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(CNN)   CNN Money decides to step into the spat between Tesla and the New York Times by driving the same Boston to D.C. route in the Model-S as the NYT's reviewer did. "With a full battery, there was no need -- none at all -- to nurse the car's battery"   (money.cnn.com) divider line 368
    More: Followup, Model S, cnnmoney, NYT, flatbed trucks, District of Columbia, New Jersey Turnpike  
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14359 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Feb 2013 at 7:46 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-15 05:14:04 PM

orbister: fredklein: Um, their advice let to the car driving 51 miles on only 32 miles worth of charge. I'd say their advice worked. It was the idiot reporter who constantly under-recharged the car who is to blame.

Why would you blame him if he followed Tesla advice? It appears that they may have thought that the charge apparently lost overnight would reappear as the battery warmed up, which is why they advised a relatively low charge.


Yes, and they were correct (51 miles on a 32 mile charge). But I seriously doubt they said "Let it charge to 32, then try to drive it 60+ miles". They probably said something like "Plug it in for an hour or so, to get the charge you need", and he (deliberately or not) misinterpreted that as "Plug it for 47 minutes and go, even if it's not charged enough". Now, that could be a simple mistake, but when you add in the other things he did, liek not charging it completely to begin with.....
 
2013-02-15 05:16:30 PM

mllawso: Even if in the future they hold half the Amp-Hours of a battery, they last longer, aren't damaged by running them to 0 volts,  and charge really, really quickly. Imagine driving 150 miles and "refueling" in 5 minutes


It's a nice idea, but there are three fundamental problems to overcome. First of all, the energy stored in a  capacitor is 1/2 C V^2. That means that you need electrical systems which can (a) cope with a range of 0 to full in the capacitor and (b) handle very, very large currents as the charge gets low. This is very non-trivial. Batteries which retain a constantish voltage are far more tractable.

Secondly, you really, really on;t want to short a capacitor in an accident. No insoluble, but significant protection is needed.

Finally, recharging in five minutes is a lovely idea, but difficult to implement. A Tesla Supercharger is 90kW and charges a reasonable range in an hour. To get that charge rammed in in 5 minutes means something like 1MW. This also is non-trivial.

Supercapacitors may well have a role to play in future electric cars - perhaps soaking up and releasing regenerative braking output in the very short term and around a set point - but I really doubt that we'll see them as main energy store.
 
2013-02-15 05:19:46 PM

Smidge204: But the real problem with EV haters/skeptics is they fail to understand a critical point: There is absolutely no need whatsoever to recharge that quickly. Recharging an EV requires a fundamentally different culture than refueling a traditional car. "Stopping for gas" is so habitualized that few can see operating a vehicle in any other way.


There is a need to recharge as fast as an IC car if you are going to do long drives. For short trips it's different, I agree.
 
2013-02-15 05:23:37 PM
There's also been talk of wireless recharging via road lanes that will charge you as you drive over them ala F-Zero
 
2013-02-15 05:28:52 PM

fredklein: Flint Ironstag: For them they drive the car, never stop at a gas station and the car magically has a full tank of "gas" every morning.

Not really-

Description
120V Your basic, standard wall outlet.
Charge time
Usually about 22-24 hours, depending on the car.

So, unless you have a dedicated 240 volt outlet (that only takes 7-8 hours!), you'll need a full day to charge.


From that link: "Charge times from empty"

How many people will travel 300 miles to work every day, charge at work and then drive 300 miles back home?  Or even 150 miles to work, no charge at work and then 150 miles back home?

To put it another way, how many people buy a full tank of gas every single day?

For 99.9% of people they will drive anywhere from five to fifty miles to work and their car will only need a top up charge each night, not the full 24 hour charge.
 
2013-02-15 06:07:06 PM

Flint Ironstag: fredklein: Flint Ironstag: For them they drive the car, never stop at a gas station and the car magically has a full tank of "gas" every morning.

Not really-

Description
120V Your basic, standard wall outlet.
Charge time
Usually about 22-24 hours, depending on the car.

So, unless you have a dedicated 240 volt outlet (that only takes 7-8 hours!), you'll need a full day to charge.

From that link: "Charge times from empty"

How many people will travel 300 miles to work every day, charge at work and then drive 300 miles back home?  Or even 150 miles to work, no charge at work and then 150 miles back home?

To put it another way, how many people buy a full tank of gas every single day?

For 99.9% of people they will drive anywhere from five to fifty miles to work and their car will only need a top up charge each night, not the full 24 hour charge.



In addition to the fact that your car is most likely in your garage for 12 to 16 hours a day.
 
2013-02-15 06:37:09 PM
While know-nothing and trolling farkers pontificate as to why EV's won't work for Americans, Nissan announced this week the selling of their 50,000th Leaf, is rapidly spinning up a domestic manufacturing plant; Tesla still has waiting lines for new cars, and the range extending Chevy Volt has seen nearly two years of steadily increasing sales.As you guys whine, scream and moan about imagined failures, the world is already changing around you. Affordable, mass manufactured EV's are available in showrooms today, and American's are snatching them up by the tens of thousands.
 
2013-02-15 07:42:28 PM

chandler_vt: Please explain how Tesla S use 90kW to charge once! I am all ears (and eyes). I am interested in the car but if its taking that much electricity then screw it.


The "Supercharger" - a device you will never have in your typical home - can deliver up to 90kW. However it will charge just as easily (though more slowly) on much less power, so you can still plug it into a standard 110V outlet if that's all you have. Most people would have a "Level 2" charger installed in their house if possible, which will easily deliver 7-8kW if configured for it... about the same power draw as a large central AC system, electric clothes dryer, electric water heater, or two pads on an electric stove. Not the end of the world.

orbister: There is a need to recharge as fast as an IC car if you are going to do long drives. For short trips it's different, I agree.


I still peg that as a cultural issue more than a technical issue. I grant you it would be a convenience, but not a necessity. Take breaks, you should not be in that much of a hurry... being in a hurry is part of the cultural issue I'm talking about.

If I have to drive a significant distance (>200mi/day) then I rent a vehicle. It's not a significant cost ($10-$30 per day, plus fuel) and I can save the wear and tear on my own vehicle. Rental cars are pretty underrated all around, IMHO.
=Smidge=
 
2013-02-15 08:00:43 PM

MrSteve007: While know-nothing and trolling farkers pontificate as to why EV's won't work for Americans, Nissan announced this week the selling of their 50,000th Leaf, is rapidly spinning up a domestic manufacturing plant; Tesla still has waiting lines for new cars, and the range extending Chevy Volt has seen nearly two years of steadily increasing sales.As you guys whine, scream and moan about imagined failures, the world is already changing around you. Affordable, mass manufactured EV's are available in showrooms today, and American's are snatching them up by the tens of thousands.


True. Stating as fact that because a certain car can't do a certain range or tow a speedboat it is therefore "useless" is bizarre. Two seater cars are very limited for many uses but how many people buy two seater sports cars or trucks and manage that drawback willingly? The answer is literally millions. The fact that they have limitations does not in any way make them "useless". If it is not suitable for your specific needs, then don't buy one. But don't try to tell everyone else that it will not suit their needs!

This car is a five seater with 300 mile range and excellent performance which will be bought by people who will almost certainly have a second and third car in the house, possibly more.

If it comes to the UK I'd love one. 300 miles is half way across the whole of the country!
 
2013-02-15 08:12:14 PM

Prank Call of Cthulhu: And you have to spend an hour "refueling."


Disclaimer: I know nothing about cars.  I have no interest in cars.  I don't drive at all, ever.

Here's my question: How hard are the batteries in these to change?  Wouldn't it make more sense to have battery CHANGING stations, not battery CHARGING stations?

You know, pull in, pay some guy $20 to change the battery for a fresh one, and off you go.  The station can charge the batteries and put them in cars that come along later.

People would probably be more willing to change to electric cars if not for the recharge time.
 
2013-02-15 10:17:52 PM

if_i_really_have_to: Prank Call of Cthulhu: And you have to spend an hour "refueling."

Disclaimer: I know nothing about cars.  I have no interest in cars.  I don't drive at all, ever.

Here's my question: How hard are the batteries in these to change?  Wouldn't it make more sense to have battery CHANGING stations, not battery CHARGING stations?

You know, pull in, pay some guy $20 to change the battery for a fresh one, and off you go.  The station can charge the batteries and put them in cars that come along later.

People would probably be more willing to change to electric cars if not for the recharge time.


Put this in earlier, but look up Better Place battery swapping, especially their videos of their stations in action. They use tech developed for loading missiles onto planes, looks very cool.They've got chains in Israel and Denmark, great small markets for this type of thing, and are heavily backed by Renault. The technology is already in the field and working, it's just that building up the infrastructure in larger places like America will be so costly that it'd kill most startups before they began operating, so it has to be done cautiously. As it is, we'll see if Better Place pulls through in it's starting markets, but the technology is definitely workable.
 
2013-02-15 11:39:45 PM

Smidge204: dittybopper: I've thought that having an electric car that has a standard battery in place, and an optional bay available for either a fuel tank/generator combo or an additional battery would be the optimum.

We had this discussion - it was a silly idea then and it's a silly idea now. A trailer hitch accomplished exactly this and does not require a visit to a service station with specialized installation equipment, nor would it require anything vehicle-specific.
=Smidge=


Wait:  A series of cars that are 80 to 90% identical is a silly idea, but a farkin' trailer with a generator on it isn't?

*REALLY*?

I mean, not everyone is going to be adequately served by a pure BEV.  For those who aren't, being able to have an efficient hybrid instead of a BEV is a decent solution, and if you can leverage a common vehicle you get economies of scale that helps the BEV side of the equation.
 
2013-02-15 11:46:54 PM

if_i_really_have_to: Prank Call of Cthulhu: And you have to spend an hour "refueling."

Disclaimer: I know nothing about cars.  I have no interest in cars.  I don't drive at all, ever.

Here's my question: How hard are the batteries in these to change?  Wouldn't it make more sense to have battery CHANGING stations, not battery CHARGING stations?

You know, pull in, pay some guy $20 to change the battery for a fresh one, and off you go.  The station can charge the batteries and put them in cars that come along later.

People would probably be more willing to change to electric cars if not for the recharge time.


I don't know much about electric cars (I own a regular hybrid) but that's a great idea but someone mentioned earlier that the size of these batteries is the biggest issue. You will need a big inventory and charging stations to charge that many batteries (to accommodate decent number of users). Its certainly an idea car manufacturers can explore to reduce battery size. I am assuming if the range is reduced 150 miles and battery is made smaller to make your suggestion feasible then there might be more takers.
 
2013-02-16 12:04:57 AM

Smidge204: We had this discussion -


Yes, we did, and reading back on it, you made some seriously silly assumptions, like all the manufacturers would standardize to a single batterie so everyone would be honky-dory with battery swaps, but a generator pack built by a single manufacturer for a single vehicle is a silly idea because the same genpack wouldn't be appropriate for both an SUV or a compact car.

It's like you were thinking you had to swap out the genpack every time it ran out of gas or something.

This is especially silly:
But now you're throwing out even MORE numbers. $500? $1,000? A new (rebuilt) engine alone will run you over $3,000. Presumably this "module" would also contain all the appurtenances system will need (cooling systems, etc) ... I'd say $8,000 is a better estimate for the swap.

First, the engine would be smaller and cheaper than a conventional car engine:  It only has to have enough power to keep the car cruising at highway speeds, and you'd rely on charge from the battery for acceleration.  That means a significant savings in size and cost over a convention engine, and it doesn't even necessarily have to be a piston engine.  Since it doesn't have to directly spin the wheels, torque isn't a problem, so you could have a very small, high RPM engine that is very efficient.

Second, if you're *SWAPPING* a battery out for the genpack, or vice versa, you're going to be getting some credit for the pack you are returning.   Perhaps $1000 was a bit optimistic, maybe it's double that, when you add in labor.  But that's still cheaper than buying a whole new car because your circumstances changed (either you have a longer commute and need the extra range of the genpack/battery equipped vehicle, or you got a job closer to home, and you want to swap the genpack for a battery).

In any case, I did say that most people wouldn't need to swap:
 Module swaps after purchase would be a rare thing: You'd pick the modules you want when you buy the car, and the dealer installs them (either Bat/Bat or Bat/Gen), and that's it for most people.

In other words, you'd get your choice of modules at purchase time (or even lack thereof, if you wanted the cheap shorter-range pure BEV with just the standard base battery).  Most people wouldn't swap after that, but you *COULD* if you need to.
 
2013-02-16 08:10:53 AM
Are you related to kitsuneymg? Cuz you sound an awful lot like kitsuneymg. (Just curious, no biggie)
 
2013-02-17 07:12:39 AM

dittybopper: It's like you were thinking you had to swap out the genpack every time it ran out of gas or something.


No, the impression is you'd have to swap in the genpack every time you felt that battery alone wasn't adequate for your needs. The assumption here is you would not want to be lugging around an ICE for the 99.9% of the time you use the vehicle, and would only burden yourself with gasoline when absolutely necessary and unburden yourself when the need has passed. Any other path is a recipe for regret.


dittybopper: First, the engine would be smaller and cheaper than a conventional car engine: It only has to have enough power to keep the car cruising at highway speeds, and you'd rely on charge from the battery for acceleration.


For highways speeds most vehicles use ~20kW (~25hp) so right off the cuff your "smaller, cheaper" engine module is already larger than the front end of your typical lawn tractor, which of course would not meet emissions standards without significant modification. Now add the smallish-watermelon-sized genset, cooling system and exhaust system. I can guarantee this "module" will be larger than the under-the-hood space of most sedan class vehicles. I don't think you appreciate how much integration is involved in automotive design.


dittybopper: But that's still cheaper than buying a whole new car because your circumstances changed (either you have a longer commute and need the extra range of the genpack/battery equipped vehicle, or you got a job closer to home, and you want to swap the genpack for a battery).


If you're leasing it would almost certainly be better to trade it in and get a new vehicle.

If you own outright and it's in decent shape, the trade-in value should be several thousand bucks. So you have a choice of either spending 7-8 grand on a new module for your old, worn, no-longer-warrantied, depreciated car or spending 10-15 grand on a whole new vehicle. This is not necessarily a no-brainer decision... most people would not opt to put a whole new engine or transmission in their ten-year-old Honda in lieu of just buying a new one.

So assuming, again, that you work out the technical difficulties of the "module" concept, you are basically going to develop a whole new style of vehicle for a niche of a niche market of people stupid enough to buy a new car that will not satisfy their needs a few years down the road, which are presumably foreseeable otherwise they would not even be considering the possibility of getting an "upgradable" vehicle in the first place.
=Smidge=
 
2013-02-17 01:45:16 PM

Smidge204: dittybopper: It's like you were thinking you had to swap out the genpack every time it ran out of gas or something.

No, the impression is you'd have to swap in the genpack every time you felt that battery alone wasn't adequate for your needs. The assumption here is you would not want to be lugging around an ICE for the 99.9% of the time you use the vehicle, and would only burden yourself with gasoline when absolutely necessary and unburden yourself when the need has passed. Any other path is a recipe for regret.


This is what I wrote:   Module swaps after purchase would be a rare thing: You'd pick the modules you want when you buy the car, and the dealer installs them (either Bat/Bat or Bat/Gen), and that's it for most people.

That's a direct quote.


dittybopper: First, the engine would be smaller and cheaper than a conventional car engine: It only has to have enough power to keep the car cruising at highway speeds, and you'd rely on charge from the battery for acceleration.

For highways speeds most vehicles use ~20kW (~25hp) so right off the cuff your "smaller, cheaper" engine module is already larger than the front end of your typical lawn tractor, which of course would not meet emissions standards without significant modification. Now add the smallish-watermelon-sized genset, cooling system and exhaust system. I can guarantee this "module" will be larger than the under-the-hood space of most sedan class vehicles. I don't think you appreciate how much integration is involved in automotive design.


This online tool seems to indicate that a relatively efficient car would consume about 11.4 KW to go 65 MPH.  You can get a generator rated at 12.5KW that weighs 360 lbs and it would fit under the hood of my Hyundai Accent with room to spare.

I'm not saying you'd use that same exact generator, just that it's possible to build something that would easily fit and be powerful enough while also being light enough.

dittybopper: But that's still cheaper than buying a whole new car because your circumstances changed (either you have a longer commute and need the extra range of the genpack/battery equipped vehicle, or you got a job closer to home, and you want to swap the genpack for a battery).

If you're leasing it would almost certainly be better to trade it in and get a new vehicle.

If you own outright and it's in decent shape, the trade-in value should be several thousand bucks. So you have a choice of either spending 7-8 grand on a new module for your old, worn, no-longer-warrantied, depreciated car or spending 10-15 grand on a whole new vehicle. This is not necessarily a no-brainer decision... most people woul ...


That generator I linked to cost less than $2,700 before the "discount".  You could build a generator module with emissions controls for under $4,000.  Probably, you could get the price point down to $3,000 if you were building them in bulk for a popular car model and for after-market use.

Personally, if I had a car that had, say, 50 or 60k miles and all of a sudden I had to drive a much further distance, I'd be very interested in paying ~$1K-$3K extra instead of

Conversely, if the situation changed the other way, I'd be interested in getting a $500 or $1000 check for trading in a genpack, or perhaps paying $500 to replace the genpack with the extra battery module.

Again, though, that would be the exception to the rule.

It would also make engine repairs dirt simple for the dealership, btw:  Person comes in with a bad generator module, instead of it having to spend a day or two in the shop, they just pull the bad module out, swap in a new one, and the consumer is on their way in an hour or two.  Bad generator module can be reconditioned and re-installed in the next vehicle that has a bad genpack.

Same thing for the extra battery version:  When that battery goes bad, either through normal use or manufacturing defect, it's a simple swap for the dealer.

Integration would be mostly at the software level.  You'd design 3 different modules, a ballast module that weighs the same as the genpack and batpack that is there for the base model short range BEV (50 miles at 80% charge) to preserve weight distribution.

To put in either the genpack or the batpack, you'd bolt it in place of the balllast, and connect them to both the main electrical bus of the car and a separate connection to the main electronics bus.  For the genpack, you'd have to additionally bolt an exhaust pipe under the car.  That's it.

The main computer of the car would recognize the presence of the respective modules and manage the car appropriately.  If it doesn't see a generator or battery pack, it bases range calculations based upon the standard base battery pack.  If it sees the generator pack, it gives you a display that also includes the amount of fuel in the tank (sensor is in the genpack), along with RPMs and fuel efficiency.  If it sees the extra battery pack instead, it adjusts the range reading accordingly.


A car that you could to that with would be a damned good intermediate step towards purely electrical vehicles, and it would allow pure BEVs to be much cheaper because of economies of scale.  I just don't see why you are so down on the idea.

It's like you've got a block against anything that isn't ideologically pure.  I've always maintained that pure BEVs have their place, but that they'll never be general purpose vehicles until the range and recharge times are brought more in line with what people are used to.  This would be a step towards that, because as battery technology got better and better, we could expect that fewer people would purchase generator modules when they buy their cars and would get the extra battery modules instead.

But because it's not what you want right *NOW*, you reject it out of hand.

I've got news for you:  This is a path towards what you want.  It gets people conditioned to driving electric cars, it allows time to beef up the electrical grid gradually.  It reduces dependence on fuels which cause pollution.  I just don't understand why you don't care for the idea, unless it's because you are so Procrustean in your outlook that nothing short of the perfect solution you envision is good enough.
 
2013-02-18 07:44:29 AM

dittybopper: This online tool seems to indicate that a relatively efficient car would consume about 11.4 KW to go 65 MPH. You can get a generator rated at 12.5KW that weighs 360 lbs and it would fit under the hood of my Hyundai Accent with room to spare.


That tool is useless unless you plug in real-world values. It seems you just left everything at their defaults... don't you think there's something fundamentally wrong with your approach?

And even if we accept your halfassed approach, that 12.5kW standalone generator isn't legal for use in an automotive nor is it designed to run in an enclosed space. You need extra bits if you want it up to snuff... I already discussed that.

dittybopper: But because it's not what you want right *NOW*, you reject it out of hand.


To reject something out of hand is to reject without cause or reason. I gave reasons. You systematically failed to address (or perhaps even recognize) those reasons adequately. And now you want to include a "ballast module" which will do absolutely nothing except add weight and cost to the vehicle?
=Smidge=
 
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