alleykat
alleykat
5/28/08 11:21 p.m.

Found this blog while surfing. It seems Tesla motors has made significant progress towards their goal of building a performance car with a reasonable range. Cool stuff.

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog4/?p=67

Gearhead_42
Gearhead_42 HalfDork
5/29/08 7:45 a.m.

That's beautiful!

Oh, the road not taken... I'd love to be on the leading edge of technology like that... Innovation = 97% Perspiration + 2% Inspiration + 3% Fudge Ripple

John Brown
John Brown GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/29/08 8:11 a.m.
Gearhead_42 wrote: That's beautiful! Oh, the road not taken... I'd love to be on the leading edge of technology like that... Innovation = 97% Perspiration + 2% Inspiration + 3% Fudge Ripple

I love math, but you forgot the other 6%... corporate espionage ;)

Gearhead_42
Gearhead_42 HalfDork
5/29/08 8:18 a.m.
John Brown wrote: the other 6%... corporate espionage ;)

We prefer to call it "Reverse Engineering"

:twisted:

Purplehaze
Purplehaze None
5/29/08 12:44 p.m.

Man do I friggen heart Tesla Motors. Electrics are the future, everything else is just kinda goofy and clumsy as an ICE replacement. First the rich gadget hounds pay for the R&D, then it trickles down to us all.

Go Tesla Go!

(I'm gonna miss the rort and snort of ICEs when they're gone though)

matt_fulghum
matt_fulghum
5/29/08 10:48 p.m.

I wouldn't get your hopes up for Tesla Motors guys. Word is that the bigwigs that took over a while ago laid off the head of the motor team (the world's leading AC induction motor expert) and a huge chunk of the firmware team, in order to reduce operating costs. For a company that talks about innovation being their primary goal, it seems that firing one's innovators is a step in the wrong direction. :omg:

I can see electric sports cars making a big splash, but not for regular commuters. The infrastructure just isn't in place to deal with everybody charging their cars at once. We're talking ~3kW for charging here, for a regular charge. Multiply that by a looooot of cars, and you have a lot of strain that the power grid just isn't ready to take.

I don't know if it makes me a pessimist for saying so, but I just don't see how this helps anything at all. Yes you have an overall efficiency gain, but having to deal with waste batteries (which is a serious issue for pure EVs) just sounds like an environmental nightmare. Even if the batteries last 6 or 7 years, that's still a loooot of waste batteries over the years, and there's not much you can do with them.

edit: oh, and I'll start taking them seriously when they put a Tesla Roadster through a New England winter. You think starting your car in the cold sucks, imagine relying entirely on batteries for propulsion. As far as I can tell they haven't really addressed this issue. They may have put heaters into the coolant system for the batteries but I think the guy that came here to my school to speak said that they had not.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua Dork
5/30/08 6:36 a.m.

100-150 mile range makes it unlikely you would need to charge anytime but at night. Nighttime is good for powerplants because they are basically idling at that point anyhow. Battery recylcing is very very efficient for lead, and the methods for recycling lithium are already developed and ready to expand. If the cycle life predictions hold out, you wont be recycling them all that often. IIRC the cold weather performance is hurt right as you first start, but the natural heating of the batteries during discharge warms them to the point where they operate very well even in cold situations. The Tesla battery pack is fairly large as is, so it will probably not be that painful a range decrease. The technology is there, the motor tech has been developed for awhile, the batteries keep getting safer, lighter, and lower priced. Powerplants in some areas are even situating themselves to be a major player in the car energy market. High gas prices suck, but the pushing of the market towards implementing some of the ready, but slightly too expensive technologies is really cool.

aircooled
aircooled Dork
5/30/08 11:40 a.m.

I hope it all works out. I have often said the only new car I would ever buy would be an electric, and these are air cooled, bonus!

I do wonder about the reality of putting these drivetrains into what is now the rather ridiculously heavy "standard" car. I am not sure the warming of the battery is the big issue in cold climates, it might be the heater! I can imagine a heater would massacre the mileage on one of these. IC engines are so inherently inefficient that the heat is basically free, not so with an electric. AC probably wouldn't be as bad, but would still hurt the numbers.

Perhaps the electric trike is the only practical first step for these, avoiding the the heavy safety requirements.

Nashco
Nashco Dork
5/30/08 12:49 p.m.

FWIW, the power:weight on these things are so good that I don't think the car would be too sluggish on a cold day even without battery heaters. As mentioned, they tend to heat themselves with use, so it's a short lived problem. Anyway, who's going to be leaving their $100k electric sportscar outside in a cold winter? I think it's safe to say the few people that might have a problem would be garaging them, and/or wouldn't mind plugging in a battery pad (similar to an engine block heater like diesels use).

The batteries are obviously going to be recycled, that's a non-issue IMO. Consider the amount of fluids a car goes through in 100k miles (engine oil, coolant, etc.), waste can be managed....there's hardly any of these batteries to deal with in recycling, compared to ICE waste, and even then there's already good recycling programs established.

I'm surprised they're going to a single speed, while it has it's strengths I think they go against the supercar performance (numbers) they were aiming at. I'm shocked they were having such a hard time that they threw in the towel. Matt - what are you referring to in regards to getting rid of their motor guy? Any links? I'm assuming Alan Cocconi was their guy, since they were using his/AC Propulsion's technology.

Bryce

matt_fulghum
matt_fulghum New Reader
5/30/08 4:29 p.m.
Nashco wrote: Matt - what are you referring to in regards to getting rid of their motor guy? Any links? I'm assuming Alan Cocconi was their guy, since they were using his/AC Propulsion's technology.

http://venturebeat.com/2008/01/11/teslas-layoffs-bad-blood-a-bloodbath-or-business-as-usual/ Unfortunately the post that Eberhart made on the Tesla Founders journal (I refuse to use the b-word, you know what word I mean :P) has been removed to avoid getting sued by the company, and the exact names of the people who were laid off were removed as well, so I'm not sure who on the motor team was laid off... but the general gist of things is that they wiped out a good portion of the engineering team.

My problem with battery recycling isn't with the Tesla Roadster, which will remain a niche item, but with the idea of mass marketed electric vehicles. I still don't see how we could cope with the waste of millions of battery packs. Yes they can be recycled to a point, but that point is fairly sketchily laid out, especially if the batteries used in mass market vehicles are going to be built down to a price (requiring potentially less easily recycled battery tech).

While I do agree that power plants are generally a lot less loaded at night, I think people are still underestimating the amount of power it would take to charge EVs, if a significant portion of fueled vehicles were replaced with electric vehicles. Hell, it might not be nearly as bad as I think it would be, but I've yet to see any studies that look at this issue (if anyone knows of any I'd gladly read them. I would like to be wrong on this issue.)

MrJoshua
MrJoshua Dork
5/30/08 5:27 p.m.

My big curiosity if electric hits big-whats the gov going to do without the income from gas taxes?

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA None
5/30/08 5:57 p.m.
Nashco wrote: The batteries are obviously going to be recycled, that's a non-issue IMO. Bryce

Recycling is a very dirty business. It generates waste problems of its own. All those heavy metals moving through the system is never good. The only real cure for environmental and fuel demand issues? Buy less car. Own less stuff.

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