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(CNN)   The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has decided that there's no reason whatsoever to investigate the complete immolation of a Tesla Model S after it hit some road debris   (money.cnn.com) divider line 164
    More: Obvious, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Model S, no reason, spray, flammable liquids, CEO Elon Musk, investigation  
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5408 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Oct 2013 at 11:39 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-25 01:05:08 PM  
Could be worse
g-ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2013-10-25 01:11:22 PM  

jshine: Corvus: I always don't understand the hate for new technology. People just want to attack things because they are afraid of change.

I don't know, but I think some people see the fawning, completely uncritical adoration for a company or technology (think Apple fanboys) and react with visceral disgust.  I can see some of both sides of that coin with regards to Tesla.

Personally, it seems like a neat idea, but I've got a few issues that would prevent me from buying one as-is:

1) they're very expensive
2) if you ran out of "fuel" in an awkward location (yes, yes, this should never happen, I know), there is no way to bring fuel to the car; you'd have to tow it to an outlet
3) I would want to see empirical reliability data on the batteries in extreme cold.  Living in Minnesota, gasoline cars often *barely* start when it's -20 F outside, and battery performance is strongly dependent on temperature.


My great-great-grandfather made almost the same arguments about switching from horse-powered vehicles to the newfangled horseless carriage.

The future - she's a comin' round the mountain whether we like it or not.
 
2013-10-25 01:13:49 PM  

Earl of Chives: My great-great-grandfather made almost the same arguments about switching from horse-powered vehicles to the newfangled horseless carriage.

The future - she's a comin' round the mountain whether we like it or not.


Wow, you must be very old.  I never had the opportunity to talk to my great-great-grandfather...

/ also, bear in mind that none of the 3 points I raised are physically impossible to address -- they're just engineering and manufacturing challenges that haven't been addressed yet
 
2013-10-25 01:14:15 PM  

mdeesnuts: anfrind: If all human progress were the result of privately funded research, we'd still be sitting in caves trying to decide if rocks are edible.

I'm all for government funded research, but that is one of the dumbest things I've read all week.


I was trying to explain in terms simple enough that a Libertarian could understand.
 
2013-10-25 01:16:57 PM  

libranoelrose: I'll never understand the hate, I guess


It's mostly from conservatives who have been conditioned to hate anything that deprives Big Oil of record profits. Same for Big Coal. Hence, their irrational loathing of compact fluorescents and wind and solar energy.
 
2013-10-25 01:20:42 PM  

a particular individual: libranoelrose: I'll never understand the hate, I guess

It's mostly from conservatives who have been conditioned to hate anything that deprives Big Oil of record profits. Same for Big Coal. Hence, their irrational loathing of compact fluorescents and wind and solar energy.


I don't consider myself a conservative (voted for Obama), but I'm not a huge fan of compact fluorescents.  Their spectrum is a mess since it's not a blackbody.  Invariably colors look "off" -- not to mention the problems with dimming and cold weather performance (since mercury's vapor pressure is an exponential function of temperature).
 
2013-10-25 01:22:30 PM  

steve42: I'm all in favor of the investigation of "alternative, less damaging ways to generate energy."  I simply believe that if there is to be a viable alternative to petroleum-based power of any sort, it will come from a free-market implementation of technology developed by privately funded research.  The government throwing money down the rat-hole of research into solar, wind, and other green power options is not going to do it.  If someone comes up with a viable and sustainable solution, there are entrepreneurs and investors who will beat their door down to get involved.


This has to be a Poe's Law troll.  Typed without apparent sarcasm at a computer made of microchips (nursed through their first decade of life by government use in missile avionics)... transmitted over the Internet (we all know how IT started)... and sent to a country settled by railroads that were government-subsidized to the tune of mile of land on either side of the tracks granted to the shaky early railroads.    Either you're a troll or you know nothing of the history of science and technology.

Great ideas often do come out of individual garages and workshops.  Great products often do come out of large, well-run corporations.  But in between, there's a long and chancy childhood where there's every reason for society, through the mechanism of representative government, to bet on winners and losers in support of an overall goal.  The goal of silent no-tailpipe vehicles that eventually will run on renewable energy is one such, and it looks like we're making steady progress toward it.
 
2013-10-25 01:23:25 PM  

jshine: tricycleracer: Squawky: jshine: Corvus: I always don't understand the hate for new technology. People just want to attack things because they are afraid of change.
.
2) if you ran out of "fuel" in an awkward location (yes, yes, this should never happen, I know), there is no way to bring fuel to the car; you'd have to tow it to an outlet
.
"Hello, Triple-A?" I need a battery swap on I70.. "

Barring that, generators would become standard equipment on tow trucks.  At 240V, you can get about a half-mile a minute into the battery.


Yes, that'd be a much better idea than a swap, I'd think.


you wouldn't have to tow it to an outlet, just tow it while holding the (regenerative) brake pedal, it will proceed to charge itself ..

/don't really know
 
2013-10-25 01:24:00 PM  

a particular individual: libranoelrose: I'll never understand the hate, I guess

It's mostly from conservatives who have been conditioned to hate anything that deprives Big Oil of record profits. Same for Big Coal. Hence, their irrational loathing of compact fluorescents and wind and solar energy.


Is it possible that some people don't like electric cars for reasons other than American politics?  How about that internal combustion-engined vehicles are my hobby?  That I considered myself an adult the time I smelled like used 10w30 after coming home from my first real job? 
Is it possible that in our North American car culture, we've become emotionally invested in our cars? 

The people who love Teslas strike me as the type of person who sees cars as appliances.  That's fine, but I don't think your opinion is enough to direct the future of a product you seem to be apathetic towards.
 
2013-10-25 01:24:06 PM  
I guess subby's definition of completely immolated is very liberal.
 
2013-10-25 01:24:11 PM  

steve42: I'm all in favor of the investigation of "alternative, less damaging ways to generate energy."  I simply believe that if there is to be a viable alternative to petroleum-based power of any sort, it will come from a free-market implementation of technology developed by privately funded research.  The government throwing money down the rat-hole of research into solar, wind, and other green power options is not going to do it.  If someone comes up with a viable and sustainable solution, there are entrepreneurs and investors who will beat their door down to get involved.

Mandating that the petroleum companies fund the research, that the automakers invest in it before the market is ready, and that taxpayers subsidize the efforts is counter-productive.  It sucks money out of the economy without any assurance of a return.


I simply believe you're an idiot. But the great thing about science is it doesn't matter what you or I "believe." The only thing that matters is what we can prove.

Government research created the atomic bomb (granted, the government did that by importing German scientists, but still), got us to the moon, and continues to fund the seed research that private enterprises then use to make products that ultimately pad their own coffers. Government research also created the internet, so it's not all good news. ;-)
 
2013-10-25 01:35:21 PM  

Cletus C.: t's priced out of range of most Americans. That's OK in this scenario.


It is. If all Americans could afford electric cars, starting tomorrow, the electric grid would take a dump. This needs to be implemented over years.
 
2013-10-25 01:36:51 PM  

itsaidwhat: I'm not disagreeing. I'm only pointing out that electric devices rely on energy that has to be delivered by some natural resource. In this case, lithium (and probably the nickel too) which was a valuable byproduct of the nuclear defense industry history.


Yeah yeah yeah. "Look at all these great thing the government has given us." We get it. You love government.
 
2013-10-25 01:38:52 PM  

Crass and Jaded Mother Farker: Probably not worth the bother...

I mean, what are the odds the same thing would happen to 1 of the other 3?

/If you don't live in California, you have about the same chance of seeing a Tesla Roadster in person as someone visiting the Iowa State Fair has of getting bitten by a shark.


Woman here in Philadelphia, MS has one.
It is awesome.
 
2013-10-25 01:39:23 PM  

petec: jshine: tricycleracer: Squawky: jshine: Corvus: I always don't understand the hate for new technology. People just want to attack things because they are afraid of change.
.
2) if you ran out of "fuel" in an awkward location (yes, yes, this should never happen, I know), there is no way to bring fuel to the car; you'd have to tow it to an outlet
.
"Hello, Triple-A?" I need a battery swap on I70.. "

Barring that, generators would become standard equipment on tow trucks.  At 240V, you can get about a half-mile a minute into the battery.


Yes, that'd be a much better idea than a swap, I'd think.

you wouldn't have to tow it to an outlet, just tow it while holding the (regenerative) brake pedal, it will proceed to charge itself ..

/don't really know


Getting towed all the way to an outlet would probably be cheaper than the wear on the breaks, no?
 
2013-10-25 01:44:48 PM  

MythDragon: Could be worse

[charred-wasteland.jpg]



Looks like the Canadian town that was incinerated by the runaway oil train last year.
 
2013-10-25 01:48:22 PM  

petec: jshine: tricycleracer: Squawky: jshine: Corvus: I always don't understand the hate for new technology. People just want to attack things because they are afraid of change.
.
2) if you ran out of "fuel" in an awkward location (yes, yes, this should never happen, I know), there is no way to bring fuel to the car; you'd have to tow it to an outlet
.
"Hello, Triple-A?" I need a battery swap on I70.. "

Barring that, generators would become standard equipment on tow trucks.  At 240V, you can get about a half-mile a minute into the battery.


Yes, that'd be a much better idea than a swap, I'd think.

you wouldn't have to tow it to an outlet, just tow it while holding the (regenerative) brake pedal, it will proceed to charge itself ..

/don't really know


http://www.teslamotors.com/batteryswap

^Just in case you actually wanted to know how easy a battery swap is.  I would think once you got the car in the sling, it would be more efficient to tow it to one of the almost common charging stations Tesla is investing in all over the country (mostly on the left coast right now of course).
 
2013-10-25 01:50:57 PM  
The other day I was cruising the Golf TDi up I-5 in the Central Valley coming home from SoCal doing "every bit of" the speed limit when a Tesla S passed me like I was tied to a fence post. It's nice that Tesla put charging stations all over Cali (and all the way up I-5, IIRC). If I had a bit more disposable income I'd be all over one of those. I'm ready for a change after 30+ years of driving VW dweezles.
 
2013-10-25 01:53:14 PM  

Ned Stark: petec: jshine: tricycleracer: Squawky: jshine: Corvus: I always don't understand the hate for new technology. People just want to attack things because they are afraid of change.
.
2) if you ran out of "fuel" in an awkward location (yes, yes, this should never happen, I know), there is no way to bring fuel to the car; you'd have to tow it to an outlet
.
"Hello, Triple-A?" I need a battery swap on I70.. "

Barring that, generators would become standard equipment on tow trucks.  At 240V, you can get about a half-mile a minute into the battery.


Yes, that'd be a much better idea than a swap, I'd think.

you wouldn't have to tow it to an outlet, just tow it while holding the (regenerative) brake pedal, it will proceed to charge itself ..

/don't really know

Getting towed all the way to an outlet would probably be cheaper than the wear on the breaks, no?


I think the regenerative braking (running a generator off the wheels) eats up the energy, not brake pads/shoes doing it with friction/heat.
 
2013-10-25 02:00:26 PM  
Living in San Diego, I see at least five of these a day mixed in the other luxury and high-end sports cars.

A high level executive at my company even bought one and had a charging station installed outside his office.

There's a lot of money around here, a LOT, but not much common sense.
 
2013-10-25 02:02:31 PM  

barc0001: libranoelrose: I'll never understand the hate, I guess

People fear change, even if it's a positive change.  At the end of the day, humans are still just dumb animals deep down inside.


I can explain it in like one line:
Stopping the use of one fossil fuel to trade off for another isn't a positive change.

And don't give me this "but now with solar, and wind" shhh, you just sound really really stupid. They make up less than 5% of the electricity on the grid. Plus there is a lot of environmental damage by putting solar and wind farms up, as well as with the infrastructure that brings those forms of energy to your outlet. Also if you want to see people get up in arms, tell them you're putting a giant power line in their backyard to bring clean energy to the city (you'd fight it too). and guess what, those renewables don't work nearly as well wide stretches of the country. And if you live in a place like Southern California, adding more power draining devices to the grid sounds like the recipe for rolling blackouts.

The hate is more from the fact that people are claiming "we have this energy thing all worked out now because...electric cars, windmils, the future, and such" when it's not true.

/I'm still betting on hydrogen fuel cells.
 
2013-10-25 02:02:49 PM  

JohnBigBootay: Crass and Jaded Mother Farker: Probably not worth the bother...

I mean, what are the odds the same thing would happen to 1 of the other 3?

/If you don't live in California, you have about the same chance of seeing a Tesla Roadster in person as someone visiting the Iowa State Fair has of getting bitten by a shark.

I don't know where you live but in Seattle, every day. Look, we've been here before. No one remember the rollout of the prius? We heard much of the same shiat and now it's the #1 selling car in California, where I have heard they have a lot of people.


Here's one thing I don't get; The Prius drivers are uppity hybrid drivers that everyone hates, but not the drivers of a nearly $100k electric car? Wha?
 
2013-10-25 02:06:26 PM  

jshine: DubtodaIll: AverageAmericanGuy: Jacobin: That's why I won't buy one. Gasoline isn't flammable so I know my car will never catch on fire

I don't know where you learned that, but it's totally wrong. Gasoline is very flammable.

I thought it was inflammable.

Exactly -- in-flammable -- that means more than flammable.  It's not only flammable, it's inflammable.


www.csindy.com
 
2013-10-25 02:11:16 PM  

jimpapa: "something tells me if that same hunk of metal had gone into a traditional gas filled tank it would have been a lot worse than a battery fire that never threatened into the passenger compartment"



Yeah -- that "something" is the Tesla PR team. Damn near  verbatim in the company's official blog post, you farking shill: "It is important to note that the fire in the battery was contained to a small section near the front by the internal firewalls built into the pack structure. At no point did fire enter the passenger compartment. Had a conventional gasoline car encountered the same object on the highway, the result could have been far worse."

For my part, if "something" is going to inform me about physical reality, I'd like that something to be facts -- i.e. data that are discovered through an investigation, not opinions and marketing messages that are sold as data when an investigation is suppressed.
 
2013-10-25 02:17:54 PM  

jshine: Corvus: I always don't understand the hate for new technology. People just want to attack things because they are afraid of change.

I don't know, but I think some people see the fawning, completely uncritical adoration for a company or technology (think Apple fanboys) and react with visceral disgust.  I can see some of both sides of that coin with regards to Tesla.

Personally, it seems like a neat idea, but I've got a few issues that would prevent me from buying one as-is:

1) they're very expensive
2) if you ran out of "fuel" in an awkward location (yes, yes, this should never happen, I know), there is no way to bring fuel to the car; you'd have to tow it to an outlet
3) I would want to see empirical reliability data on the batteries in extreme cold.  Living in Minnesota, gasoline cars often *barely* start when it's -20 F outside, and battery performance is strongly dependent on temperature.


The funny thing is that Musk took the Apple/BMW/luxury item approach to building an electric car (and the infrastructure behind it). He didn't build an electric car for everyone; Nissan and GM are trying that approach. He built a car a lot of people WANTED: a luxury performance car that happens to be 100% electric. Personally, I hope both methods succeed, but I don't see gas-powered cars going away in my lifetime.
 
2013-10-25 02:19:33 PM  

pedobearapproved: And don't give me this "but now with solar, and wind" shhh, you just sound really really stupid. They make up less than 5% of the electricity on the grid. Plus there is a lot of environmental damage by putting solar and wind farms up, as well as with the infrastructure that brings those forms of energy to your outlet


You sound really stupid. And ignorant.
 
2013-10-25 02:20:20 PM  

pedobearapproved: The hate is more from the fact that people are claiming "we have this energy thing all worked out now because...electric cars, windmils, the future, and such" when it's not true.


I don't think I've ever heard anyone say that, or even imply that. You sound really stupid.
 
2013-10-25 02:20:43 PM  

pedobearapproved: barc0001: libranoelrose: I'll never understand the hate, I guess

People fear change, even if it's a positive change.  At the end of the day, humans are still just dumb animals deep down inside.

I can explain it in like one line:
Stopping the use of one fossil fuel to trade off for another isn't a positive change.

And don't give me this "but now with solar, and wind" shhh, you just sound really really stupid. They make up less than 5% of the electricity on the grid. Plus there is a lot of environmental damage by putting solar and wind farms up, as well as with the infrastructure that brings those forms of energy to your outlet. Also if you want to see people get up in arms, tell them you're putting a giant power line in their backyard to bring clean energy to the city (you'd fight it too). and guess what, those renewables don't work nearly as well wide stretches of the country. And if you live in a place like Southern California, adding more power draining devices to the grid sounds like the recipe for rolling blackouts.

The hate is more from the fact that people are claiming "we have this energy thing all worked out now because...electric cars, windmils, the future, and such" when it's not true.

/I'm still betting on hydrogen fuel cells.


Solar and wind allow more efficient use of the existing grid, you don't need gigawatt power lines from a central generation plant, as the power generated is much more local.

Gemany has lots more solar installed and has less average solar exposure. Seems to work there.
 
2013-10-25 02:21:54 PM  

pedobearapproved: They make up less than 5% of the electricity on the grid.


10-20% from wind in other countries with awesome weather, like Germany, which is also the leading installer of PV despite being a chilly, hilly forest.  Our political gridlock does not invalidate the technical feasibility of new energy sources.

Plus there is a lot of environmental damage by putting solar and wind farms up, as well as with the infrastructure that brings those forms of energy to your outlet. Also if you want to see people get up in arms, tell them you're putting a giant power line in their backyard to bring clean energy to the city (you'd fight it too). and guess what, those renewables don't work nearly as well wide stretches of the country.

As opposed to what?  Pulling electricity out of the air?  How do you think the electricity generated by fossil fuel consumption gets to your house?  You don't think there's much more environmental damage created by coal mining and fracking?  Shoving oil tankers across oceans?

And PV is one of the only technologies where distributed generation makes sense.  The dreaded giant power line runs from your roof to the rest of your house.

pedobearapproved: /I'm still betting on hydrogen fuel cells.


And hydrogen comes from _________.  Fill in the blank to see how dumb you are to complain about power lines being necessary to support electric charging.  Except electrons ship nearly for free, whereas hydrogen requires dedicated filling stations.
 
2013-10-25 02:21:58 PM  

pedobearapproved: barc0001: libranoelrose: I'll never understand the hate, I guess

People fear change, even if it's a positive change.  At the end of the day, humans are still just dumb animals deep down inside.

I can explain it in like one line:
Stopping the use of one fossil fuel to trade off for another isn't a positive change.

And don't give me this "but now with solar, and wind" shhh, you just sound really really stupid. They make up less than 5% of the electricity on the grid. Plus there is a lot of environmental damage by putting solar and wind farms up, as well as with the infrastructure that brings those forms of energy to your outlet. Also if you want to see people get up in arms, tell them you're putting a giant power line in their backyard to bring clean energy to the city (you'd fight it too). and guess what, those renewables don't work nearly as well wide stretches of the country. And if you live in a place like Southern California, adding more power draining devices to the grid sounds like the recipe for rolling blackouts.

The hate is more from the fact that people are claiming "we have this energy thing all worked out now because...electric cars, windmils, the future, and such" when it's not true.

/I'm still betting on hydrogen fuel cells.


^This is how you spread false ideas efficently.
 
2013-10-25 02:22:49 PM  
efficiently
 
2013-10-25 02:23:16 PM  

pedobearapproved: Stopping the use of one fossil fuel to trade off for another isn't a positive change.


Stopping the use of one fossil fuel to trade off for a hodge podge of renewable energies and other fossil fuels that are more efficiently utilized, is a positive change.
 
2013-10-25 02:28:23 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Jacobin: That's why I won't buy one. Gasoline isn't flammable so I know my car will never catch on fire

I don't know where you learned that, but it's totally wrong. Gasoline is very flammable.


jshine: a particular individual: libranoelrose: I'll never understand the hate, I guess

It's mostly from conservatives who have been conditioned to hate anything that deprives Big Oil of record profits. Same for Big Coal. Hence, their irrational loathing of compact fluorescents and wind and solar energy.

I don't consider myself a conservative (voted for Obama), but I'm not a huge fan of compact fluorescents.  Their spectrum is a mess since it's not a blackbody.  Invariably colors look "off" -- not to mention the problems with dimming and cold weather performance (since mercury's vapor pressure is an exponential function of temperature).


I agree, and will jump on the LED lightbulb train as soon as the 3 spare CFLs I have in the cupboard burn out. By my calculations, that should be about 4-8 years from now.
 
2013-10-25 02:36:42 PM  

Whiskey Dickens: a particular individual: libranoelrose: I'll never understand the hate, I guess

It's mostly from conservatives who have been conditioned to hate anything that deprives Big Oil of record profits. Same for Big Coal. Hence, their irrational loathing of compact fluorescents and wind and solar energy.

Is it possible that some people don't like electric cars for reasons other than American politics?  How about that internal combustion-engined vehicles are my hobby?  That I considered myself an adult the time I smelled like used 10w30 after coming home from my first real job? 
Is it possible that in our North American car culture, we've become emotionally invested in our cars? 

The people who love Teslas strike me as the type of person who sees cars as appliances.  That's fine, but I don't think your opinion is enough to direct the future of a product you seem to be apathetic towards.


http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/thomassowe163937.html
 
2013-10-25 02:37:22 PM  

HMS_Blinkin: "MindStalker: Road debris? The driver running over an I-Beam that shot through the floor at I hear over 10 tons of force isn't "Road Debris".

Which is why there's no need for an investigation. I've said it before: any vehicle that contains enough potential energy to move itself around for an extended period of time is going to have some risks. Whether it's gasoline, laptop batteries, nuclear power, or whatever, that's going to be some volatility."



Teslas (currently) make up a miniscule percentage of cars on the road. Very few road accidents are unique - i.e. just by sheer numbers, the type of object struck by this Tesla is bound to have been struck by a gasoline-powered car many times.  Your position would make sense only if there was a prevalence of traditional cars that have also caught fire from hitting such an object in the road. But for all the bellyaching I hear about how "this would have been worse if it had been a gasoline-powered car", I haven't seen any evidence that gasoline-powered cars actually do catch fire after hitting a similar object. In contrast, a Tesla did. Why do you believe that doesn't call for an investigation?
 
2013-10-25 02:44:02 PM  

spmkk: jimpapa: "something tells me if that same hunk of metal had gone into a traditional gas filled tank it would have been a lot worse than a battery fire that never threatened into the passenger compartment"


Yeah -- that "something" is the Tesla PR team. Damn near  verbatim in the company's official blog post, you farking shill: "It is important to note that the fire in the battery was contained to a small section near the front by the internal firewalls built into the pack structure. At no point did fire enter the passenger compartment. Had a conventional gasoline car encountered the same object on the highway, the result could have been far worse."

For my part, if "something" is going to inform me about physical reality, I'd like that something to be facts -- i.e. data that are discovered through an investigation, not opinions and marketing messages that are sold as data when an investigation is suppressed.


FTFA: "After reviewing all available data, the NHTSA has not found evidence at this time that would indicate the recent battery fire involving a Tesla Model S was the result of a vehicle safety defect or noncompliance with federal safety standards," the agency said in a statement.

Oh, wait, you don't mean an "investigation," you mean a "witch hunt." Got it.
 
2013-10-25 02:52:02 PM  

Mitch Taylor's Bro: Whiskey Dickens:
The people who love Teslas strike me as the type of person who sees cars as appliances.  That's fine, but I don't think your opinion is enough to direct the future of a product you seem to be apathetic towards.

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/thomassowe163937.html



You've got me now, masked linker. 
"I don't feel your opinion is enough to direct the future of a product you seem to be apathetic towards."
Happy?
 
2013-10-25 02:57:00 PM  

Dusk-You-n-Me: Tesla: Model S Fire

Earlier this week, a Model S traveling at highway speed struck a large metal object, causing significant damage to the vehicle. A curved section that fell off a semi-trailer was recovered from the roadway near where the accident occurred and, according to the road crew that was on the scene, appears to be the culprit. The geometry of the object caused a powerful lever action as it went under the car, punching upward and impaling the Model S with a peak force on the order of 25 tons. Only a force of this magnitude would be strong enough to punch a 3 inch diameter hole through the quarter inch armor plate protecting the base of the vehicle.


I think this would pretty much be where normal cars would have their fuel tanks explode. The Tesla warned the user to leave the car and get off the highway, then fire.

That's actually pretty impressive in Tesla's favor, in my opinion.
 
2013-10-25 03:00:39 PM  

jshine: 2) if you ran out of "fuel" in an awkward location (yes, yes, this should never happen, I know), there is no way to bring fuel to the car; you'd have to tow it to an outlet


You could bring a big battery to recharge it. We do it with battery hungry cellphones, why not with cars?
 
2013-10-25 03:07:46 PM  

Pichu0102: Dusk-You-n-Me: Tesla: Model S Fire

Earlier this week, a Model S traveling at highway speed struck a large metal object, causing significant damage to the vehicle. A curved section that fell off a semi-trailer was recovered from the roadway near where the accident occurred and, according to the road crew that was on the scene, appears to be the culprit. The geometry of the object caused a powerful lever action as it went under the car, punching upward and impaling the Model S with a peak force on the order of 25 tons. Only a force of this magnitude would be strong enough to punch a 3 inch diameter hole through the quarter inch armor plate protecting the base of the vehicle.

I think this would pretty much be where normal cars would have their fuel tanks explode. The Tesla warned the user to leave the car and get off the highway, then fire.

That's actually pretty impressive in Tesla's favor, in my opinion.


Just making an intuitive guess, I would expect more frequent but less severe fires from electric cars. A gas tank with a rod through it will probably just leak but if it does ignite you're dying horribly not watching your car go up from the shoulder.

/will be interesting to see if data bears out the guess.
 
2013-10-25 03:22:30 PM  

anfrind: If all human progress were the result of privately funded research, we'd still be sitting in caves trying to decide if rocks are edible.


So the Pliocenian government utilized tax revenue from the cave-dwelling citizenry to discover fire, develop the stone axe and commission the first hunting party?  I guess the ultraconservative professors at my public university hid those facts from the students to make sure we didn't become liberals.
 
2013-10-25 03:23:37 PM  
and on the day that one tesla went up in flames, how many "normal" cars had accidents that resulted in fires and fuel leaks on that same day

it like the Nuclear vs Coal argument, a Nuke plant has one minor leak over a 30 year time span and everyone flips there lid, but ignores that yearly a Coal Plant puts out more rads from there day-to-day operations then the nuke plant ever will from a coolant failure
 
2013-10-25 03:34:36 PM  

Cletus C.: A car priced for the wealthy that promises a trickle down sometime in the future for the less-well-to-do. Yet it's green, so ....


They are quite nicely priced here- we have a 100% tax on regular vehicles. A roadster charges free, is tax free, exempt from tolls and ferry costs, can use bus and taxi lanes, AND costs what a BMW costs. It is all car--- not half car/half tax.


I want one!
 
2013-10-25 04:12:26 PM  

Mitch Taylor's Bro: AverageAmericanGuy: Jacobin: That's why I won't buy one. Gasoline isn't flammable so I know my car will never catch on fire

I don't know where you learned that, but it's totally wrong. Gasoline is very flammable.

jshine: a particular individual: libranoelrose: I'll never understand the hate, I guess

It's mostly from conservatives who have been conditioned to hate anything that deprives Big Oil of record profits. Same for Big Coal. Hence, their irrational loathing of compact fluorescents and wind and solar energy.

I don't consider myself a conservative (voted for Obama), but I'm not a huge fan of compact fluorescents.  Their spectrum is a mess since it's not a blackbody.  Invariably colors look "off" -- not to mention the problems with dimming and cold weather performance (since mercury's vapor pressure is an exponential function of temperature).

I agree, and will jump on the LED lightbulb train as soon as the 3 spare CFLs I have in the cupboard burn out. By my calculations, that should be about 4-8 years from now.


I just replaced my first burnt-out CFL blub with an LED bulb about a month ago.  I did notice that the LED bulb has a bit of a bluish tint compared to the CFL, but that hasn't bothered me so far.

I do still have a few spare CFL bulbs lying around, but at this point they're all crappy Ikea CFL's that flicker and take almost a minute to warm up, so I'm only using them in multi-bulb fixtures where the deficiencies of one bulb won't noticeably impact the whole arrangement.

/Ikea has some very nice lamps, but they always come with terrible CFL bulbs
 
2013-10-25 04:13:24 PM  

steve42: anfrind: If all human progress were the result of privately funded research, we'd still be sitting in caves trying to decide if rocks are edible.

So the Pliocenian government utilized tax revenue from the cave-dwelling citizenry to discover fire, develop the stone axe and commission the first hunting party?  I guess the ultraconservative professors at my public university hid those facts from the students to make sure we didn't become liberals.


It's a joke, son.
 
2013-10-25 04:13:57 PM  

spmkk: Why do you believe that doesn't call for an investigation?


This is easy to answer. Please cite which regulations you feel might have been violated in the production and sale of the Model S, warranting said investigation?

You can pull unsupported statistics out of your ass all day long about how no gas-powered cars hit stuff and start fires, but you've cited nothing.
 
2013-10-25 04:22:22 PM  

Corvus: Because gas cars NEVER catch on fire. ?

I always don't understand the hate for new technology. People just want to attack things because they are afraid of change.


While your statement makes it easy to argue Poe's Law I'll respond as if you're foolish rather than malicious.

While I'm a fan of the concept of electric cars, I do think current electric cars are stupid. I'd be surprised if any existing car's charge lasted as long as the 10.8G of gas in my tank, it takes somewhere around 36 times longer to "refuel", and current battery packs wear out rather quickly and are enormously expensive to replace. Even if I could reliably find a charging station when I needed one, the trip to visit my father would take either 64 (slow charge) or 29 (quick charge) hours in a BMW i3 vs 22 hours in a gasoline car. In reality, with one driver, you'd have to sleep sometime and it'd take a rough minimum of 30 hours with gasoline, 37 with quick-charge, or 88 hours with the currently more realistic regular-rate charge (and you could realistically remove 1.5 hours for the quick-charge time and 3 hours from the slow due to charging while you sleep). Electric cars are useful in the same way as small motorcycles - they're good for running around town and making the occasional trip to a neighboring area, but they aren't ever going to be a practical replacement for gasoline cars unless manufacturers can make them competitive and charging stations become common. With quick-charge the i3 is getting close to competitive in the theoretical world, but remember in the real world you still have to be able to recharge when you need to, which just isn't possible at the moment. Hybrids aren't even a discussion because they don't get appreciably better highway mileage than my antique sports car and the difference in purchase price will buy me a whole lot of fuel.

Teslas are cool and everything, but what good is a GT car that can't do a practical grand tour? I'll get excited when an electric car can do 400 real-world miles on a charge and takes 5 minutes to recharge. Hydrogen isn't a bad idea either and has fewer real-world problems to overcome so that's where I'd put my money.

/On the bright side, I saw a Merc SLR the other day.
 
2013-10-25 04:30:30 PM  
I don't know much about the engine setup in a Tesla, but I do know that the engine of a car is a rather large, heavy and strong metal construction.

If such a car had hit that piece of metal on the highway, there's also quite a good chance that the driver would be picking said enging out of his teeth...

/first time I saw a Tesla, I was on my bike. The thing scared the shiat out of me because it's so quiet! Then I watched in awe cause it was looking purty darn nice! I want one!
//and don't worry about me and my bike on your roads... I live in Denmark
///slashies! The rules say I have to make three of them, right?
 
2013-10-25 04:45:30 PM  

Mr. Ekshun: I'd be surprised if any existing car's charge lasted as long as the 10.8G of gas in my tank, it takes somewhere around 36 times longer to "refuel", and current battery packs wear out rather quickly and are enormously expensive to replace.


1) Tesla Model S presently has a 300 mile range, which is pretty comparable to 10.8 gallons of gasoline for the average American vehicle.

2) It adds 58 miles of charge per hour off a 240V circuit with the high power wall connector.  If you can afford a Tesla, you can afford the electrician visit, and they help point you to someone experienced in your area.  These type of charging stations are starting to become fixtures along highways.  Charging off a 120V supply is way too slow for anything but quick errands (3 mi/hr).

3) Tesla's 85 kWh battery comes with an 8-year, unlimited mileage warranty.

The charging rate is the major issue.  The other stuff isn't.  Most families that can afford a Tesla have more than one car, and you'd take the other one for long road trips.  How often do you drive so much that 300 miles is prohibitive?  For me, it's a few times per year.

If it's a sole car for your family and you want an EV, I'd recommend something like the Volt, where it switches to a gasoline engine once the limited (~40 mile) battery range is exhausted.  Most people can handle their daily commute and errands on 40 miles per day.
 
2013-10-25 04:47:52 PM  
Mr. Ekshun:

... (tired bullshiat) ...

Teslas are cool and everything, but what good is a GT car that can't do a practical grand tour? I'll get excited when an electric car can do 400 real-world miles on a charge and takes 5 minutes to recharge. Hydrogen isn't a bad idea either and has fewer real-world problems to overcome so that's where I'd put my money.


And then when they meet that 400 mile mark you'll move the goalposts and be really impressed when they can run 600 miles instead.   Battery swaps on the Tesla S take 2 minutes.  That's faster than filling a gas tank btw.
 
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