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Elon Musk  (Source: blogcdn.com)
Tesla will make the announcements next week

Tesla Motors plans to reveal some news about its updated dealer service and the company's Supercharger network next week. 
 
While the details of these announcements are unclear right now, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made it clear that service will be completely revamped and made a top priority.
 
"I'm an engineer, so service is not something that I naturally do," Musk said. "But it's the right thing for the company and I think we have the opportunity to re-engineer service."
 
As for the Superchargers, it’s likely that the company will be adding more in certain areas as more Model S’ are hitting the roads (and customers would enjoy driving longer distances knowing that Superchargers are plentiful along the way).
 
Tesla made another announcement earlier this week pertaining to financing. The automaker is partnering with Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank to offer customers more financing options for Tesla’s vehicles.
 
Tesla has had a pleasant 2013 so far, as the company recently announced that it is shipping over 500 Model S EVs weekly.
 
It also reported that the company is now profitable thanks to the Model S exceeding sales targets. Tesla Model S sales reached 4,750, which topped the sales outlook of 4,500 posted in the February shareholder letter.
 
Tesla recently shared another bit of Model S news, this time concerning the battery. The automaker decided not to produce the 40 kWh battery pack because only 5 percent of customers chose that option. Instead, customers will receive a 60 kWh pack.
 
The only small hiccup in Tesla’s schedule is the delay to production of the Model X. Tesla had hoped to begin production of the vehicle this year, but those plans have been put off until late 2014 (meaning deliveries will likely be pushed to 2015). 

Source: Reuters



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RE: The SHOCKING truth about electric cars!!!
By Pneumothorax on 4/5/2013 10:15:09 AM , Rating: 2
Your 2-5x increase in battery capacity is some serious pie in the sky thinking. LiOn/LiPo battery density hasn't really improved a whole lot in the last 10 years. The only way right now to add 2-5x more battery capacity is to increase the Kwh size of the pack to 2-5x. Even with Teslas supercharger stations, it still takes over an hour to do a complete charge on their largest capacity pack so that's over 6x slower than filling up my 550 mile range 335d.


RE: The SHOCKING truth about electric cars!!!
By Guspaz on 4/5/2013 10:26:59 AM , Rating: 2
If memory serves, the rate of improvement for lithium ion has been something like 8-9% per year for a while now. Let's take 8%, then a 2x-5x improvement would require 9 - 21 years. To say this will happen "in the next few years" is indeed pie in the sky.


By mjv.theory on 4/5/2013 1:03:44 PM , Rating: 2
Fair to say that my hopes of rapid improvement in battery tech may include an element of optimism. Even so, there are several areas of research showing genuine promise. Whether these prove to be economically manufacturable remains to be seen, but "pie in the sky" labelling is IMO a little harsh and/or pessimistic.

Although it may not meets with Musk's complete approval, the Volt-style idea of an EV drivetrain with a range-extender generator is also extremely viable. There is certainly room for much optimisation, particularly with regards to a specifically designed generator. As demonstrated by the experiences of many Volt owners, even with a moderately small battery pack, very considerable improvements in efficiency can be made given that most people, most of the time only do fairly short journeys. Obviously if you drive a thousand miles every day or have no facility to plug-in at home, then your outlook may differ. Personally I would struggle with a Leaf and a Model S is way too expensive. Nonetheless, I remain of the opinion that the sooner the internal combustion engine is decoupled from the wheels of transport, the better. Also, I believe the time is ripe for an effort like Tesla's to change the automotive landscape.


By SublimeSimplicity on 4/5/2013 2:15:04 PM , Rating: 2
But battery improvements don't come in a steady stream of 8% a year. For years we had NiMH (with very marginal improvements) then Lithium ions came out with over 2x the capacity.

Improvements seems to come in breakthroughs, not so much incremental improvements when it comes to batteries.


By lelias2k on 4/6/2013 8:21:02 AM , Rating: 2
My thoughts exactly. Funny how pessimists tend to look into one direction only.


By wiz220 on 4/5/2013 1:30:58 PM , Rating: 2
Ya, it is a bit optimistic. I went to a Tesla dealership here in CO and the salesperson told me that when you need to replace the battery (after 8 years I believe) you can expect the new replacement battery to have roughly twice the range. That's still a pretty good improvement, especially since you'll be paying the same amount as you would have for your original battery, but certainly not 2-5x over a few years.


By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 4/5/2013 1:58:19 PM , Rating: 2
Envia and other researchers are claiming 400Wh/kg or greater, and LiS and metal-air batteries may push that past 600Wh/kg. Envia may have some of its improvements integrated into batteries over the next 3-5 years.

That's not pie in the sky, it's pie on a window ledge about 6 stories up.


By SublimeSimplicity on 4/5/2013 2:25:36 PM , Rating: 2
Lithium sulfur is right around the corner. Metal-Air is a long way for prime time (if ever).

But an LiS battery with a Si anode is good for 4x-6x current capacity. To put that in real world numbers that's a Nissan LEAF that can go 280-400 miles on a charge for the same cost as today... or one with 2x the range of today for $10k less.


RE: The SHOCKING truth about electric cars!!!
By mjv.theory on 4/5/2013 4:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
When saying "the next few years", I had in mind something like, "by the end of the decade". There are enough regular reports of potential improvements in battery tech that the possibility of a 2x increase by 2020 is surely not too fanciful. For a vehicle like the Model S, a 2x improvement in battery capacity might mean a real world 400-500mile range, or 10k off the price. For vehicles that are smaller (and cheaper) than Model S, an improvement in battery capacity is even more significant, since the cost and the weight of the battery pack would be an even greater percentage of the overall price and weight of the vehicle.



RE: The SHOCKING truth about electric cars!!!
By Pneumothorax on 4/5/2013 10:58:20 PM , Rating: 2
Call me pessimistic, but there's just too many 'pop-sic' articles touting some new fancy battery tech that never sees the day of mass production


RE: The SHOCKING truth about electric cars!!!
By lelias2k on 4/6/2013 8:26:17 AM , Rating: 2
You are pessimistic. :p


By topkill on 4/6/2013 3:35:30 PM , Rating: 2
+1 :-)


By 1prophet on 4/6/2013 8:33:25 AM , Rating: 2
It's not pessimism but the instant gratification mentality the corporations have brainwashed most of the public with for consumerism reasons,

and these companies have to announce some sort of breakthrough or progress because of the instant gratification mentality most investors have today.


By Mint on 4/6/2013 3:09:33 PM , Rating: 2
Just saw an article about a Li-S breakthrough couple days ago. They're definitely promising now that cycle life is improving.

You'll see them in consumer electronics long before they appear in cars, though. Cellphone companies will pay at least 5x as much as they do for Lithium-ion if they can get a battery with twice the density.

For example, Samsung's Galaxy S4 has ~10Wh of capacity. If they paid $50 for a high density 20Wh battery instead, they could easily charge $80+ for that extra feature. This works out to $2500/kWh, while current batteries are <$500/kWh.


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