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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 Reclaimer77 on 8/29/2012 9:59:53 AM , Rating: 1
They were basically cruising the entire time. They specifically picked a Scenic Highway where there would be no stop and go driving or traffic whatsoever. They even turned the AC off.

Seriously their Volt "review" was bad enough. Full of half-truths and material straight from GM's PR department. But this Model S review of theirs is even worst. It's hard to even take them seriously at this point.

Last time Musk received an unfavorable review, he sued Top Gear twice and lost. Why do I have the feeling the only media outlet he would grant this "exclusive" to is one that would agree to be overly positive, and not mention any negatives?

"real world" my ass.


RE: impressive
By Ammohunt on 8/29/2012 10:19:05 AM , Rating: 1
I agree, they forgot to add coasting Downhill with a tail wind, 120lb driver to the list to get the range they claim. Lets see the range with a normal driver in the summer A/C and radio on crusing at 75mph talking on the cell phone. Either way this is not an everyday car for everyday drivers its an elite upper crust type car excluding 99% of consumers.


RE: impressive
By Dr of crap on 8/29/2012 10:30:14 AM , Rating: 2
This statement is right on the nose -

"Either way this is not an everyday car for everyday drivers its an elite upper crust type car excluding 99% of consumers."

And the price sets that way.

BUT this is just for close to home driving. IT IS NOT MADE TO GO ON LONG TRIPS.
We ALL know that, yet everyone has to point it out.
You would still need a gas powered car for those kind of trips.


RE: impressive
By Reclaimer77 on 8/29/2012 10:40:49 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
"Either way this is not an everyday car for everyday drivers its an elite upper crust type car excluding 99% of consumers." And the price sets that way.


Yes except the 99% are the ones helping to pay for the 1%'s toys in this case.


RE: impressive
By MadMan007 on 8/29/2012 10:44:11 AM , Rating: 2
This car isn't made for going on long trips.


RE: impressive
By Reclaimer77 on 8/29/2012 10:49:05 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
This car isn't made for going on long trips.


Tell that to Motor Trend then. Because the entire article was a long road trip! Hello?


RE: impressive
By Masospaghetti on 8/29/2012 10:24:41 AM , Rating: 1
The highway cycle is more punishing for an electric vehicle compared to the city cycle because aerodynamic drag is higher and there's no ability to use brake regeneration. Lower speeds and stop-and-go driving would have improved their numbers, not worsened them.

Speaking of the Volt - 1,849 units were sold in July (~22,200 annual volume). I thought there was no demand for the Volt? Let me guess, they were all government orders, right?


RE: impressive
By ksherman on 8/29/2012 10:30:47 AM , Rating: 2
I was going to mention the regenerative braking as well.

I'm still pretty impressed with this Tesla and am excited for the future when they can start getting the prices another $10-20k lower.

I agree with another poster that the really big challenge is charging. The university I work at has electric car charging spots (which I don't have to pay for, which is cool!), but I think they're of a 240V variety so it would be a pretty slow charge. But at home, I live in a townhome and short of a 100ft extension cable I won't be able to charge there, which is a big issue. Fortunately, my one-way commute to work is only about 45 miles, in theory with charging at the office I shouldn't run into any issues...


RE: impressive
By Reclaimer77 on 8/29/2012 10:36:08 AM , Rating: 2
Physics wasn't your best subject was it? There's a reason Teslas city MPGe is listed as lower than it's highway mileage.

Plus these guys were driving downhill. So we have a body in motion staying in motion, also going downhill. Physics dictates this will be far more efficient than stop and go driving. Aerodynamic drag is simply not a bigger factor than those variables. It requires more energy to get something moving than to keep it moving.

quote:
Speaking of the Volt - 1,849 units were sold in July (~22,200 annual volume). I thought there was no demand for the Volt? Let me guess, they were all government orders, right?


Yes and for the second time this year, they've put production on hold for a month. If demand is so high, how could they stop production? So nice try lol. And the idea that less than 2k units sold monthly in this country is somehow good...uhhh, right.


RE: impressive
By Masospaghetti on 8/29/2012 11:21:25 AM , Rating: 1
If you actually looked at the EPA test cycle you'd see that the average speed of the highway and "high-speed" circuits is less than 49 mph, much less than the 67 mph that Motor Trend had in their test.

Source: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.s...

In other words, the Model S surely gets better economy at 49 mph compared to city driving, but at 67 mph it's going to be significantly worse. Speaking of physics, remember how drag is a function of velocity, squared?

quote:
It requires more energy to get something moving than to keep it moving.


This ignores regenerative braking, which if used properly, captures between 50%-75% of the kinetic energy, 75% being the upper limit for the Volt.

quote:
And the idea that less than 2k units sold monthly in this country is somehow good...uhhh, right.


Yep...considering its only competitors are the Leaf, which sold 532 units, and the Prius Plug-in, which sold 688. BTW, the Volt line was idled in July for retooling related to the new Impala line, not because of oversupply of the Volt.

Source: http://www.plugincars.com/chevy-volt-sales-stay-st...

http://www.plugincars.com/chevy-idles-volt-media-s...


RE: impressive
By Reclaimer77 on 8/29/2012 11:40:33 AM , Rating: 2
When the Leaf and Prius Plug-in are your examples of the Volt's competition, I see you've sorely missed the point.

quote:
This ignores regenerative braking, which if used properly, captures between 50%-75% of the kinetic energy, 75% being the upper limit for the Volt.


Of that about 5% is actually converted into electricity for the vehicle. Regenerative braking is nice, but not very efficient. Certainly not enough to make up for cruising vs stop and go driving.

This debate is stupid. You are WRONG! Cruising downhill on a highway will always be more efficient than real world city driving.


RE: impressive
By Masospaghetti on 8/29/2012 12:35:08 PM , Rating: 2
I know you love to compare the Volt to $15,000 subcompacts and $25,000 standard hybrids. Would you consider the Ford Taurus a failure because it sells less than 10,000 units a month, when the Civic sells 30,000?

quote:
Of that about 5% is actually converted into electricity for the vehicle. Regenerative braking is nice, but not very efficient. Certainly not enough to make up for cruising vs stop and go driving.


Most hybrids have a higher city MPG rating than highway MPG rating. Why do you think this is? The Tesla is an outlier and I provided a perfectly reasonable explanation of why the numbers exist the way they do, which you haven't addressed at all.

quote:
This debate is stupid. You are WRONG!


This sums up the extent of your logic and reasoning in most conversations.


RE: impressive
By Reclaimer77 on 8/29/2012 1:16:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I know you love to compare the Volt to $15,000 subcompacts and $25,000 standard hybrids.


Huh?? Whatever lol. The Volt is a $45k+ sedan. At that price it fails horribly compared to pretty much any car in that bracket. Maybe that's why nobody is buying it? It's basically a Cruize Eco for twice the money!

quote:
Most hybrids have a higher city MPG rating than highway MPG rating.


The Model S isn't a hybrid. Point?

quote:
The Tesla is an outlier and I provided a perfectly reasonable explanation of why the numbers exist the way they do, which you haven't addressed at all.


How did I not address this? It's right here in the article, and I directly quoted the Tesla website. The Model S get's 88MPGe in the city, and 90MPGe on the HIGHWAY!! Now you tell me, which number bigger?

Again, YOU ARE WRONG. I think Tesla knows more about their own car than you. And they are telling you in black and white that, like all vehicles, it gets better efficiency highway driving.

Are you going to stfu and just admit you're wrong? If the freaking fact sheet FROM Tesla won't convince you, than I guess I sure as hell can't.


RE: impressive
By Masospaghetti on 8/29/2012 2:55:16 PM , Rating: 4
Stop foaming at the mouth for ten seconds and you might understand what you're being told.
quote:
...like all vehicles, it gets better efficiency highway driving.

2012 Nissan Leaf: 102/96 MPGe
2011 Fusion Hybrid: 41/36
2011 Toyota Prius: 51/48
2011 Ford Escape Hybrid: 34/31
...

Do I need to keep going?
quote:
The Model S get's 88MPGe in the city, and 90MPGe on the HIGHWAY!!

And as I already posted, the HIGHWAY test averages less than 49 MPH where aerodynamic drag is minimal. Motor trend tested at 67 MPH which has much more drag. Had Motor Trend done lower speed and local driving their range would have been increased.
quote:
Again, YOU ARE WRONG

quote:
Are you going to stfu and just admit you're wrong?

I'm done here. You clearly have no capacity for logical discussion.


RE: impressive
By Solandri on 8/29/2012 6:32:30 PM , Rating: 2
This is correct. Aerodynamic drag at 65 mph is pretty substantial, accounting for a 10-15% drop in MPG over moving at 55 mph.

The Tesla S getting lower city MPGe than highway, while other electric/hybrids get higher city MPGe makes sense too. Due to the extra batteries in the Tesla S which give it the 200+ mile range, it's got a bigger weight-to-drag ratio. Tesla S = 4600 lbs, Leaf = 3400 lbs, Fusion hybrid = 3600 lbs, Prius = 3000 lbs, Escape hybrid = 3600 lbs.

That means the Tesla S needs more energy to get up to speed from a stop than these other vehicles. While regenerative braking is good, it is not 100% efficient. Assuming the Tesla's regenerative braking is just as efficient as the other hybrid/electric vehicles', the additional vehicle mass means the Tesla S loses more energy per start/stop cycle than the others.

Meanwhile its cross-sectional area and drag coefficient are not substantially worse than the other vehicles. Weight is less of a factor when you're traveling at steady highway speeds. So you end up with similar highway performance and comparatively worse city performance versus a lighter vehicle.


RE: impressive
By Reclaimer77 on 8/29/2012 7:08:14 PM , Rating: 1
Tesla says the goddamn thing gets better mileage on the highway. I'm not going to allow you to obfuscate the facts with nitpicking about testing methodology. If the methods are good enough for every other car out there, they're good enough for the Model S! End of discussion.

quote:
Motor trend tested at 67 MPH which has much more drag. Had Motor Trend done lower speed and local driving their range would have been increased.


Another logic fail. They picked that highway specifically BECAUSE it was the most ideal for the longest range drive as possible. If city driving revealed longer range, they would have done a city drive! Hello? The entire point about the article was to brag about the Tesla S.

Just admit you're making crap up and ignoring physics, that you're wrong, and then shut up forever.


RE: impressive
By toffty on 8/29/2012 1:24:01 PM , Rating: 2
Reclaimer you're such an idiot. The reason GM stopped production is to retool the facility. Not because there is no demand.


RE: impressive
By Reclaimer77 on 8/29/2012 1:29:03 PM , Rating: 2
Uh huh "retooling". Sure. For some reason the Volt is SO amazing, it's also the only production car that needs production halted for one reason or another like every 6 months.

It would be unacceptable to stop production on a vehicle for 4 weeks that's in massive demand. Use some logic here. If Toyota stopped Camry production, or Ford halted F-150 production for 4 weeks, there would be riots and protests. There would be angry consumers, gnashing of teeth, and outrage everywhere.

The Volt? All we hear is the vacuum left in the wake of an implosion.

http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/image...

Yeah GM is just spot on with that whole supply and demand concept as you can see.


RE: impressive
By toffty on 8/29/2012 2:09:22 PM , Rating: 2
I'll make it easy for you by putting the quote here. The person quoted is Chevy spokesman David Darovitz.
quote:
We are not idling the plant due to poor Volt sales. We're gearing up for production of the new Impala

Let me spell it out for you:
- A 'plant' in this context is not a green living thing with leaves, it is a factory where cars are made
-The Volt is made in only one plant
-That one plant also makes Impalas
-There is a new Impala model coming that requires changes to the production line
-Therefore the plant needs to shut down so those modification can be made

Source:
http://www.freep.com/article/20120828/BUSINESS0101...


RE: impressive
By wookie1 on 8/29/2012 4:07:25 PM , Rating: 2
Right, they're replacing the tooling needed to produce the car that's not selling with the tooling needed to produce a car that will sell. They sold 2,870 Volts in 2011 and that's increased to 10,600 through July, which is way below the 45K that was projected for this year. Apparently there was a blip in sales when California approved single-driver Volts to use the carpool lane.

Do you see, though, the basic contradiction:
1) Volt sales are doing great, they're only shutting down to retool for the Impala
2) The Volt is only made at one plant

How can you sell cars that aren't being produced?
If there is so much dealer stock that more production isn't needed, how can you say that sales are great?


RE: impressive
By Jeffk464 on 8/29/2012 11:42:08 AM , Rating: 2
Yup, regenerative breaking and not wasting energy while idling in traffic like a gas car. Kind of like the prius city driving and hwy driving get about the same mileage.


RE: impressive
By Nutzo on 8/29/2012 2:35:22 PM , Rating: 2
Alot of them (outside of the government and GE) have been sold in California. The main reason is that they qualify for special car-pool stickers that allow them to use the carpool lanes.


RE: impressive
By taichou on 8/29/2012 1:43:52 PM , Rating: 2
While that drive down PCH from LA to San Diego is scenic, it is nothing but tourist and rich people in their expensive cars on a two lane highway. At any given time between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. could be stop and go traffic for a few miles. So the "real world" driving conditions were pretty much there. Also the strong and steady ocean winds would make turning on the AC similar to being a deady body in the morgue. And no I'm not from Cali I just did some contract work in the Socal area.


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