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Tesla Model S
Beta models will be used for testing and for marketing

The Tesla Model S is the next EV that will hit the streets from Tesla. Tesla made its name with the $100,000 Tesla roadster that had an electric driving range of about 200 miles. The problem was that the Roadster cost so much and only held two people making it impractical for the masses.

Tesla has now started the beta production of its new car, the Model S. Like the Roadster, the Model S is an all-electric car with no gasoline motor. The Model S is also a larger vehicle that will hold four adults inside and it is much cheaper than the Tesla Roadster. The Model S is still, however, far from what most would consider affordable  (base price $57,000). 

“We have started assembling the Beta vehicles,” Tesla Motors’ Model S Program Director Jerome Guillen said. ”While most Betas are intended for testing to prepare for production, a few are earmarked for visits to North American Tesla stores later this year.”

The first of the beta vehicles will be used for testing and for press drives.

The S is expected to have a driving range of about 300 miles. The car is about $20,000 more expensive than the Nissan Leaf. The Leaf is rated for 100 miles on a charge, but the real world driving range varies greatly from 80 miles to as low as 60 miles in some areas. The real world driving range of the Model S will likely be lower than the estimates of Tesla.

VentureBeat reports that Tesla is also working on an all-electric SUV called the Model X. It will run on the same powertrain as the Model S. There is no indication at this point when the model X will be seen.

“Alpha” versions of the Model S started rolling off the production line back in January.

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RE: Instant-charge technology
By Solandri on 7/30/2011 2:52:35 AM , Rating: 3
With a 480V charger, 15 minutes to 80% charge, on the 300-mile-range model. That's 240 miles of range on a 15-minute 'fillup'.

I'm pretty sure that's for the smaller 42 kW-hr pack with a 160 mi range (128 mi at 80% charge). The official Tesla site says 450 V @ 125 A in 45 min for a full charge (75% charging efficiency).

I think the 15 minute charge is idle speculation by people on forums. To top off 80% of the 42 kW-hr battery in 15 min at 75% charging efficiency would require (80%)*(42 kW-hr)*(480 Volts)/[(75%)*(15 min)] = 400 Amps, which is within the realm of practicality. Charging a battery more quickly always results in a lower charging efficiency (more of the energy is wasted as heat), so really you're probably looking at something closer to 600 Amps (50% efficiency). That would probably require a cable about as big around as your bicep or leg.

If we ran the numbers for the 70 kW-hr battery pack (300 mi range), you're at 1000+ Amps and even lower charging efficiency.

That's only slightly longer than an average gas fillup. (Obviously, it will take a lot more infrastructure before we get to these being common, though.)

I'll say. 80% of a 42 kW-hr pack in 15 minutes is 134 kW. In contrast, the main power line into a home only carries about 24 kW. If you imagine a "gas station" type setup with space for 24 cars (equivalent to an 8 pump x 2 sides gas station operating at 50% capacity x 3 since charging takes 3x as long), you're looking at 6.4 MW of power capacity needed. That's the same power draw as over 600 typical homes all heading into a single corner "gas station".

RE: Instant-charge technology
By Spuke on 7/30/2011 6:17:17 PM , Rating: 2
That's the same power draw as over 600 typical homes all heading into a single corner "gas station".
Anything to get off oil, right? LOL! Hey, why can't we just power the "gas stations" with solar and wind? A wind generator and a couple of panels on the roof is all we need.

RE: Instant-charge technology
By Isidore on 7/31/2011 1:29:45 PM , Rating: 2
The issue that everyone seems to ignore about electric cars is the enormously high depreciation you will have because the batteries have a limited life. If you buy something like a Leaf or a Tesla S, what will it be worth after 3 years? With the battery being worth roughly a third of the total vehicle cost, and that's the cost before the fat government subsidy, any sane buyer would have to factor in the cost of a replacement battery after a further 2 years or so. Do the maths, it's not pretty.

RE: Instant-charge technology
By CharonPDX on 8/1/2011 7:05:14 PM , Rating: 2
Aw, crap... Yeah, going to the Tesla site, I see that they say 45 minute quick-charge. I bet I was thinking of the Leaf claiming 15 minutes. (Checks Leaf website; yup, they say 15 minute quick-charge...)

Hrm... :-/

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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