etc go for less.
On my FreedomEV no website now as it's not done and unless can come up with a lot of money or someone else wants to, it isn't likely to be put into production anytime soon. I just use it as an example as I know it's numbers, costs well to educate others what can be done..
I have to say I'm largely in the same camp as ramon here. They appear to have thrown money and batt size at this and got a longer range (Waiting to see what some independant testing gets on that). They may indeed have a viable luxury niche, but this is a long way from making mainstream EV a popular proposition.
You keep mentioning the vehicle(s) you build/are developing. Do you have a website or such. I've long had an interest in minimalist vehicles and would be interested in seeing your ideas.
Two quick points: in general, SUV's are not designed to handle well in an emergency. High c/g and soft suspensions lead to my second point that I often hear from accident participants: over-correcting. We still do not teach poeple how to drive properly and the biggest hazard and cause of "accidents" is the driver.
NHTSA and the Fed's keep mandating vehicle safety designs to protect us from our incompetence, but no one is willing to address driver training and skills as a primary cause of incidents and fatalities.
real automotive companies do extensive Research, and development, including testing of actual manufacured models from real automotive factories, then there are others, that take a 50 % deposit whereby the customer is warned he may not actually receive the car bought, as year after year, production is setback, with the models made in garages at extremely high costs, far greater than the pseudo factory built cars are sold for. the last loan from obamas boy at the doe of near half a billion dollars, added up to the billions already invested by the unwary investors, tricked by an arbitrary NYSE price, in the pretense of a real company, has only 149 million left to invest according to the statement supplied on the internet, and still no factory---its appears the car company may disappear about the same time as obama, ha ha ha, just kidding, solar city, and spacex, along with tsla, alias tesla, alias alias aias, whereby ironman musk does an incredible job on public relation stunts, as if the companies actually had a future, in this world, not onscreen, ha ha ha, just kidding, how on earth could an internet philanthropist, self proclaimed physicist who was the pseudo founder of paypal, and certainly not a 16 % owner,no way eh ? when they were near worthless, fired after a short stint on the board of directors before being bought out in a cash stunt to foster what may appear to be the act of a south african draftdodger, bankruptcy expert, endorsed by his lordship barry soretoe, and some other bad actors, in california whoes economy would be the 9th largest nation on earth, were it a country instead of the bankrupt state it is, where homelessness numbers in the millions, where you can drive for miles and miles, seeing people who live on food banks, living in squalor, not given social services reserved for the dominent sub-culture who administers social services, hired for their ability to vote, a lot ! in the 3rd world class state, hollywood, silicon gulley, etc etc, pretty good joke eh?
Charles, one of the major drawbacks with EVs is its low mileage and power. Most of the vehicles are yielding only 85-100 miles on a full charge and it can be come down further when load increases. So I think everybody is eagerly looking for new batteries which can yield more mileage.
You're right,Mydesign, power and energy are the big issues for EV batteries. That said, Tesla is squeezing a lot of range out of its cars. The Model S gets about 300 miles of range out of an 85 kWh battery. By comparison, the Nissan Leaf gets 73 miles of range (EPA rating) out of a 24-kWH battery, and the Chevy Volt (which has an IC engine on board) gets 37 miles from 16 kWh. I'll let you do the math.
To get the 100,000 miles 10 years Battery life VOLT only really uses about 1/2 the Battery capacity that is never discharges below 20% and never charges above 80% if they would the gange would be more like 62 miles !
And this is the excuse NISSAN uses in theri legalese:
GRADUAL CAPACITY LOSS
The Lithium-ion battery (EV battery), like all lithium-ion
batteries, will experience gradual capacity loss with time
and use. Loss of battery capacity due to or resulting
from gradual capacity loss is NOT covered under this
warranty. See your OWNER'S MANUAL for important
tips on how to maximize the life and capacity of the
This warranty does not cover damage or failures resulting
from or caused by:
Exposing a vehicle to ambient temperatures above
120F (49C) for over 24 hours.
Storing a vehicle in temperatures below -13F (-25C)
for over seven days.
Leaving your vehicle for over 14 days where the
lithium-ion battery reaches a zero or near zero state
Charging the lithium-ion battery full on a daily basis
despite the lithium-ion battery keeping a high state
of charge level (98-100%).
Neglecting to follow correct charging procedures.
Use of incompatible charging devices.
Consequential damage caused by the failure to repair
an existing problem.
Wonder if every LEAF Owner reads this BEFORE buying one of them ?
Range test as per NEV America 20MPH Constant Speed
So the TESLA technology on performance level is nothing "out-of-the-box", just the battery is REALLY BIG (On Capacity), and the fair price for the Battery alone would be today about :
the 24 Miles OKA range is in EPA FTP-75 City Range Test,
the 32 Miles is in NEV America 20 MPH Constant Speed test.
We recommend that for maximum Battery life it is plugged in after 16 to 20 miles of travel, driving the vehicle to "till it does not move" will drastically cut the battery life, especially if that is done often. (Pb Acid Sealed batteries)
Mirox, from your chart, it seems that OKA is the one can yield maximum power. So I think it's better to look in an another angle by interconnecting some batteries as a grid for pooling more power for bigger vehicles like Tesla and Leaf.
OKA is NEV or Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, that is LOW SPEED (25 MPH Max) as per FMVSS #500
IT was just listed for comparison as we have real life data from their use since 2003 with Lead-Acid Sealed Batteries, no stellar technology and the 4kWh Pack was $702 in 2003 and is $2016 in 2012.
So that also diminishes all the Li proponents that prices will be reduced in 10 years, in case of Pb they have almost trippled !!!
So lot of the "theories" in real life so not pan out, in Li-Ion the 4kWh pack costs over $4,200 and it is only theoretical that it MAY last 2,000 cycles, while on the ancient Pd battery made from PURE Lead with bit of Silver, we get 5 to 7 years of service with daily use of the vehices, averaging about 16.2 miles per day and about 10 miles between plug-ins.
That is real life data from all the OKA owners that bother to keep track of things.
While it take lot of Amperes to accelerate "weight" at below 45 MPH once any vehicle is rolling the power consumption per mile should be about equal on well engineered vehicles. Over 55 MPH the aerodynamic, Cx and frontal Area become more important than the rest or the technical features as far as W/mi.
Charles, what's about a small battery grid inside the EV, which can pooled more power. Another factor to increase the mileages is reducing the curb weight of EV and minimizing the frictional forces within the vehicles.
As strange as it may seem in REAL LIFE, the curb (CW) weight ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT MATTER !!!
It takes AMPS to accelerate it, and to push it up hills, but once vehicle is in motion it has NO EFFECT, and actually heavier vehicles perform better in STOP and GO as with Re-GEN substantial amount of the energy can be used to re-charge the batteries.
Batteries can take lot of input Current for short periods, but overheat if you would put the same Amps in continually like when re-charging from AC Charger.
So lugging about Pd versus Li makes little or no difference on RANGE, but makes the vehicel cost $$$$ more.
But Pb is just not "sexy" enough, so the "light weight" hype that while TRUE for GASOLINE and NON HYBRID (no braking regen) does save fuel, in EV weight is actually BIG PLUS for range (as much as 25% in properly designed system) for IN CITY Driving, in test on Highway at steady speed there is some small penalty due to extra rolling friction but that is normally in 1.8% range, so not noticeable to consumer, but measurable on dynamometer test. But when as much as 60 to 80% is lost to aerodynamic drag at high speeds the less than 2% is not significiant.
Mirox, thanks, but am not getting why you had made the statement the curb weight has no effect in power consumption. What I understood is when load is more, the engine consumes more power to pull the load and vice versa. In such cases, am not sure your statements are right.
Vehicle Weight does matter in any vehicle system where you only use energy (fuel) to accelerate the mass, and to decelerate the same mass you convert the energy to heat via friction = brakes - there the potential kinetic energy is 100% wasted on deceleration.
In EV which almost all mfg, even those making golf carts, use regen to brake, very high proportion of the energy can be re-captured in the battery upon braking.
While you can not FAST charge, any battery for extended time, or it overheats, you can put in up to 20 times (in some cases) the current into a battery relatively safely.
So even a Pb acid battery that at most can be charged at 16A can for few seconds take 100A safely.
If the vehicle weight is higher, then small losses like those of tires can be overcome and the down hill travel can also be used very efectively for re-charge.
Light vehicle will stop even on slight downhill, while heavy vehicle will roll, and even can supply power during down hill travel.
That is where the theory of light weight at any cost, is overcome by real life experience where in EV with re-gen the weight not only does not matter but a heavier vehicle actually shows a "benefit" in real life range.
And just to clarify we are referring differences in 100's lbs and not in 1,000 lbs. or 10,000's lbs. In othervise IDENTICAL vehicle.
I'm sure this Tesla will really make a new impression on electronic cars. It has better aerodynamic body, stiffer suspension and all of the equipment you need for a electronic car to go fast. I did browse more auto parts and I can see a bigger potential of electronic cars in the racing industry.
GM R&D and Research people have over the year spent more time and effort on probing the wants and habbits of driving populus, granted not all their finds have been properly utilized for their own benefit, but here and there just like all the features shown in Autorama, have eventually surfaced in one way or another, or just because other MFG had to follow the lead of the # 1 vehicle producer in the World for most of the years of their existence.
One not widely publicized Research was no HOW BIG a gas tank a car needs ?
Done way back in 1948 and the conclusion was 15 gallons at AWG MPG of 12 to 15.
Why because that way people would only fuel up once a week !
Reason if the tank was only to hold enough gasoline for a daily drive (20 to 32 miles in those days) people would realize HOW MUCH it costs them to drive !!!
Thet was by GM perceived as NEGATIVE - i.e. people would buy fewer cars....
What was Gasoline then ??? like 26 cents or so ??? (Minimum Wage 40 cents)
But the resoning was that if the Gas is bought once a week and once a week pay day was normal then, people would do that and not run out of gas in between pay days (no CC then, Cash was the only way to buy fuel).
So most cars even today have 12 to 15 Gallon fuel tank capacity no matter what is their MPG, etc.
Someting gets established and it stay that way, and but few ever know why - but EV proponents now want people to plug-in every day.
Having people fuel up every day and reducing gas tanks to 1 to 2 gallons in all vehicles would save the nation billions of gallons of fuel - just imagine the fuel saving by not hauling about on average 5 to 7 gallons + associated fuel tank size on 245,000,000 vehicles in use in USA !!!
Lets say that is weight diet of 12,005,000,000 - making US fleet over 12 billion pounds lighter would for sure make dent in fuel consumption !
Plus the daily awareness of cost of driving would make people to think twice about the vehicle choice and the need to really drive somewhere on a moments whim.
Now compare EV where the Battey weight is the same sans a gram or two between FULL and EMPTY that is hauling about a dead weight 100% of the time, a sure way to "improve" range, but kill the MPGe.........
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