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(SeattlePI)   Tesla Model S drives through a puddle, nearly kills driver   (seattlepi.com) divider line 233
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22517 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Oct 2013 at 5:03 AM (49 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-03 10:16:10 AM

huntercr: For example, EMT's come to treat someone who appears to have been exposed to some spray from the batteries. Do you clean it off with water?


Of course you do. It's a water-soluble alkali.

It's worth remembering that Tesla uses lithium-ion batteries, which don't contain lithium metal. The batteries still store a lot of energy, and if they let go of that energy all at once you get a perfectly adequate fire. But it's not like throwing a chunk of cesium into a bathtub.

More info about lithium-ion battery safety
 
2013-10-03 10:18:01 AM

AngryDragon: My problem isn't with electric vehicles, it's with the lack of attention to fundamentals with this company. The Volt is already falling in price into the median cost and has the advantages of increasing battery range and a gas extender. I think Tesla investors are gonna get burned long term.


Bring it on. Competition is all good for us consumers.

You may be right that Tesla may not be able to go toe-to-toe against the big guys for long. But maybe they will. In the end their presence is a good thing because they drive competition.
 
2013-10-03 10:20:58 AM

Farking Canuck: Ker_Thwap: It's kind of amusing watching the green crowd white knighting for the ultra rich.

Congratz on having one of the dumbest comments in the thread.

The 'white knighting' is for a company that has put out an amazing product. It has nothing to do with 'the rich'. It has to do with the fact that Tesla's current model, while out of most of our price ranges, received the highest rating from Consumer Reports. And their next model is targeted at a price point that many of us will be able to afford and are looking forward to.

If we like Lamborghinis are we also 'white knighting for the rich' or is that ok because it burns a petroleum product?


You took my comment out of context, it's kind of a tacky thing to do.  If you just like the Tesla because it's sexy, that's one thing.  I think it's sexy too, just like an Audi R8.  I believe if you read my comment in it's entirety you'll find I'm gently mocking those who are being "greenwashed."
 
2013-10-03 10:28:33 AM

Boomstickz: Storing that much energy in that little space...doesn't matter what the fuel / power source is...why did this even make the news?


Because it's a new version of the accident.  The more usual situation is a punctured gas tank, not a punctured battery pack.

RobotSpider: Exactly. The problem isn't the vehicle, it's the stored energy. Whether it's liquid, gas, radioactive, or electro-chemical, whenever you unintentionally release ALL the energy, you get fire/explosion/radiation. Can't wait for dark-energy or matter/anti-matter power. Then when you hit that chunk of metal in the road you'll accidentally open a wormhole or something.


Which is why supercapacitors aren't a good idea for cars even if they could be made to work.  A breach liberates all the energy at once--you're going to have to make them awfully tough or a traffic jam could turn into a chain reaction explosion.  (Just compare the energy in your gas tank vs bombs the Air Force drops--your tank is the equivalent of a pretty big one.  A gas tank can't explode because there's not enough oxygen, it just makes a nasty fire that liberates the energy over time.  A supercapacitor has no such rate limit.)

flondrix: A series hybrid with a motor and "smart" drive for each wheel, no mechanical connection between the IC engine and the wheels, should be able to climb over obstacles almost as if it were a four-footed animal. You could stop and start on any slope that you could climb in the first place. Maximum torque at zero RPM.

I would still want an IC engine running a generator for any off-road electric vehicle, though. The marvelous ranges they claim for some electric cars are on level ground--once you start climbing hills, the range is going to be a lot shorter. Even if you can get a lot of that energy back on the way back down, it limits how far you can go in the first place.


Yeah.  I think we have a good model in trains--fuel provides the power but the drive is electric.  The presence of the battery pack allows going even farther--there's no need for it to be an IC engine.  There are other engines that are more efficient but their throttle control is too slow.  If you can make up for that slow throttle control by drawing from a battery for a bit--100mpg wouldn't surprise me.
 
2013-10-03 10:30:40 AM

Ker_Thwap: Farking Canuck: Ker_Thwap: It's kind of amusing watching the green crowd white knighting for the ultra rich.

Congratz on having one of the dumbest comments in the thread.

The 'white knighting' is for a company that has put out an amazing product. It has nothing to do with 'the rich'. It has to do with the fact that Tesla's current model, while out of most of our price ranges, received the highest rating from Consumer Reports. And their next model is targeted at a price point that many of us will be able to afford and are looking forward to.

If we like Lamborghinis are we also 'white knighting for the rich' or is that ok because it burns a petroleum product?

You took my comment out of context, it's kind of a tacky thing to do.  If you just like the Tesla because it's sexy, that's one thing.  I think it's sexy too, just like an Audi R8.  I believe if you read my comment in it's entirety you'll find I'm gently mocking those who are being "greenwashed."


Then you probably should have picked somebody to quote that was actually doing that. All I've done here is point out all car types catch fire and that the Tesla is a luxury car most people will never afford (and picked comparable Merc and BMW models for the Model S).
 
2013-10-03 10:33:06 AM

AngryDragon: Can someone explain to me why the Tesla has such rabid followers and the Volt and Leaf are such political hot potatoes?


The Tesla began with an awesome sports car, based on the Lotus.  They really knew how to play to the geeks-who-made-it-big-in-IT-and-are-now-having-their-midlife-crises demographic.  The more practical car they followed it with is, by all accounts, pretty nice too.  The Leaf is much less sexy, but I haven't hear anything bad about it from anyone who has actually owned one.  The Volt was...typical GM.  They took something that could have been cool and screwed it up.  A plug-in hybrid should be a "series" hybrid, a functional electric car with a minimal, optomized IC engine turning a generator and nothing else.  Instead they made it a parallel hybrid like everyone else, and so you have what was supposed to be an "electric" car hauling around a transmission, differential, complicated clutch. etc. everywhere it goes in addition to an engine and a generator.  It could have been just an electric car with a tiny engine and generator replacing part of the battery weight.
 
2013-10-03 10:34:50 AM
I was responding to the guy/girl who  didn't understand the hate for Tesla.  You were also part of the conversation apparently.
 
2013-10-03 10:35:03 AM

mjones73: Which would you rather drive...


The Leaf is cute, except for the diseased headlights.
 
2013-10-03 10:36:57 AM

AngryDragon: CPennypacker: I don't understand hate for Tesla. They are American, their cars are well made, function well and are beautiful. Whats the problem?

They cost 50% more than the median annual income of a family of 4?


So do a lot of high end cars.
 
2013-10-03 10:40:54 AM

flondrix: AngryDragon: Can someone explain to me why the Tesla has such rabid followers and the Volt and Leaf are such political hot potatoes?

The Tesla began with an awesome sports car, based on the Lotus.  They really knew how to play to the geeks-who-made-it-big-in-IT-and-are-now-having-their-midlife-crises demographic.  The more practical car they followed it with is, by all accounts, pretty nice too.  The Leaf is much less sexy, but I haven't hear anything bad about it from anyone who has actually owned one.  The Volt was...typical GM.  They took something that could have been cool and screwed it up.  A plug-in hybrid should be a "series" hybrid, a functional electric car with a minimal, optomized IC engine turning a generator and nothing else.  Instead they made it a parallel hybrid like everyone else, and so you have what was supposed to be an "electric" car hauling around a transmission, differential, complicated clutch. etc. everywhere it goes in addition to an engine and a generator.  It could have been just an electric car with a tiny engine and generator replacing part of the battery weight.


That is not true.  The Volt is a series hybrid under almost all circumstances.  Only when going at very high speed, >70 mph, or under extremely heavy load does the gas engine kick in.  Results like this would be impossible otherwise:

Voltstats.net
 
2013-10-03 10:42:40 AM

TheBigJerk: Electric's limitations are torque


Yeah, notsomuch.
 
2013-10-03 10:43:11 AM

AngryDragon: nothing particularly revolutionary about the individual facets of the Tesla


There's nothing particularly revolutionary about anything on a BMW or Mercedes ICE car, they don't seem to be doing too bad. In fact, fundamentally, they're using technology that's older than the technology in the light bulb above my head right now.

Yet they continue to thrive.

AngryDragon: The Volt...


... is not a Tesla S competitor. Would you argue that BMW's fundamentals are flawed because Ford offers cheaper vehicles?
 
2013-10-03 10:43:19 AM

Ker_Thwap: 12 people stuffed into a leaky van will outgreen 12 Smartcars any day.


If you actually haul those 12 people on a regular basis, definitely.  If your typical daily commute is just you, then a small electric would be less wasteful.
 
2013-10-03 10:47:06 AM
Hybrids will never succeed in the long run because they are tied to internal combustion.  Having two systems is really really stupid, it adds a ton of weight and doubles your repair costs.  Much better to do as Tesla has done and focus on a full electric that gets rid of the gas motor entirely.  Rental companies will be falling all over themselves to buy Tesla's next generation of cheaper electric, they'll save a fortune on repairs alone.
 
Ant
2013-10-03 10:48:26 AM
What the fark is it with highway 167 and large metallic objects flying loose? My car was hit by one of those on that freeway too. It cracked the underside of my bumper cover.
 
2013-10-03 10:50:45 AM
My very first instinct upon seeing the headline was to check if it was on the front page of the Drudge Report (yes, it was.)

I've always wondered if that dude had a hang-up about electric cars because of some conservative principle, or if it's something more personal, like his date pouring a Sprite in his crotch while watching GATTACA.
 
2013-10-03 10:54:34 AM

AngryDragon: That is not true. The Volt is a series hybrid under almost all circumstances. Only when going at very high speed, >70 mph, or under extremely heavy load does the gas engine kick in. Results like this would be impossible otherwise:


Is there a mechanical connection between the engine and the wheels at some speed, or not?  I was told that there is.  If so, that would mean you have to have a transmission et al., and you will be hauling that transmission around all the time even if you only use it a small part of the time.
 
2013-10-03 10:55:43 AM

flondrix: Ker_Thwap: 12 people stuffed into a leaky van will outgreen 12 Smartcars any day.

If you actually haul those 12 people on a regular basis, definitely.  If your typical daily commute is just you, then a small electric would be less wasteful.


Agreed.  Unless you live in my town.  Where I see routinely see small electric/hybrids sitting in the driveways of 5 bedroom seasonal homes, right next to the SUV.  I think the hybrids are just to be seen at the local Co-op grocery, and the SUV is for the daily commute.  But I could be wrong.
 
2013-10-03 10:57:36 AM

RobotSpider: Night Night Cream Puff: You know who else we should be raising our arms up against for potential car fires. Jaguar! They nearly killed Dick Van Dyke!

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50153317n

Cars of all sorts can catch fire. Your bias is quite apparent subby.

Exactly.  The problem isn't the vehicle, it's the stored energy. Whether it's liquid, gas, radioactive, or electro-chemical, whenever you unintentionally release ALL the energy, you get fire/explosion/radiation.  Can't wait for dark-energy or matter/anti-matter power. Then when you hit that chunk of metal in the road you'll accidentally open a wormhole or something.


Thank you. This gave me a helluva laugh. "Yeah, we blew up half of San Francisco, but hey, we have clean energy vehicles!"
 
2013-10-03 10:58:26 AM
Alternate Headline: Safest car in America warns driver of impending fire after malfunction caused by debris collision.
 
2013-10-03 10:59:44 AM

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: Hybrids will never succeed in the long run because they are tied to internal combustion. Having two systems is really really stupid, it adds a ton of weight and doubles your repair costs.


It works for locomotives, some earth movers, and the military is excited about the idea for a new generation of combat vehicles.  But you may be right that for an econobox commuter car, it is cheaper to leave the ultimate power source at home and just run on batteries.  But for long trips away from power outlets, batteries are still a long ways away from being able to compete with tanks full of flammable liquid for energy storage density.  I would not be surprised if off-road and service vehicles went hybrid, though.
 
2013-10-03 11:00:48 AM

flondrix: AngryDragon: That is not true. The Volt is a series hybrid under almost all circumstances. Only when going at very high speed, >70 mph, or under extremely heavy load does the gas engine kick in. Results like this would be impossible otherwise:

Is there a mechanical connection between the engine and the wheels at some speed, or not?  I was told that there is.  If so, that would mean you have to have a transmission et al., and you will be hauling that transmission around all the time even if you only use it a small part of the time.


It connects via a planetary gear.

Chevy Volt
 
2013-10-03 11:04:25 AM

Loren: Which is why supercapacitors aren't a good idea for cars even if they could be made to work.  A breach liberates all the energy at once--you're going to have to make them awfully tough or a traffic jam could turn into a chain reaction explosion.  (Just compare the energy in your gas tank vs bombs the Air Force drops--your tank is the equivalent of a pretty big one.  A gas tank can't explode because there's not enough oxygen, it just makes a nasty fire that liberates the energy over time.  A supercapacitor has no such rate limit.)


I'm pretty sure this isn't the case. Supercapacitors have an inherent "internal resistance" that limits the rate of discharge, and it's distributed throughout the energy-storage structure -- even if you drive a silver nail straight through it, the capacitor won't release all its energy in a detonation. Worst-case, it'll "pop" (puff out its insides) like a kernel of popcorn, only less energetically, and with virtually no risk of a "chain reaction" to even other supercaps in the same vehicle, never mind other vehicles.

There are capacitors designed to dump all their energy in a very short pulse. That's what folks use for can-crushers, coin-shrinkers, and the like. They charge to a very high voltage, and have very low internal resistance (and inductance). Supercaps are the opposite -- low-voltage, high ESR (effective series resistance), but lots and lots of farads. That's what you need to run a motor or reclaim energy from regenerative braking.

If only we could get the energy density a bit higher.
 
2013-10-03 11:06:19 AM

Ker_Thwap: Agreed. Unless you live in my town. Where I see routinely see small electric/hybrids sitting in the driveways of 5 bedroom seasonal homes, right next to the SUV. I think the hybrids are just to be seen at the local Co-op grocery, and the SUV is for the daily commute. But I could be wrong.


The other way around would make so much more sense.  BTW, some city buses are going hybrid, too.  Electric motors and batteries are better than IC engines for anything that has to start and stop repeatedly; at some point, it makes sense to replace a portion of the batteries with an optimized IC engine and generator.  That is how hybrids should be designed, rather that tacking a motor and batteries onto a fundamentally unchanged gasoline car.
 
2013-10-03 11:15:16 AM

CtrlAltDestroy: It connects via a planetary gear.


Which means that the gasoline engine has to be designed around the needs of mechanically propelling a car, though thankfully over only part of the car's speed range.  In also means you have complicated gearing.  In a true series hybrid, the engine is tweaked and optimized to turn a generator and do nothing else.  It can be directly coupled to the generator, which is similarly designed to work with the engine.  No transmission, no gear shift.  Then, motors can turn the wheels, and all of that spiffy all-wheel-drive stuff that modern cars do can be handled by electronics rather than complicated mechanical differentials.
 
2013-10-03 11:19:01 AM

flondrix: Ker_Thwap: Agreed. Unless you live in my town. Where I see routinely see small electric/hybrids sitting in the driveways of 5 bedroom seasonal homes, right next to the SUV. I think the hybrids are just to be seen at the local Co-op grocery, and the SUV is for the daily commute. But I could be wrong.

The other way around would make so much more sense.  BTW, some city buses are going hybrid, too.  Electric motors and batteries are better than IC engines for anything that has to start and stop repeatedly; at some point, it makes sense to replace a portion of the batteries with an optimized IC engine and generator.  That is how hybrids should be designed, rather that tacking a motor and batteries onto a fundamentally unchanged gasoline car.


Now this would make so much more sense to me, if we actually heard about the company that's making city buses more efficient than we do about freaking playboy Musk with his ornamental driveway candy for the rich.

I don't really hate the rich, I just hate seeing someone held up as a hero because they make a grossly ungreen product slightly more palatable without addressing the actual stupidity of the product to start with.  To  use hyperbole, it's like calling yourself an eco warrior because your personal jetpack gets an extra mile per gallon of puppy juice.
 
2013-10-03 11:26:15 AM

sonofslacker: King Something: ...wreckED 'im.

/I'm not sure if I've had too much booze or not enough
//either way, I haven't got the correct amount of vodak in my system

I'm guessing you moving toward 'too much'. You can type mostly coherent sentences but seem to be drinking 'vodak' instead of vodka.


educate yourself, n00b
 
2013-10-03 11:30:33 AM

flondrix: Is there a mechanical connection between the engine and the wheels at some speed, or not?  I was told that there is.  If so, that would mean you have to have a transmission et al., and you will be hauling that transmission around all the time even if you only use it a small part of the time.


Yes to your question. No to your conclusion.

The volt did not add a "transmission et al." to gain the ability to transfer mechanical power from the generator. They use a planetary gear for the main drive (single gear ration) and made the outer gear ring able to be driven by the generator motor or the gas motor". So all they really added was three clutches so that the power sources can be changed on the fly to maintain highest efficiency.

This is a far cry from adding a transmission ... in fact it was done instead of adding a simple two-position gearbox. It was a relatively simple way to extend the parts that were already there to gain 'high speed' modes that were more efficient than the single gear electric drive in the base design.
 
2013-10-03 11:31:32 AM

AngryDragon: flondrix: AngryDragon: Can someone explain to me why the Tesla has such rabid followers and the Volt and Leaf are such political hot potatoes?

The Tesla began with an awesome sports car, based on the Lotus.  They really knew how to play to the geeks-who-made-it-big-in-IT-and-are-now-having-their-midlife-crises demographic.  The more practical car they followed it with is, by all accounts, pretty nice too.  The Leaf is much less sexy, but I haven't hear anything bad about it from anyone who has actually owned one.  The Volt was...typical GM.  They took something that could have been cool and screwed it up.  A plug-in hybrid should be a "series" hybrid, a functional electric car with a minimal, optomized IC engine turning a generator and nothing else.  Instead they made it a parallel hybrid like everyone else, and so you have what was supposed to be an "electric" car hauling around a transmission, differential, complicated clutch. etc. everywhere it goes in addition to an engine and a generator.  It could have been just an electric car with a tiny engine and generator replacing part of the battery weight.

That is not true.  The Volt is a series hybrid under almost all circumstances.  Only when going at very high speed, >70 mph, or under extremely heavy load does the gas engine kick in.  Results like this would be impossible otherwise:

Voltstats.net


It is true that the Volt carries and IC drivetrain. That's the inefficient part. They would be on to something with an IC motor that was only connected to a generator, and its only purpose is to charge the batteries. If you get through your day with enough power, that motor doesn't need to run, and you can recharge with a plug. But no, they'd rather haul around a mechanical drivetrain that allows variable gear ratios to deal with the crappy torque curve that IC engines have to deal with.

The hybrid approach of the last decade is to use electric power to aid in acceleration (which flattens out power spikes so they don't use as much gas) and low-speed cruising. That's a fine approach, but the next move seems to be all-electric propulsion, with the charge coming either from batteries alone, or from a small motor that's recharging the batteries, or a combination. A generator can be much more efficient than an auto engine because it can be designed optimally for one tight RPM range (no worries about a torque curve).

flondrix: Ker_Thwap: 12 people stuffed into a leaky van will outgreen 12 Smartcars any day.

If you actually haul those 12 people on a regular basis, definitely.  If your typical daily commute is just you, then a small electric would be less wasteful.


Ker_Thwap was suggesting that the real solution is not micro-transit of trying to figure out how to move one person around with a 4000 lb vehicle and 20 lbs of groceries, but how to move around a groups of people who would all be traveling on the same road at the same time anyway. I think there's some cool stuff coming along in this direction in the future.
 
2013-10-03 11:31:36 AM

Ker_Thwap: flondrix: Ker_Thwap: Agreed. Unless you live in my town. Where I see routinely see small electric/hybrids sitting in the driveways of 5 bedroom seasonal homes, right next to the SUV. I think the hybrids are just to be seen at the local Co-op grocery, and the SUV is for the daily commute. But I could be wrong.

The other way around would make so much more sense.  BTW, some city buses are going hybrid, too.  Electric motors and batteries are better than IC engines for anything that has to start and stop repeatedly; at some point, it makes sense to replace a portion of the batteries with an optimized IC engine and generator.  That is how hybrids should be designed, rather that tacking a motor and batteries onto a fundamentally unchanged gasoline car.

Now this would make so much more sense to me, if we actually heard about the company that's making city buses more efficient than we do about freaking playboy Musk with his ornamental driveway candy for the rich.

I don't really hate the rich, I just hate seeing someone held up as a hero because they make a grossly ungreen product slightly more palatable without addressing the actual stupidity of the product to start with.  To  use hyperbole, it's like calling yourself an eco warrior because your personal jetpack gets an extra mile per gallon of puppy juice.


It's been addressed in this thread already, but technology has to start somewhere and it's going to be expensive at first.  Tesla started in the luxury/sports car market because that's where they could realize a return on expensive technology with small numbers.  As the research/investment costs decrease and the ability to take advantage of larger production scales increase, less luxurious and more affordable options can be made available.  This is why (some) people, myself included, are excited about the company.  That is, aside from the awesome engineering that's in the current generation Teslas.
 
2013-10-03 11:37:28 AM

flondrix: Which means that the gasoline engine has to be designed around the needs of mechanically propelling a car, though thankfully over only part of the car's speed range. In also means you have complicated gearing.


It does not. You keep making incorrect assumptions. The ICE drives the outer planetary ring in the same way it drives the generator.

There is no additional gearing or "complicated gearing" ... there was simply some clutches added to set outer planetary gear: is it held fast, is it driven by the generator or or is it driven by the ICE.
 
2013-10-03 11:39:10 AM

AngryDragon: Can someone explain to me why the Tesla has such rabid followers and the Volt and Leaf are such political hot potatoes?


Because of the emotional loading of the Derp.

/btw, this one, I told ya so long ago
//just wait until the fools relearn the lessons on steam
 
2013-10-03 11:45:42 AM

mjones73: AngryDragon: Can someone explain to me why the Tesla has such rabid followers and the Volt and Leaf are such political hot potatoes?

Tesla built something that's electric and actually looks nice to drive, the Volt and Lead, not so much...

Which would you rather drive...
[sites.psu.edu image 850x566] [media.wbur.org image 850x519] [stwot.motortrend.com image 850x531]



hmm well, seeing how the starting price after federal tax credits compares:

Tesla:    $62,400   (Electric)
Volt:       $27,500   (Plug-in Hybrid)
Leaf:      $21,300   (Electric)

It's not so much about how it looks and drives as it is about the price for most customers, with the Tesla being 3x more expensive than the Leaf. That being said, take an EV/Hybrid version of a normally gas-powered car (Focus, Golf, Fit, etc) and odds are you'll get something that looks and drives like a regular car without being priced into the luxury car segment.

Golf       $---------   (Electric)
Focus    $27,700   (Electric)
Smart     $18,300   (Electric)
Prius      $29,500   (Plug-in Hybrid)
FitEV
500e
/getting lazy

That's the way to go in my opinion, we've finally passed the ugly-futuristic electric car concept and are starting to get attractive, regular versions while simultaneously seeing a price war that's dropping the stickers thousands of dollars, making EVs an affordable reality.
 
2013-10-03 11:50:08 AM

waterrockets: It is true that the Volt carries and IC drivetrain. That's the inefficient part. They would be on to something with an IC motor that was only connected to a generator, and its only purpose is to charge the batteries. If you get through your day with enough power, that motor doesn't need to run, and you can recharge with a plug. But no, they'd rather haul around a mechanical drivetrain that allows variable gear ratios to deal with the crappy torque curve that IC engines have to deal with.


The bolded parts are misleading and incorrect (respectively).

The mechanical connection between the generator and the outer ring of the planetary gear was already in the design to provide "high speed mode". This is a fixed gear ratio with a clutch so it can be engaged or disengaged on the fly.

Similarly, the mechanical connection between the ICE and the generator was already in place to provide "extended range mode". Again, a fixed gear ratio with a clutch so it can be engaged or disengaged on the fly.

By engaging both at the same time you get "high speed, extended range mode" where the outer ring of the planetary gear is driven by the ICE. No extra "mechanical drivetrain" or any other parts were needed to allow this mode. It just happens when both clutches are engaged (and the clutch that locks the outer ring of the planetary gear is disengaged of course).

All of these assumptions about added complexity and extra transmissions are wrong. Once "high speed mode" was added to the design (to gain efficiency at highway speeds) the rest came for free.
 
2013-10-03 11:55:31 AM

Farking Canuck: flondrix: Which means that the gasoline engine has to be designed around the needs of mechanically propelling a car, though thankfully over only part of the car's speed range. In also means you have complicated gearing.

It does not. You keep making incorrect assumptions. The ICE drives the outer planetary ring in the same way it drives the generator.

There is no additional gearing or "complicated gearing" ... there was simply some clutches added to set outer planetary gear: is it held fast, is it driven by the generator or or is it driven by the ICE.


Besides, not sure how much more "complicated" you get after a planetary gear set.

/op has never taken apart an automatic transaxle, I bet
 
2013-10-03 11:57:26 AM

Farking Canuck: waterrockets: It is true that the Volt carries and IC drivetrain. That's the inefficient part. They would be on to something with an IC motor that was only connected to a generator, and its only purpose is to charge the batteries. If you get through your day with enough power, that motor doesn't need to run, and you can recharge with a plug. But no, they'd rather haul around a mechanical drivetrain that allows variable gear ratios to deal with the crappy torque curve that IC engines have to deal with.

The bolded parts are misleading and incorrect (respectively).

The mechanical connection between the generator and the outer ring of the planetary gear was already in the design to provide "high speed mode". This is a fixed gear ratio with a clutch so it can be engaged or disengaged on the fly.

Similarly, the mechanical connection between the ICE and the generator was already in place to provide "extended range mode". Again, a fixed gear ratio with a clutch so it can be engaged or disengaged on the fly.

By engaging both at the same time you get "high speed, extended range mode" where the outer ring of the planetary gear is driven by the ICE. No extra "mechanical drivetrain" or any other parts were needed to allow this mode. It just happens when both clutches are engaged (and the clutch that locks the outer ring of the planetary gear is disengaged of course).

All of these assumptions about added complexity and extra transmissions are wrong. Once "high speed mode" was added to the design (to gain efficiency at highway speeds) the rest came for free.


Ok, thanks for the explanation. I read a couple articles and they failed to convey that design.

I still wonder why/how it is more efficient to run it that way than to go with the freight train engine configuration, where the IC engine doesn't touch the drivetrain. It seems to me that to go higher speeds requires more energy, so the IC generator would just use more gas to keep up. Why is it better to connect it directly to the drivetrain?
 
2013-10-03 11:58:48 AM

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: Rental companies will be falling all over themselves to buy Tesla's next generation of cheaper electric, they'll save a fortune on repairs alone.


Sure:  instead of repairing the car after a collision, they can just let it burn and sweep up the remains with a dustpan.
 
2013-10-03 12:00:38 PM
because other cars never catch fire?
 
2013-10-03 12:01:25 PM

The_Philosopher_King: I just think it is proof that Tesla is going after the Lamborghini market segment.

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Pics hot it more ways than one.


Did you know Lamborghini makes tractors, too?

img2u.info
 
2013-10-03 12:01:33 PM

Xcott: Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: Rental companies will be falling all over themselves to buy Tesla's next generation of cheaper electric, they'll save a fortune on repairs alone.

Sure:  instead of repairing the car after a collision, they can just let it burn and sweep up the remains with a dustpan.


Rental companies won't care so long as it reduces their repair costs 50% or more.  Electric drive trains just don't break down, not at anything close to internal combustion engines.  That's one of the main reasons the big automakers hate them, they make bank on the service side of the game.
 
2013-10-03 12:01:44 PM
I would imagine adding some sort of automatic fire suppression system might make sense if they are unable to make the batteries sturdier.
 
2013-10-03 12:06:59 PM

nocturnal001: I would imagine adding some sort of automatic fire suppression system might make sense if they are unable to make the batteries sturdier.


ACK! Weight!

Good luck with that and trying to make the EPA's MPG guidelines.
 
2013-10-03 12:10:45 PM
Well that settles it.  Time to kill this whole God forsaken experiment and focus on the old reliable cars we've been using.  Those things never have problems.
 
2013-10-03 12:13:25 PM

waterrockets: Ok, thanks for the explanation. I read a couple articles and they failed to convey that design.

I still wonder why/how it is more efficient to run it that way than to go with the freight train engine configuration, where the IC engine doesn't touch the drivetrain. It seems to me that to go higher speeds requires more energy, so the IC generator would just use more gas to keep up. Why is it better to connect it directly to the drivetrain?


The "high speed mode" was the one that added complication to the design; which is too bad. But I guess running an electric drive on a single gear ratio from 0 to 100 mph got too inefficient at highway cruising speeds.

So they freed up the outer ring of the planetary gear to allow it to be driven, added a clutch which either locks it into place or allows it to spin, and connected the generator to the planetary through a second clutch.

Not a lot of additions but not zero either. It was decided that this was simpler than adding a two speed gearbox on the main drive so that gives you an idea how much complication it added.

Like I said above, once these additions were in place, the ability to drive the outer ring of the planetary gear from the ICE came for free (as it was already connected to the generator through a clutch).
 
2013-10-03 12:16:42 PM

Peki: nocturnal001: I would imagine adding some sort of automatic fire suppression system might make sense if they are unable to make the batteries sturdier.

ACK! Weight!

Good luck with that and trying to make the EPA's MPG guidelines.


Must be some way to minimize the weight.  A small regular fire extinguisher only weighs a few pounds.  For the price of a Tesla S I'm sure some sort of high tech solution is out there.
 
2013-10-03 12:18:43 PM

LoneCraneFullMoon: Well that settles it.  Time to kill this whole God forsaken experiment and focus on the old reliable cars we've been using.  Those things never have problems.


There is a reason your mechanic drives old POS cars. Just sayin'.

/was a car snob, thought anything older than 3 years was crap. Got her mechanic's degree, won't buy anything newer than a '94.
 
2013-10-03 12:20:16 PM

waterrockets: If you get through your day with enough power, that motor doesn't need to run, and you can recharge with a plug.


This is exactly how the Volt works.  I've driven one.
 
2013-10-03 12:22:29 PM

Kuroshin: Still thinking of buying an electric motorcycle, once the price becomes sane.


They'll come down once the development costs for the "loud-ass pipe emulator" have been amortized...
 
2013-10-03 12:35:35 PM

farkerts: because other cars never catch fire?


Came here to say this. Cars burst into flames all the time. Especially if you collide with them.
 
2013-10-03 12:39:23 PM
All this, and no mention yet of the MDI Autos AirCar, the one with a fuel source that won't result in car fires?
 
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