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All-electric Model S runs the 1/4 mile in 12.5-seconds at 110.9 mph

It’s doubtful that many people believe manufacturer estimates when it comes to fuel efficiency or driving range for electric vehicles. The driving range for electric vehicles obtained in government tests is often a far cry from real world numbers. On public roads, driving range for an electric vehicle depends on the terrain, how heavy the driver's right foot is, and even the temperature. 
 
The guys over at Motor Trend have laid hands on a Tesla Model S and set out to get a real world driving distance. The car used for the driving distance test is a Model S Signature Performance 85, and this particular vehicle happened to be Tesla CEO Elon Musk's personal ride. The test of the Model S also involved putting down some performance numbers, which enthusiasts will be interested to hear.
 
The big four-door Model S was able to hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. It also ran a virtually silent 12.5-second quarter mile pass at 110.9 mph. Those are impressive numbers for a gasoline-powered sedan, putting the Model S Signature Performance 85 in the same company as the BMW M5 and the Mercedes CLS 63 AMG among others.


Tesla Model S
 
The real question though is how far can the car drive. Being able to hit 60 as quick as an AMG badged Mercedes is impressive, but not so much if the battery pack is dead shortly thereafter. The largest battery pack available in the Model S is rated by the EPA at 265 miles in extended range mode.
 
After the performance testing was done, the car was completely recharged even though it is only consumed what the onboard computer said was 13 miles of range despite the quarter-mile passes and other performance tests. The real world driving distance test took place in California heading towards San Diego via Interstate 15 before hitting the I-5 and then the picturesque Pacific Coast Highway. The map showed the driving distance to be 240 miles.
 
Motor Trend says that the test was conducted with the air conditioner off, but ventilation on, cruise set at 65 mph, and the body lowered on its air suspension for driving distance. Apparently, the car was 1.7 miles short of making it the full 240 miles in real world traffic. Rather than run out of power the tester plugged the car and to get the extra few miles of driving range.
 
Motor Trend figures the real world driving range is 238 miles in their testing, 11% short of the claims 265. 

Source: Motor Trend



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RE: impressive
By flyingpants1 on 8/29/2012 9:18:42 AM , Rating: 3
Which poses a problem since different batteries have different levels of wear and thus different valuation.. I'm surprised nobody EVER points this out.


RE: impressive
By StealthX32 on 8/29/2012 9:29:26 AM , Rating: 2
I agree not all batteries are equal and are in various states of wear, but what I think you'll start seeing is a minimum Wh on a pack, so you'll know (and your car will know) how far it will take you.

So you pay 50 bucks, get your pack with minimum X Wh. Anything your battery can fit above that is a bonus for you.


RE: impressive
By Spuke on 8/29/2012 9:52:14 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry but there's no way in hell I'd trade my brand new or nearly new battery with hardly any cycles on it for one that had a few hundred on it. Nope!


RE: impressive
By nafhan on 8/29/2012 10:46:45 AM , Rating: 4
Just a thought, but one way around this problem would be something along the lines of battery "rental" program, which could work something like this:

--You pay a subscription fee that allows you to swap out your battery for another one as soon as the charge density drops below a certain level.
--The only time you'd need to get a battery swap would be when the charge density starts dropping. The rest of the time you'd have the option to save money by charging at home or time by swapping battery packs at a service station.
--The service station would charge and test all batteries, and send the degraded batteries back to the OEM for refurbishment or recyling.
--A new car could come with, maybe, 5 years of battery rental service.


RE: impressive
By Jeffk464 on 8/29/2012 11:39:37 AM , Rating: 2
yup, that seem like the practical way of doing it. Plus it would lower the sticker shock of buying an electric car.


RE: impressive
By Spuke on 8/29/2012 12:03:53 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't solve my trade less cycled battery for more cycled battery "problem".


RE: impressive
By Jeffk464 on 8/29/2012 12:20:37 PM , Rating: 2
I think you missed the point you wouldn't own the battery, it would be provided to you as service.


RE: impressive
By nafhan on 8/29/2012 1:47:35 PM , Rating: 2
Sure it does, and it does so by making your "problem" irrelevant. As soon as you start having issues, you get the battery replaced as part of the battery rental agreement. As it seems likely that plans like this would not be mandatory, another "solution" to your problem would be to just buy the battery outright and replace it when it gets old. As is often the case, it would probably come down to cost vs. convenience.


RE: impressive
By Spuke on 8/29/2012 2:20:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sure it does, and it does so by making your "problem" irrelevant.
No it doesn't. LOL! Actually, it creates another problem (actually it's part of the original problem I just left this out on purpose). Why would I pay, in full, for a battery pack I don't even own then turn around and pay again to rent it?


RE: impressive
By mjdaly on 8/29/2012 2:31:35 PM , Rating: 4
He is likely arguing that you would purchase the car without the battery pack, then lease the pack for power. You would not buy a pack then lease another. This then ignores that a good number of people don't like to lease their vehicles, or anything about their vehicles.

It also creates yet another new problem. Lets say I do want to purchase my own battery and charge it myself. There is no way I am trading it out (as others have said) for an unknown battery. If I lease a battery and stop paying on the lease, they come and take the battery. My car can not drive anywhere. This is exactly what they want. You to pay the company forever. At least with current fuels we have a choice of which fuel company we would like to pay. And if I want to stop fueling my car, someone doesn't come by and take the gas tank.

The charging technology simply is not there yet for any of these schemes to work. We do not need swappable battery packs or leasing companies. We need a high capacity battery that can charge in 5 minutes. Setting up a convoluted swap out/leasing system only serves to screw things up. Remember to use the KISS method of planning kids.


RE: impressive
By Jeffk464 on 8/29/2012 4:21:43 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for understanding the concept.


RE: impressive
By nafhan on 8/29/2012 4:36:26 PM , Rating: 2
Of course some ideal technology we haven't invented connected to a power grid we don't have would be better. If you're imagining things, why would you imagine anything less than perfect? I don't agree that major technological and infrastructure changes are a "simple" solution, though, and even though I think we'll have what you describe at some point, there's no guarantee of when: it might be decades or more.

It also sounds like both you and Spuke would prefer to own the battery in an electric car and deal with that set of problems. Since I'm certainly not advocating making battery ownership illegal, that's also irrelevant. I merely proposed a solution to the charging time problem that would be feasible and relatively easy to implement, today. I'm also missing what exactly is convoluted about this. You want a new battery: you get one. You need a new battery: you get one. Paying a fixed rate up-front to do that is almost certainly simpler than attempting to deal with used battery valuation.

Also, the solution I described would not lock you into a provider beyond the term of the lease. In fact, it seems likely that legislation mandating interoperability between different manufacturers would be a good idea and a necessary prerequisite. Seriously, OEM only batteries that are different for every vehicle on the road would be it's own kind of vendor lock in hell.


RE: impressive
By Spuke on 8/29/2012 5:08:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It also sounds like both you and Spuke would prefer to own the battery in an electric car and deal with that set of problems.
Nope! I would prefer to own a car that meets my needs (and desires since I'm an enthusiast). Gasoline cars do everything I want with no trade-offs. There might be an EV in my household (it won't be my car per se...probably the wifes) but a few things have to happen.

1. Overall costs less than an equivalent gasoline car. If I'm going to save money by not using gas there MUST be a cost savings over an equivalent gas car.

2. Performance must be the same as an equivalent gas car. Most EV's are much heavier than gas. The weight has to come down. I don't care if it's faster in a straight line I'm not driving a slammed pickup truck. No pigs.

3. Range must be at LEAST 120 miles in all conditions and environments. That means A/C in 120F going up a 6% grade, heater on in 20F, radio on loud, charging my phone, all at 85 mph. I do this in my vehicles will no issues whatsoever.

For me to drive one personally, there is an additional requirement:

4. Must be under $15k used with acceptable miles. Sometime in the future I'm buying an older, classic car (there's a certain '69 BMW I'm hoping will come back on the market) and I'm wanting a commuter type car to go with it. I might be willing to buy an EV provided the above is met.


RE: impressive
By nafhan on 8/30/2012 10:19:57 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Nope! I would prefer to own a car that meets my needs
I can't say I disagree with any of the four "needs" you require in a possible electric car. If I came up with a list like that, it'd probably be very similar. However, that's not really what we were talking about. None of those points appear to be directly related to the battery ownership vs. leasing discussion we were having.


RE: impressive
By nafhan on 8/29/2012 4:38:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why would I pay, in full, for a battery pack I don't even own then turn around and pay again to rent it?
I don't know why you would do that. It sounds like a bad idea, though. It's also not what I was suggesting.


RE: impressive
By Jeffk464 on 8/29/2012 10:06:06 AM , Rating: 2
Battery packs could be owned by the swap out companies and you could basically just be renting them.


RE: impressive
By mjdaly on 8/29/2012 2:11:25 PM , Rating: 2
And the problem with that is I get a swap out from company A that owns the battery, then my destination only has company B. Why would company B take their competitors batteries and charge them? If you think they can work out an agreement for charging one each others batteries, then why have separate companies in the first place?

What I am trying to say is that your swap out and lease system will only work if a single third party owns every single battery independent of the stations doing the swap outs and charging. Even then, there are only so many charged batteries that can be stored on site, so after a rush the station will eventually have no fully charged batteries. Then there is the fact that the battery packs are not one large removable unit all of the time. They can be distributed throughout the car to balance out weight problems.....

Basically, too many compromises. It will not work.


RE: impressive
By Jereb on 8/29/2012 6:02:02 PM , Rating: 2
Do you guys have the gas cylinder swap thingo at gas stations over there? You buy a bbq with empty cylinder, go to a gas station and swap it for a full one. You can do it at just about any gas station in Australia.


RE: impressive
By mjdaly on 8/30/2012 1:00:49 AM , Rating: 2
We do, however the cost of a propane cylinder is trivial compared to the cost of a battery pack.


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