Print 48 comment(s) - last by JediJeb.. on Jun 6 at 6:09 PM

Tesla Model S Signature starts at $105k

As if successfully completing the first commercial mission to the International Space Station and back wasn't enough, Elon Musk is also finding quite a bit of success with his electric venture: Tesla Motors.
Inside Line is reporting today that the Model S Signature Performance, the top-of-the-line trim level, is already sold out and Tesla Motors is no longer accepting pre-orders. Customers now wanting to purchase the Model S Signature Performance will have to be put on a waiting list.
Interestingly, the standard model is still available for pre-order and has a base price of "only" $57,400 before a $7,500 federal tax credit (President Obama wants to see that federal tax credit increased to $10,000). The Signature Performance, however, has a base price of $105,400.
The standard Model S comes with a 40 kWh lithium-ion battery pack (8-year, 100,000-mile warranty), can hit 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and has a top speed of 110 mph. Range is listed at 160 miles.

 Model S Signature at the Tesla Fashion Island Signature Weekend [Image Source: Tesla Motors]
The Signature Performance ups the ante with an 85 kWh lithium-ion battery pack (8-year, unlimited miles warranty). As its name implies, performance improves greatly with 0-60 times dropping to 4.4 seconds while the top speed increases to 130 mph. The maximum driving range of the Signature Performance is listed at 300 miles.
The first deliveries of the Model S Signature Performance will begin on June 22. Those who have ponied up for the standard Model S will receive their vehicles later this fall. Those who haven't already pre-ordered the standard Model S still have time to get in line; Tesla is still accepting $5,000 deposits for the vehicle.

Source: Inside Line

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Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By WalksTheWalk on 6/4/2012 2:34:57 PM , Rating: 2
Is there a general speed at which 100% EV vehicles generally operate at peak efficiency? I know it depends on the gearing too, but on average, most modern ICE cars fall in at about 60mph for peak efficiency.

RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By Brandon Hill on 6/4/2012 2:39:59 PM , Rating: 1
Well, Tesla's driving range numbers are achieved at a steady state of 55 mph.

RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By WalksTheWalk on 6/4/2012 2:46:39 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks! I'm sure 55mph is close to the optimal cruising state if that's what they base their measurements on. Just curious more than anything.

With that out of the way, these things look like a lot of fun, although out my price range to be sure. The torque on these things has GOT to be a treat.

RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By Kurz on 6/4/2012 2:52:50 PM , Rating: 2
Those Numbers are achieved at 55 MPH but based on the gearing (1 gear transmission) I think to get the most out of the batteries you need to go around 30-40mph (If I remember correctly). So I bet the range at 30-40mph is a bit higher.

RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By Jedi2155 on 6/4/2012 4:07:24 PM , Rating: 3
Top range is at 20 MPH where you could get 450 miles per charge.

- Traveling constant speed
- 85kWh battery
- Flat ground
- No wind
- Heat and A/C are turned off
- Sunroof and windows are closed
- Driver and cargo weigh less than 300 lbs.
- Tires are properly inflated
- Battery pack with less than a year or 25,000 miles of service

RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By micksh on 6/5/2012 12:25:58 AM , Rating: 2
Once hypermilers realize that expect them to cruise at 20mph on interstate highways.

RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By Kurz on 6/5/2012 3:46:59 PM , Rating: 2
Those people you see are either High or Old people.
Hypermilers drive by obeying the law and following safety standards and respecting the flow of traffic.

Hypermilier here 34-35 MPG on his car that gets 27MPG hwy EPA.

RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By Jaybus on 6/6/2012 2:12:55 PM , Rating: 2
Here where? Try that in the mountains.

RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By Kurz on 6/6/2012 3:21:49 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By Flunk on 6/4/2012 2:55:47 PM , Rating: 2
The motor's efficiency should be linear but because of wind resistance the slower you drive, the more efficient. Also you lose energy from over-braking because regenerative brakes are not 100% efficient.

It's not like a gasoline engine that needs to be spinning at a certain speed for max efficiency.

RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By Kurz on 6/4/2012 3:08:27 PM , Rating: 3
There is an efficiency drop past a certain speed for Electric Cars.

RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By testerguy on 6/6/2012 3:07:28 AM , Rating: 2
Specifically, the drivetrain is the main source of the inefficiency at lower speeds.

Also, constant energy losses like lights, cooling fans and pumps represent a higher percentage of energy at lower speeds, whereas at top speeds that same power draw represents less of an energy increase %.

RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By Solandri on 6/4/2012 3:13:00 PM , Rating: 2
Peak efficiency for ICE vehicles (the speed at which you maximize mpg) typically falls at 40-45 mph, not 60 mph. Thus much to the consternation of urban planners, the way to make the country burn less gasoline is to raise speed limits in cities, and lower them on highways. Two very unpopular options.

RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By Mathos on 6/4/2012 4:29:27 PM , Rating: 2
Actually not really true. Peak efficiency for ICE depends on the engine. It has more to do with the RPM that the motor is being ran at, than the speed of the vehicle. Which is why we've starting moving towards 5-8+ speed tranny's instead of the old 3 and 4 speeds that were popular for a long time. Peak efficiency is generally achieved at 2000-2500 RPM, as that is generally the range where you're going to have access to most of the engines torque and power, while still using fairly little fuel.

This is why in most vehicles, if you pay attention to your RPM monitor, if you're not bulldogging it, and speeding up at a good steady pace, you'll notice that your tranny always shifts gears to try and keep you in that RPM range.

RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By Mint on 6/4/2012 5:11:35 PM , Rating: 3
Unfortunately, most engines are producing too much power at the peak efficiency operating point to be useful for cruising.

Speed matters a lot more than running the engine at optimal efficiency. If you need 20hp to cruise at 60mph but only 6hp at 30mph, that 40% reduction in energy needed per mile will be more important than, say, 30% engine efficiency at 20hp vs 25% at 6hp.

Here's an example BSFC chart I googled:
Sure, peak efficiency is at 2500RPM and ~70% throttle, but if you only need 10kW, the optimal efficiency is around 1100RPM and 50% throttle.

RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By Jedi2155 on 6/4/2012 5:42:23 PM , Rating: 2
It also varies a lot depending the auto cycle. The Atkinson cycle on the Prius offers a very linear BFSC:

RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By JediJeb on 6/6/2012 5:06:59 PM , Rating: 2
I had a 79 F150 with a 400CID engine and it got terrible mileage at 40-45mph but almost doubled once you hit 55-60mph(not that the difference between 9mpg and 18mpg is that wonderful). The crazy thing was you got 18mph on the highway if it was empty, or if you were carrying 1000 pounds of load in the bed. I really do miss that truck.

RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By WalksTheWalk on 6/4/2012 5:55:32 PM , Rating: 2
I was merely taking my anecdotal evidence with the vehicles I've driven (mix of V6, I6 and I4 engines) where a reasonable cruising speed of about 60mph is close to the most efficient based on the computer's calculations of mpg. I've made trips at 55/60/70/75mph and generally see that about 60mph is the best. The engine's RPM is somewhere around 2,300-2,500rpm at 60mph in the newer vehicles and they all have am overdrive gear.

For older vehicles back in the 90's, early 00's it was about 50mph so it seems like manufactures are cluing into the fact that people drive faster than 50-55mph and better efficiency should be geared towards 60mph.

RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By Jedi2155 on 6/4/2012 6:14:30 PM , Rating: 2
My general rule of thumb for maximum efficiency in a ICE is 40/50 MPH and up is worse. For EV's its 20 MPH and up is worse. Variations differ depending on auxiliary loads and size of the engine with idea that the larger the engine generally the faster you should be traveling to make up for other losses. Please correct me if this assumption is a poor one.

RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By JZavala on 6/4/2012 6:50:26 PM , Rating: 1
not to be mean or anything, but you just showed your age. the reason cars from the early 90's were better at 50mph was because highway speed limits were lower. being in the ~55mph range. and before that, even slower.

RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By Jaybus on 6/6/2012 2:31:47 PM , Rating: 2
Now you show your age. :) They were lowered to 55 by the 1974 Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act as a response to the 1973 OPEC oil embargo. Before that federal law, it had always been up to the states, and was 70 in most states. The federal law was repealed in 1995 and speed limits are again set by each state.

RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By Mint on 6/5/2012 2:37:14 AM , Rating: 3
Manufacturers can't change the laws of physics. The fact is that you need more mechanical energy per mile at 60mph than at 50mph or 40mph. If a car is most efficient at 55-60mph, then it must waste a lot more energy at lower speeds than its competitors due to poor gearing, high friction, big engine, etc.

An efficient car will always get better mileage cruising at 45mph than 60mph.

RE: Efficiency Sweet Spot?
By JediJeb on 6/6/2012 5:21:50 PM , Rating: 2
Best efficiency for the engine is normally near its peak torque rpm. Above that you may have more power, but are using more fuel proportionally, and below you are getting less power but using more fuel proportionally. If the engine would produce power in a linear ratio to the amount of fuel burned then it would be a simple matter of getting more efficiency the slower you drive(in a vacuum on a frictionless surface as in all the college physics assumptions lol). Since almost no drive is over completely flat roads, then you reach a point to where driving slower costs you too much fuel when you have to travel up a hill, since if you were moving faster you could cruise up the hill letting your momentum carry you over.

My example in another post where I had a truck that got terrible mileage at 40mph versus what it got as 60mph is a good example of how real world results don't match up with theoretical assumptions.

can we stop subsidizing luxury please
By kattanna on 6/4/2012 2:53:49 PM , Rating: 5
applying these tax credits to promote an EV that most tax payers cannot afford is an issue of mine.

if it was a car costing around $20K then I could get behind that, but $60-$110K? please, If they can afford such a car, then they dont need me to help them pay for it.

RE: can we stop subsidizing luxury please
By Florinator on 6/4/12, Rating: 0
RE: can we stop subsidizing luxury please
By Souka on 6/4/2012 9:07:32 PM , Rating: 2
I'm for these tax credits for consumers... but only on afordable "common" electric cars.

$10k discount, at tax payers expense, on a sports car? Hell NO....

By Chernobyl68 on 6/5/2012 12:22:33 PM , Rating: 1
The Tesla S is a 4-door, if that matters. Its not really a sports car.

RE: can we stop subsidizing luxury please
By Mint on 6/4/2012 4:50:49 PM , Rating: 5
The tax credit will probably pay for itself over the lifetime of the vehicle. Driving an EV 200k miles (may need a battery replacement, but they're very low maintenance and mechanically simple otherwise) instead of a car averaging 28MPG combined (which is unlikely in the luxury sport sedan market) will prevent the burning of 7000 gallons of gas.

That's $15-30k of oil imports, depending on how you count and what the price is. Money circulating in the economy creates jobs and gets taxed a lot more than money leaving the country. The trade deficit would be almost zero without oil imports. You'll also have lower urban pollution, reducing health care costs for respiratory problems and other ailments.

Remember that the government is borrowing at a negative real interest right now. Even breaking even on a long term investment reduces the debt.

RE: can we stop subsidizing luxury please
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/12, Rating: 0
RE: can we stop subsidizing luxury please
By Mint on 6/5/2012 3:32:07 AM , Rating: 2
Have you looked at all the countries that tried to significantly cut spending recently? ALL of them had their economies tank.

You can't compare to the past, as everything was different. To get out of the early 90's recession, the free market has increased private debt by 10% of GDP per year, and it continued up to 2007. All of that net debt went into production/services of some sort (otherwise it wouldn't have been borrowed). Now the private economy hit its debt ceiling and can't keep creating it at that rate, so its missing that 5-10% funding of the economy that it got used to for 15 years. We're not going to get unemployment back to 4% ever (unless you want to force people to take $3/hr jobs). This is all independent of government spending, BTW.

Of course it's possible for there to be expenditures which pay itself back. It's true with every business, and it's true with the government.

In the off chance that you're not as mathematically inept as you seem, read this to see how spending can reduce the debt if the conditions are right:

Treasury rates are insanely low right now. Entities with money are begging the government to borrow it and give them any tiny return, even if its less than inflation and ties their money up for 10 years. Despite the lowest cost of capital ever, AND the lowest tax burden in 50+ years, AND millions of desperate (i.e. cheaper than ever) workers, the free market STILL can't figure out anything to do with its money. So tell me again why you think killing the part of the economy funded by the gov't helps?

Using public money to give a few rich people tax credits for buying a car (with a bunch of societal benefits) is wrong, but using it give all of them tax cuts (like every Republican candidate wants) for hoarding money and stagnating the economy is right? Give me a break...

By JediJeb on 6/6/2012 2:41:42 PM , Rating: 2
You can't compare to the past, as everything was different. To get out of the early 90's recession, the free market has increased private debt by 10% of GDP per year, and it continued up to 2007. All of that net debt went into production/services of some sort (otherwise it wouldn't have been borrowed). Now the private economy hit its debt ceiling and can't keep creating it at that rate, so its missing that 5-10% funding of the economy that it got used to for 15 years. We're not going to get unemployment back to 4% ever (unless you want to force people to take $3/hr jobs). This is all independent of government spending, BTW.

This is an example of why the thought that the government can spend our way out of a bad economy is flawed. If the private sector ran out of money, then the government will also if it tries to continue the course that is already failing, since the money which the government has also comes from the private sector(private sector is who pays taxes to fund the government). Now, if the government was sitting on a surplus of cash and decided to spend that thus putting part of a surplus back into circulation, then Keynesian economics might work to solve this problem.

Where your logic has problems( I realize it isn't just your logic, but is what you mentioned) is that it takes the private sector to fund the government which is then supposed to put the money back into the private sector to make it grow. Now if the government could somehow take in $1 in taxes, grow it to anything above $1+expenses and put that back into the private sector then we might be able to use this type of funding, problem is how would the government be able to grow the money without using devaluation to do so? If government workers worked for free so that there were no expenses for handling the money in the loop, you still only break even keeping the money at the same value, unless the government loans it out to someone else and collects interest on it, but to make that work the government has to loan it outside the economy it is trying to support and hope it comes back with enough interest to pump money back into the economy it is supporting.

Right now governments around the world are struggling and doing just the opposite of the above. They are selling bonds to make liquid cash to spend now, and will have to pay back interest on those later, that ends up being a net negative cash flow that the government will have to make up somehow in the future. Right now most governments are operating like people addicted to pay-day loans/check advances. They borrow more hoping to get out of debt, then have to borrow even more to pay the note due on what they borrowed before. There are only two ways out of that cycle. One is to cut your expenses to the point you finally have enough left over to cover the loan and pay it off. The other is to get a better job making enough money to pay off the loan. The US government is hoping for number two, in that they hope they can spark the economy enough to increase the tax base to bring in more cash. What happens though if that doesn't work? Then you are in the situation Greece is in where the only option left is to cut the expenses deep enough that you finally have enough money left over to pay off your debts. The absolute final option that no one wants to talk about is the same for governments as it is for the private sector, file bankruptcy.

What happens if you have taxed the people to the point they have no money left over after paying basic living expenses, then tax business to the point they have no money left over after paying their expenses and yet you still can not cover the cost of running all the government programs? At that point there is no money for the businesses to give raises to the workers, and no money for the people to buy more things to cause the economy to grow, and no money for higher taxes to be collected. Yet even at this point businesses want people to buy more of their products, and people want raises to be able to buy more products, and the government wants more taxes to be able to do more for the people. What can you do then to solve the problem? We need to think of that answer soon, since most of the world governments are headed to that point rather quickly. I guess we can hope for a solid gold asteroid to fall out of the sky and make one group super wealthy so that they spend tons of money and it spreads out around the world, but would we even then be wise enough to handle the cash flow so that we do not end up back in the same place we are now?

Look up the theory on the "Dept Wall", which says that we will soon hit the limit of easily available cash to fund governments, and the economy. At this point governments will have no more avenue for collecting taxes from the surplus money citizens have, but will then have to begin collecting money directly out of citizens pockets. Think of the stories like Robin Hood when the tax collector shows up and simply demands payment of taxes instead of taking a small percentage from your paycheck.

The theory that the "1 percenters" can carry the load is also rather faulty. Consider that the current budget being proposes by the executive branch calls for spending with a $1 Trillion plus deficit. If we had one thousand billionaires we would have to tax them an additional $1 Billion each to cover that. I don't think we have one thousand billionaires in the US right now. So let's step it down to cover all millionaires. For that we need one million millionaires to pay an extra $1 Million in taxes next year to cover that $1 Trillion deficit. Now maybe we do have one million millionaires in the US, but how much to all the people who have a million dollars actually make each year in individual incomes? If we set the tax rate for this group to 30% then they must have an annual income of at least $3.3 Million each year to just cover the $1 Trillion deficit, that would be in addition to what they already pay in taxes. If they do not have that much income, do we simply as them to write a check for enough to cover the difference they are short of the $1 Million out of their bank account?

It will definitely not be an easy and quick fix to this current economic situation, and those who promise quick fixes are not the ones we need to be voting into office any time soon. Doesn't matter what party they are from, if they claim a magic solution then they do not know what it takes to fix the problem and are only saying what they know we want to hear. The person who will stand up and tell it straight even when it is something hard to hear, that is the one we need.

By bjacobson on 6/4/2012 8:06:50 PM , Rating: 3
and no gas tax revenue is collected meaning it's driving on the roads for free.

RE: can we stop subsidizing luxury please
By lelias2k on 6/4/2012 5:57:27 PM , Rating: 5
Funny, I've never heard anyone complaining about the tax breaks one could get for buying Expeditions and Suburbans. (The old 6000lbs loophole) :|

I also don't see anyone asking to stop the tax breaks oil corporations get, while profiting billions and causing huge environmental accidents.

If we tax the crap out of tobacco companies because they are bad for us, why not do the same with oil companies? I still haven't heard anything about Phillip Morris going out of business.

RE: can we stop subsidizing luxury please
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/2012 8:03:38 PM , Rating: 1
First off stop saying you don't see anyone complaining about such things. They do. Often. The President himself "complains" about them constantly, I would certainly say he qualifies as "someone".

Secondly the Government wasn't trying to get people to buy SUV's over other cars. That was a tax break to help farmers that was poorly framed and allowed people to get a break on buying those vehicles. Is that REALLY comparable to the EV subsidy argument? Of course not.

Oil companies provide a product that's in such demand they profit in the billions. Electric vehicles are literally only on the market because of Government funding, every sale is also subsidized, and there's barely any demand for them judging by total sales. Yeeeah, another even comparison there. The oil subsidies only lower our price at the pump, the product would still exist without them. The same cannot be said for most EV's.

RE: can we stop subsidizing luxury please
By Jedi2155 on 6/4/2012 8:17:03 PM , Rating: 2
The main thing is that EV's provide a benefit to society that normal vehicles do not.

- Reduce foreign oil dependence/national security.
- Extend supplies of existing oil reserves.
- Helps lower pump cost for everyone else (lowering demand)
- Cleaner air quality and locally produced fuel (Nuclear/Renewable/Natural gas)

Those are the big ones, that EV's provide to society while a normal gas burning vehicle provide no such benefits. That's why I think government subsidies are justified for the time being.

RE: can we stop subsidizing luxury please
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/12, Rating: 0
RE: can we stop subsidizing luxury please
By 1prophet on 6/4/2012 9:10:32 PM , Rating: 2
That's right, society can go pound salt since it's all about me. (^_-)

RE: can we stop subsidizing luxury please
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/2012 9:34:52 PM , Rating: 2
This sort of thing NEVER produces stronger better societies. You have it all wrong.

By testerguy on 6/6/2012 2:55:44 AM , Rating: 2
Society as a collective philosophy is not necessarily political, it's a logical necessity, all parties and all political views encompass a society view.

You've failed to address any of the very real and logical benefits outlined by the original poster.

By Kurz on 6/5/2012 3:13:22 PM , Rating: 2
What makes up societies? Individuals.
If the Individual is cast aside for the 'greater good' the rest of society suffers as their base weakens.

By JediJeb on 6/6/2012 5:55:32 PM , Rating: 2
Some of those benefits might come true if EVs were to be sold in large amounts, but for now the hand full that have been sold really do nothing for those things. You will not see any of those benefits until they sell EVs at prices around $20k or lower. When they finally make the "Everyman's " version then maybe they will take off and begin to change things. Even then, around where I live it will only mean more coal will be burned to provide the electricity needed for them, since that is the only type of power plants around here.

RE: can we stop subsidizing luxury please
By Schrag4 on 6/5/2012 9:38:31 AM , Rating: 2
I also don't see anyone asking to stop the tax breaks oil corporations get, while profiting billions and causing huge environmental accidents.

A couple of points:

- These tax breaks you talk about aren't specific to the oil industry, they're tax breaks that ALL industries enjoy. What you're calling for isn't for the oil industry to stop being favored, rather you seem to want it to be punished.
- The profit margin that the oil industry sees is about the same that other industries see, somewhere around 8 or 9 percent. They just happen to move a lot of product.

RE: can we stop subsidizing luxury please
By Reclaimer77 on 6/5/2012 11:50:55 AM , Rating: 2
What you're calling for isn't for the oil industry to stop being favored, rather you seem to want it to be punished.

That's what all these people want basically. It's so obvious. Oil represents everything liberal morons are against.

RE: can we stop subsidizing luxury please
By testerguy on 6/6/2012 3:00:29 AM , Rating: 2
It's painfully obvious why the majority of people (regardless of their political view) are uneasy with the oil situation (not agreeing that they want anyone to be punished).

A world utterly dependant on a commodity which is in very short supply and which many believe could lead to global wars in the near future unless said dependence is removed.

A push towards renewable and therefore sustainable energies is the logical solution, and it's also logical that to accelerate this process the government adds an incentive to the population to invest in this new technology.

It has nothing to do with political stance in general - it's simply about sustainability and national security, which pretty much all parties would agree are important.

By JediJeb on 6/6/2012 5:50:00 PM , Rating: 2
Except that even switching to EVs won't cure those ills, only shift them to others. Think about it, once we are off "foreign oil", these EVs make us dependent on those who will supply the needed metals for producing the motors and batteries. So after we avoid a war for oil, then we have a war for Lithium, or one of the "rare earth" metals. Instead of having wars in the middle east, we now focus on China and South America. What happens to stability in the Middle East once the oil cash cow dies? Will the Saudi's begin to rattle their swords demanding cheaper supplies of Lithium? It sounds silly, but you have to think about it.

By Stuka on 6/5/2012 12:07:06 PM , Rating: 2
If they offered a $10,000 purchase credit on the Mazda 2, Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio and Chevy Sonic, I would bet my life you would see exponentially greater benefit in one year than subsidizing these experimental tom-fooleries for two decades. Imagine every person who can only afford a 1986 carbeurated POS trading up to a brand new OBD-II, dual-cat, lean burn, econo-box that can get 40mpg... simply because they can get it for $5000 that could be financed for 60 months!

A few thousand rich-boy toys, or a few million people movers...hmmmm...

RE: Stupidity
By JediJeb on 6/6/2012 6:09:32 PM , Rating: 2
Very true, that would do more for reducing pollution here and now than what these current credits would do in ten years. Obviously these incentives are not in place to do anything about pollution, or if they are then the ones who calculated this is the best way to do it should be fired for such a total miss of the target.

Of course if they do put a $10,000 purchase credit( not tax credit that people who can only afford cheaper cars would never get to take advantage of)in place, they would probably count it as income for those using it just like they did the "Cash for Clunkers" money where anyone using that money to buy a car had to declare it as income when they filed taxes the next year.

Maybe they should have used this idea instead of the Cash for Clunkers and the auto company bailouts, killed two birds with one stone, and really sparked the economy all at the same time.

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