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A now profitable Tesla motors hopes that a $49,900 Model S sedan will send its profit soaring to even greater heights.

The company is also launching the Roadster Sport model in 2011.  (Source: Tesla Motors)
After years of losses, the company's persistence is finally paying off

Luxury electric car maker Tesla Motors appears to be firing on all cylinders.  Despite a painful couple of years that saw the company cutting back to survive the recession, the company emerged stronger than ever.  Thanks to a new partnership with Daimler, additional engineering, distribution, and marketing resources were gained.  And most importantly, Tesla finally began to deliver vehicles.

Now the company can celebrate an important milestone -- its first profit.  After many months in the red, July saw the company in the black, making $1M USD in profit on $20M USD in revenue.  The profits came thanks to a record 109 cars shipped in the month.  Manufacturing cost cuts also helped to enable the profit.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk comments, "There is strong demand for a car that is unique in offering high performance with a clean conscience.  Customers know that in buying the Roadster they are helping fund development of our mass market electric cars."

Tesla, like many R&D driven greentech firms, offered a target date for profitability.  However, it appears that Tesla is one of the few to actually deliver on such a date -- having projected a profit in "mid-2009".

The Tesla Roadster undeniably features the most attractive production electric vehicle body design to date.  They also offer fittingly sporty performance and a utilitarian 244-mile range.  In other words, while expensive, the Roadsters do deliver a strong experience.  Currently, the Roadsters retail for a base price of $109,000.

Tesla has borrowed $465M USD from the U.S. Department of Energy, to produce a luxury sedan reachable by more customers at a price point of $49,900.  This new model will be called the Model S.

The company is also working with Daimler to create electric versions of the popular Smart car.  Late this year, the company will deploy a fleet of the 1,000 of the electrified ultra-compact vehicles.  Tesla is also set to deploy a higher-performance version of the Roadster -- the Roadster Sport -- in 2011.



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funny numbers
By etekberg on 8/10/2009 10:50:56 AM , Rating: 1
I stand behind my prediction that this company is a long term loser without Gov. subsidies or a massive change in technology.

$20M revenue; 109 cars sold = $183k per car. Something doesn't add up.




RE: funny numbers
By Murst on 8/10/2009 11:08:25 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
$20M revenue; 109 cars sold = $183k per car. Something doesn't add up.

109 cars were shipped. The article doesn't say how many cars were actually sold.

Also, Tesla most likely has other sources of revenue. The article is pretty clear that they have a partnership w/ Daimler. It wouldn't be surprising if some revenue came from that ( as consulting costs, licensing, etc ).


RE: funny numbers
By KingstonU on 8/10/2009 11:35:52 AM , Rating: 2
They shipped 109 cars in the previous month that contributed to their report, but their Quarterly report, should include the previous ~3 months of business.


RE: funny numbers
By erple2 on 8/10/2009 11:59:05 AM , Rating: 2
Also, to be considered for buying the car, you have to plunk down a certain amount of money as a "down payment" or "deposit". I seem to remember something on the order of 10 to 20k. So they may have taken orders to make up the gap.

Assuming that the deposit amount is 10k, and assuming that the deposit reduces the final price (so the payer pays 99k rather than 109k - they've already paid 10k of it), that means that they made 99k per car (99 *109) = 10,791 million. That means that they needed, assuming 10k deposit, orders for another 920 or 921 additional cars. Which I think is probably reasonable.


RE: funny numbers
By noirsoft on 8/10/2009 11:55:37 AM , Rating: 3
They sell Tesla T-shirts, too, which clearly account for the rest of their revenue. :D


RE: funny numbers
By 67STANG on 8/10/2009 12:55:20 PM , Rating: 2
They've only shipped a few of those though.


RE: funny numbers
By Mitch101 on 8/10/2009 1:28:56 PM , Rating: 2
They were recalled for loose stitches around the collar.

http://tinyurl.com/lxsbyn


RE: funny numbers
By Keeir on 8/10/2009 3:16:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
109 cars were shipped. The article doesn't say how many cars were actually sold.


Most accounting systems would only allow them to count the revenue from products delievered within the month.

Autobloggreen has a similar article, which raises the similar points that the partnershup w/Daimler likely added significantly to the bottom line. Unfortunetely that extra boost is unlikely to continue and Tesla will be back to struggling to make a profit each month. However, I will say its very encouraging that such a small difference is all it takes. (Considering they are expanding, performing significant research and development per size of company etc)


RE: funny numbers
By Skott on 8/10/2009 2:05:26 PM , Rating: 2
If I remember correctly they were to make 500 of the first models and then move onto the making the next model and then after that make another model. Each new generation/model getting cheaper. I wish them a lot of success. Its nice to see new and fresh ideas and innovation coming to the car market.


RE: funny numbers
By Spuke on 8/10/2009 3:45:01 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Its nice to see new and fresh ideas and innovation coming to the car market.
I'd rather have a twin turbo Gallardo.

http://www.lamborghini-talk.com/vbforum/f4/undergr...


Irony at its finest.
By Steve1981 on 8/10/2009 11:05:51 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Luxury electric car maker Tesla Motors appears to be firing on all cylinders.


Am I the only one that found that somewhat entertaining?




RE: Irony at its finest.
By Boze on 8/10/2009 11:42:12 AM , Rating: 3
What should he have said??

" Luxury electric car maker Tesla Motors appears to be energized on all cells ." ??


RE: Irony at its finest.
By monomer on 8/10/2009 4:58:24 PM , Rating: 2
"Luxury electric car maker Tesla Motors is operating at a full 1.21 Jigawatts"


RE: Irony at its finest.
By drmo on 8/10/2009 5:02:32 PM , Rating: 2
Hah, just watched that two nights ago...


Electric Cars
By btc909 on 8/10/2009 6:35:22 PM , Rating: 2
Install a small Diesel engine connected to a generator then connected to a capaciator which is connected to one large electric motor (no not a hub motor at each wheel) which is connected to 5-7 speed transmission then connected to the drivetrain. It is your choice depending on the added cost if you want to opt for a larger fuel tank for the diesel fuel or a smaller fuel tank for more room for batteries. The batteries would also be connected through the capaciator to extend the lifespan of the batteries so you don't request a heavy drain from the batteries directly during hard acceleration & towing situations & the keep the battery temperature down which will also extend the lifespan of the batteries due to lighter load requests.
If you need to switch betweem two capaciators that's fine. One is being used, one is being charged.




RE: Electric Cars
By TomZ on 8/10/2009 9:34:09 PM , Rating: 2
What capacity of capacitors do you think are commercially available, and how much capacitance do you think you would need for that application?


RE: Electric Cars
By Penti on 8/10/2009 9:58:40 PM , Rating: 2
Skip the transmission, electric engines don't need it. Even trains don't have any transmission. They just have a fixed gear. One normal AC motor without any gearbox is enough. Gearboxes also weights a lot so you would get like the worlds heaviest car if you do like you suggested. PHEVs wouldn't need the diesel/gasoline-engine much.


Just the begining
By mars2k on 8/10/2009 12:49:41 PM , Rating: 2
The experience these all electrics using batteries provide is just a stepping stone. In California and New York there are the beginings of the conversion to a hydrogen economy. These all electric cars could be produced with fuel cells and hydrogen tanks using the same drive train more than doubling the range. (the real world range not the hyped up 200+ mile figure)
Right now there are companies producing self contained units to produce and store hydrogen for fuel.
Running one of these with photovotaics will be the way to go in the not to distant future.




RE: Just the begining
By Penti on 8/10/2009 10:14:46 PM , Rating: 2
You would need like three times the electric energy though. Where are you gonna get that? Solar (wind) and nuclear power don't cut it for a hydrogen economy. Going from ~440 nuclear power plants to four, five thousands (that's high-temperature reactors with thermoelectric hydrogen production + electrolysis) just for road transportation would be silly. The >12 000 plants needed to replace all fossil fuels would just be retarded. A little country like Sweden would need 30 reactors to do something like that. It's a pipedream pretty much, it can't scale.


Electric Smart Car
By retepallen on 8/10/2009 10:52:03 AM , Rating: 2
Currently there are only 100 in the world which have been produced and we have 4 of these in work. They are a brilliant little car.

They will do 60mph with a range of approx 70-80 miles and are great for a runaround between offices. (8 miles from one office to another). I think that in an urban environment they will really succeed.




By on 8/30/2009 8:51:38 AM , Rating: 2
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You're Welcome Tesla
By mdogs444 on 8/10/09, Rating: -1
RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By Tsuwamono on 8/10/2009 10:45:42 AM , Rating: 3
its only 465million. I think that would be payable as the company makes more profits.


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By TomZ on 8/10/09, Rating: -1
RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By TomZ on 8/10/09, Rating: -1
RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By Murst on 8/10/2009 11:12:40 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
To be more specific, what investor in their right mind would loan a company a half-billion dollars with a hope of producing a profit of $1M?

Did you even read the article? The loan was for producing the Model S, which is NOT YET being sold. Tesla hopes to make a much larger profit from those cars.

Also, you don't seem to understand how investment works. Tesla is still pretty much a young business. When investors invest in a company, they try to estimate the potential of the company, and not really what the current situation is. By your logic, the people who invested in Google in the 90s were morons, since the company didn't even have a profit (unless you count a loss as a negative profit). Yet, they ended up making billions.


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By FormulaRedline on 8/10/2009 11:33:36 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed, the other poster obviously have never seen the inner working of the venture capital industry. New companies are expected to operate at a loss for years.

Good for Tesla for turning a profit so quickly and meeting their goal despite the economic environment. They've shown that they actually deserve the loan and will hopefully produce a nice return!


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By Samus on 8/10/2009 11:55:21 AM , Rating: 2
I love it how people can't imagine a company will inevitably grow. It's like explaining Microsoft buying DOS for $50,000 and putting them in debt, saying they'll never make it back.


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By BansheeX on 8/10/2009 12:08:19 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Also, you don't seem to understand how investment works.


And you don't seem to understand what investment is. In real capitalism, a company has to convince private earners to forsake immediate consumption and voluntarily loan them, and not others, their savings(production) at interest in hopes of far greater deferred consumption. Key things to note in that description: voluntary loans and competing with other businesses for those loans. Your idea of "investment" doesn't have those qualities. If politicians truly believed in the profit potential of a company, they would invest their OWN earnings into it like everyone else. Instead, they dole out someone's else's for in exchange for campaign contributions. Why? Because they can't directly keep taxes, but they can trade it for a favor that accomplishes that. How can you say that model will result in more good investments than bad?

And, as always on DailyTech, most of the users seem to understand this, but praise the choices they like as if they somehow make up for the thousands of bad ones. It's idiotic, when you see a critic of programs like this, they're not critiquing the choice relative to others, they're critiquing the the whole bloody model and believe, correctly, that far better investment choices would be made on the whole if that tax money had stayed in the hands of the people who earned it.


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By TomZ on 8/10/09, Rating: 0
RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By zsdersw on 8/10/2009 4:18:52 PM , Rating: 3
The problem with being pro-capitalist and electing those who advocate it in the US these days is that you get a lot of unwanted extras; social conservatism, religious evangelism, and an altogether idiotic notion that while government should stay out of our finances it should meddle more and more with the social aspects of our lives.

I, for one, will never vote for such idiots.


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By TomZ on 8/10/2009 4:34:40 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, but the reality of certain "bad" politicians shouldn't dissuade you from still striving for the correct principles.

And quite honestly, the harm done during the Bush administration by his religious views will probably be dwarfed by the spending and bailing out being carried out by the current administration. That debt ain't going to pay itself back.


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By zsdersw on 8/10/2009 6:40:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but the reality of certain "bad" politicians shouldn't dissuade you from still striving for the correct principles.


Who said it was?


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By Keeir on 8/10/2009 3:33:30 PM , Rating: 2
I have no idea why you were rated down. I would rate up, but I can't so hopefully this pull attention.

However, I would add to your description that some model for funding projects that remove externalities should be in existence.

Purely capitalism based loaning will simply reward companies who can foster costs on general society in an indirect method. IE, Air pollution shortens people lives and this cost savings would never be part of Tesla's bottom line.


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By 3minence on 8/10/2009 3:47:50 PM , Rating: 2
And you don't seem to understand what government investment is. One of the roles of government is to do what private industry can't. NASA is one of those things. So was the transcontinental railroad. The US government had to give land to the railroads which they then sold to pay for building the railroads. Railroads which were critical for this country to become what we know it as today. Public Education is another function. Public education pays no direct returns what-so-ever but yet it is critical to a modern democracy.

The government is investing in Tesla in order to encourage a new, currently unprofitable technology, in the hopes that eventually the technology will become cheaper, more widespread, and profitable. It may or may not work, but history shows the practice can be very useful.


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By TomZ on 8/10/2009 4:40:11 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that the potential public benefit of the goverment sponsoring Tesla is not clear. I don't see how a small niche manufacturer of expensive cars is going to begin to solve any kind of energy problems we face in this country.

You can't really compare Tesla to the public benefit of the transcontinental railroad, the US highway system, or similar other investments. That's absurd.

What I do see is the potential for some of the ultra-rich to get even more rich due to government handouts at the expense of the public debt. We are all suckers who allow that to happen.


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By Murst on 8/10/2009 6:21:54 PM , Rating: 2
When the government was investing in the railroads, it was also unclear as to whether that was a good investment or not. Instead of making this a huge history lesson, I encourage you to look into what happened in the US with canal building, and then the railroad industry.

Is Tesla really a bad investment? That will not be determined for a long while, most likely. But who knows... maybe Tesla will contract out their battery making to a manufacturer ( using the provided gov't money ), and the battery manufacturer will discover a new way to make batteries thus eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels.

Point is... no one, including Warren Buffet ( who is probably the most successful investor ) really knows whether something is a good investment or not. Some people are better than others, but no one is 100% correct.

quote:
What I do see is the potential for some of the ultra-rich to get even more rich due to government handouts at the expense of the public debt.

What I see is that the ultra-rich are afraid that their massive wealth growth over the last 9 years is about to slow down, and the benefits will now target the middle and lower classes... but that's another discussion. ;)


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By 3minence on 8/10/2009 9:52:12 PM , Rating: 2
You are failing to see the forest through the trees. Are you really trying to be dense or does it come naturally? I used the transcontinental to demonstrate the purpose and benefits of government investments. Their is obviously a huge difference in scale and impact between Tesla and the railroads.

The investment in Tesla is one of many in the energy and transportation field. The government is investing money in numerous energy producing schemes, be it wind, solar, or whatever. Much less known are investments in infrastructure (power grid). As much as I hated Bush, he was correct about our power grid. It needs to be upgraded. With Tesla the government is encouraging improvements in non-gas powered vehicles. I also seem to remember money going to hydrogen car research. Obviously the government is investing in multiple technologies in the hope that one or more bears fruit.

Will some people get rich off this? Yes. Welcome to reality. Unfortunately life is not fair and that's just how it works. And to go back to the railroad example, along with being very beneficial to the country it too made some people extremely rich.


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By Danish1 on 8/10/2009 1:18:25 PM , Rating: 2
Except it's not the governments job to use taxmoney, no wait borrowed money, to invest in private enterprises.

I can to some degree understand the government funding companies which are critical for your nations economy but seriously lending an upstart company $465 mill is way out of line.

Less government involvment, not more thank you.


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By kaoken on 8/10/2009 3:27:37 PM , Rating: 2
The government is investing in a future technology. Progress is being sponsored right before your eyes. And it's not like the government is bailing them out either. This money is going to be repaid.


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By Spuke on 8/10/2009 3:39:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And it's not like the government is bailing them out either. This money is going to be repaid.
How do you know it will be repaid?


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By kaoken on 8/10/2009 8:59:39 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure even if the company flops, which I doubt, their company is worth more than a half billion dollars.


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By TomZ on 8/10/2009 9:32:20 PM , Rating: 2
If the company flops, it will probably be worth zero, or less. That's how others value companies that fail - zero.


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By TomZ on 8/10/2009 3:47:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The government is investing in a future technology. Progress is being sponsored right before your eyes
Do you think this is an appropriate role that the Framers envisioned for the federal government? Picking and choosing certain companies/technologies to get behind, at the exclusion of others? Providing very large loans without taking an equity stake? Is this really an appropriate use of the public debt?

It sounds to me more like politics as usual....


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By kaoken on 8/10/2009 8:56:43 PM , Rating: 2
The US government is here for the benefit of it's people. They make hard choices. IE, civil war, WW I&II, etc were all unpopular by the people, yet can you say the world isn't better off without these wars.

The bottom line is, this is the right choice, EVs are the future. I'm just sad they spent Billions on GM/Chyser as opposed to Tesla's measly 500 million.


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By TomZ on 8/10/2009 9:31:33 PM , Rating: 2
You guys are terrible at analogies. The last guy likened Tesla to the transcontinental railroad. You are drawing a comparison to our involvement in WWII? LOL.


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By Keeir on 8/10/2009 4:13:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The government is investing in a future technology.


Government should not sponser future technology just because.

Government should sponser activites and developments which provide adequate public return on Investment. For example, Railroads, Roads, etc provide significant public return on investement.

Furtermore, this investment should be used in a logical way with a projected rate of return.

Note, I am not saying one way or the other on the government's investment in Tesla.


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By Danish1 on 8/10/2009 1:20:50 PM , Rating: 2
12 jobs were saved!


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By spread on 8/10/09, Rating: 0
RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By borismkv on 8/10/2009 10:50:45 AM , Rating: 5
Well, at least they didn't count their bailout as profit like Goldman Sachs.


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By kaoken on 8/10/2009 3:29:29 PM , Rating: 1
It's not a bailout!!!


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By Motoman on 8/10/2009 10:50:46 AM , Rating: 3
...sure, so long as you don't run into a shortage of people who are will to plunk down $109,000 for a car that you can't roam too far from home with. Can't imagine there might be a limit to that market that they would run into...like, any second now.


RE: You're Welcome Tesla
By MrPeabody on 8/10/2009 10:51:40 AM , Rating: 4
This reminds me of an old joke:

Q: How do you keep an electric car from charging?
A: Take away its credit card!

Hahahahahaha!


Affordable?
By WoWCow on 8/10/09, Rating: -1
RE: Affordable?
By drmo on 8/10/2009 11:32:15 AM , Rating: 2
First, Prius is not a luxury vehicle, so the half the price thing is pointless.

If they can sell 10000 of the luxury vehicles, then they will be able to pay back the LOAN. Over several years, this should be able to be done.

Also, there is the technology developed (and sold to other companies) that should help them pay back the loan.


RE: Affordable?
By Keeir on 8/10/2009 7:02:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If they can sell 10000 of the luxury vehicles, then they will be able to pay back the LOAN. Over several years, this should be able to be done.


IF the car costs less than 500 million to reasearch and build. Likely the RD/Captial cost 500 million and from there the profit on each vechile will be around ~5,000 (at best). So its more like 100,000 cars would need to be sold before Tesla could pay back the loan.


RE: Affordable?
By drmo on 8/10/2009 11:33:14 AM , Rating: 2
First, Prius is not a luxury vehicle, so the half the price thing is pointless.

If they can sell 10000 of the luxury vehicles, then they will be able to pay back the LOAN. Over several years, this should be able to be done.

Also, there is the technology developed (and sold to other companies) that should help them pay back the loan.


RE: Affordable?
By erple2 on 8/10/2009 12:02:19 PM , Rating: 2
Never mind that, but the Tesla S looks a lot cooler than the Prius. And for the luxury oriented buyer, that's important. Which means that you can't get a luxury Prius for any amount of money.


RE: Affordable?
By Sazar on 8/10/2009 12:49:26 PM , Rating: 2
The Lexus arm of Toyota has a luxury hybrid coming out but, the fact is the Tesla apparently has the performance credentials and while the other cars are hybrid, I believe the S will be 100% battery powered.


RE: Affordable?
By corduroygt on 8/10/2009 1:13:39 PM , Rating: 2
Batteries make poor energy storage devices compared to fossil fuels, so I still think hybrids, diesels, or diesel-electric hybrids make the best solution until battery tech is improved. I don't think any significant improvements were made in battery technology since the last 10 years.


RE: Affordable?
By Keeir on 8/10/2009 3:50:26 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I don't think any significant improvements were made in battery technology since the last 10 years.


How wrong you are...

Consider the EV1 versus the Tesla Model S. Both cars are similar in price. The EV1 was significantly more expensive, but never really produced for sale. The price that the lease was based on works out to be roughly 50,000 in 2010 dollars. So they are very close.

The Telsa Model S seats 5+, EV1 2
Model S has more than twice the range of the EV1
Model S has less than 1/2 the 0-60 time of the EV1
Model S meets greater safety standards then the EV1
Model S interior and features well... thats not even fair
and
Model S looks great, the EV1 looks... like a strange electric car.

Or maybe you just meant the battery technology and not how its used in Cars?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rechargeable_battery#...

Lead-Acid-->NiHM-->LiFePO4 have occured within 15 years for EV applications.

Any way you slice it, significant advancement has been made in Battery Technology in the last 10-15 years. This doesn't change your underlying point that Batterys still make a poor Energy Storage Solution. But Internal Combustion Engines also make very poor energy convertors. The "tipping" so to speak is fast approaching when the efficiency gains of electric drive outwieght the poor energy storage of the battery.


RE: Affordable?
By drmo on 8/10/2009 3:59:52 PM , Rating: 3
A 300 mile range and 45 minute recharge option aren't progress??? Also, the ability to rent a longer-range battery for long trips. ( http://jalopnik.com/5185844/tesla-model-s-sedan-co... )

I agree that batteries may not be the best option, but comparing a energy-storage device (battery) to fossil fuels does not make sense. WE didn't store the energy in fossil fuels, and until we can do that effectively, then it is not a fair comparison.


RE: Affordable?
By Keeir on 8/10/2009 4:18:41 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
WE didn't store the energy in fossil fuels, and until we can do that effectively, then it is not a fair comparison.


Except we can through bio-fuels. Ethanol, Bio-Diesel, Methane, etc can be produced by man driven methods.


RE: Affordable?
By drmo on 8/10/2009 4:27:50 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly; those are the comparisons that should be made. NOT to fossil fuels. If they are produced by us, then they aren't really "fossil" fuels. So the comparisons in terms of energy storage capacity, and energy used to produce, can be compared.


RE: Affordable?
By Keeir on 8/10/2009 4:49:58 PM , Rating: 2
Umm... Sure thing

But most bio-fuels have a energy capacity/wieght similar to Fossil Fuels. I think the OP of this issue meant liquid fuels similar to Fossil Fuels.

For instance (just to be clear)

22.04 kWh exist in every gallon of Ethanol and wieghs around 3 kg. Thats ~7.0 kWh/kg. The best battery storage systems (for automotive use) store around ~.12 kWh/kg.


RE: Affordable?
By drmo on 8/10/2009 5:01:02 PM , Rating: 2
Good, that is what I am talking about.

Now, why can a Tesla, with only 56 kWh, go 200+ miles, but 3 gallons of ethanol (66 kWh) won't get near that far. I believe it is because most of the energy in ethanol combustion is wasted. Also, I think there are huge energy losses in production of ethanol (at least from corn).


RE: Affordable?
By Keeir on 8/10/2009 5:29:46 PM , Rating: 2
Well... I would also point out that sort of number if cherry picking for Battery Technology since the thermal efficieny of engine + powertrain is roughly 20%-25% and for electric drive can be more than 75%.

3 gallons of ethanol cost roughly 6 dollars

56 kWh (more like 60 kWh with the charging inefficiencies) also cost 6 dollars.

But the Battery to store that 56 kWh cost ~35,000, while the Gas Tank used to store that Ethanol cost ~1,000. That 56 kWh likely took 8-10 hours+ to put into the battery, and 3 gallons of ethanol? 10 minutes including a normal drive to a gas station.

You don't need to convince me. One gallon of Diesel Fuel burned in a Combined Cycle plant put out nearly 20 kWh of electricity. This 20 kWh of electricity, even with grid losses and charging losses, is likely to push a car further down the road than even the most efficient Diesels currently made.


RE: Affordable?
By Penti on 8/10/2009 9:45:45 PM , Rating: 2
3 gallons of ethanol will only get you like 113 km though. 56kWh in the battery will get you like 250 - 300km. Just put in a small engine to extend the range and you should do fine. Too bad the batteries cost as much as a car though. But the Chinese can solve that.


RE: Affordable?
By Penti on 8/10/2009 9:33:55 PM , Rating: 2
And the Ethanol car need a heavy gearbox which the battery powered don't so you can replace that with the 400kg battery (50kWh or enough for some 200km'ers just add a small diesel/gasoline engine to charge it.) neither can you produce enough bio-ethanol to do much of anything.

Sweden uses 10% of it's grains or 4% of the agricultural land to produce 85% of the ethanol* that's mixed with ordinary gasoline, and gasoline is just about over half of the road transports energy wise. It's pretty silly. Producing electricity for bev or PHEV is much easier. * It's a 5 percent mixture (volume). And the wheat is very high yield.


RE: Affordable?
By Keeir on 8/10/2009 10:36:12 PM , Rating: 2
.... I guess one at a time

#1. A BEV with reasonable range will not weigh less than a comparable gasoline car. In all known examples, a BEV car with reasonable range 150 km+ will weigh more than its comparable gasoline car. Clearly the BEV with reasonable range has in the past wieghed close to 20% more than a comparable gas car, all things being equal. No doubt for the Nissan Leaf, Nissan will be using customer parts etc that lower the end weight to close the mass of a Versa (US Model). Similar to what Toyota and Honda due with their Hybrids that hide the extra weight.

A Tesla Roadster weighs in a a good 700 lbs over a Lotus Elise, an increase of 35% that is not entirely due to conversion to electric but is unreasonable for the minor changes done.

The Electric Mini also weighs in at a premium of 500 lbs + over its gasoline counterpart. An increase of ~20%.

A Rav4 1999 electric conversion was around 600 lbs heavier than its gasoline counterpart. Again an increase of ~20%.

Why is this? Although you get ride of a transmission ~100 kg, an Engine ~100 kg and various components ~50 kg. You add a very heavy battery. Inverters. Battery control systems. An electric motor, etc etc etc.

#2. Picking Sweden for saying Ethanol is not good is... strange. Obviously a country with comparatively small argiculture will have difficulty growing its own Bio-Fuels. I think that Sweden is not even a net exporter of food... clearly its a poor choice for Sweden.

I don't disagree with the end conclusion, but your painting too rosy of a picture when it comes to electrics.


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