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97 Superchargers versus 90,000 gas stations -- Tesla needs all the help it can get

Last week, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announced the decision to open up his company’s patent portfolio “in the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology.” It now appears that the first fruits of Musk’s decision are coming to bear.
 
The Financial Times is reporting that both BMW and Nissan are looking to join forces with Tesla to expand the electric vehicle charging network not just in the United States, but also globally. Tesla of course currently builds the Model S, while Nissan is finding some early success with the Leaf, and BMW just brought the i3 to the U.S. market. BMW also has plans to bring its plug-in hybrid i8 sports cars here as well.
 
“It is obviously clear that everyone would benefit if there was a far more simple way for everyone to charge their cars,” said an executive that wished not to be named for the Financial Times report. For its part, BMW explained that it is “strongly committed to the success of electro-mobility” and welcomes the collaboration with Tesla.

BMW i3

Tesla’s Supercharger network has expanded to 97 locations in the U.S., while seven are currently under construction. Tesla has permits in place to build an additional 10 Supercharger stations in the country. Worldwide (including the U.S. totals), there are 122 operational Supercharger stations.

In the grand scheme of things, 97 Supercharger locations in the U.S. is insignificant compared to the number of gas stations littered across the country — and the world. In the U.S. alone, there are nearly 90,000 gas stations available to serve the public.


The current map of operational Tesla Supercharger locations in the United States [Image souce: Tesla Motors]
 
This is the competition that Tesla is up against, hence the grand patent vision and the reason for this statement in last week’s blog post: “Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world’s factories every day.”
 
The cooperation between the three companies is definitely a crucial step to a world that Musk says would “benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.”

Source: Financial Times



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Free ride?
By BRB29 on 6/17/2014 9:57:02 AM , Rating: 2
It looks like I can go from NY to Cali for no gas money now :)

Time to buy a Tesla!




RE: Free ride?
By FITCamaro on 6/17/14, Rating: 0
RE: Free ride?
By protomech on 6/17/2014 10:31:40 AM , Rating: 2
Heat tends to slightly improve range, although the charge rate may be reduced if the cooling systems (either for the battery or the Supercharger station) become overheated.

As for cold.. Tesla already drove across the US this winter using only Superchargers.

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/cross-country-rall...

"Longest drive time between Superchargers
4 hours, 56 minutes, 29 seconds to travel 162.5 miles from Silverthorne, CO to Cheyenne, WY
This overnight leg included a blizzard, more than 12 inches of snow, icy roads, and high winds, resulting in significant traffic delays, the closure and then re-opening of I-70, the closure of the I-25, and the re-routing of the drive to CO-14 and then US85."

"Lowest temperature encountered
-4F / -20C
During the drive between Albert Lea, MN and La Crosse, WI Superchargers."


RE: Free ride?
By WLee40 on 6/17/2014 10:45:00 AM , Rating: 3
Well, that will change with more stations. Now won't it??!! I am looking forward to the electric vehicle taking over. It will be ironic when the gas stations become few and far between.


RE: Free ride?
By BRB29 on 6/17/2014 10:54:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Except in the cold of winter and extreme heat of the summer your battery will probably die before you get to certain supercharger locations.


Give it a break, it doesn't decrease mileage by 30%.


RE: Free ride?
By Griffinhart on 6/17/2014 1:26:32 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, it can. It's not the performance of the batteries and electric motor causing it, though there is some difference, but A/C and Heaters do eat up the battery life.

Remember, according to the Tesla page, the "longest drive time between superchargers" refers to time not distance. There were several legs that went many more miles.

There are a ton of things that affect range of EV's
http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/model-s-efficiency...

I think the Tesla S has plenty of range to be a good alternative to the standard commuter/family car. Too bad it has a starting price of $70K and can go north of $100K.


RE: Free ride?
By FaaR on 6/17/2014 2:41:20 PM , Rating: 2
Internal losses in the battery should be able to keep it warm enough while driving. Also, heating for the passenger compartment wintertime could be scavenged from waste losses in the car's various electrical systems, motor and so on. You wouldn't have to rely on electrical heating elements...


RE: Free ride?
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/17/2014 10:23:42 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, if you don't mind just one route to get there. I'm all for electric vehicles, and I really think that one would work perfectly for our family as a second car (just city driving).

However, I do not feel comfortable AT ALL using one to take the family on a long distance trip without a care in the world. I can hop in my current car and drive anywhere I want and not even have to think about it. I know that there's a gas station that that will be able to replenish by vehicle in just about any direction I point my car. And I can refuel in a few minutes and then be on my way.

But as I said, as a second car in a family that requires two cars, an EV would work perfectly for us. EV for the short city trips that my wife makes during her weekly commute and my car for everything else.


RE: Free ride?
By WLee40 on 6/17/2014 10:47:31 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. For me, an electric vehicle will be my main transportation to go to work, run errands, etc. City driving. For the road trips, gas/diesel is still the way to go.


RE: Free ride?
By BRB29 on 6/17/2014 10:59:32 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Yes, if you don't mind ...


Yes, I don't mind because I applied common sense and know the shortcomings of being an early adopter. The whole notion of a trip from NY to Cali is impractical. It's better just to buy a plane ticket. The point of the trip in any vehicle regardless if it is ICE, hybrid, EV, hydrogen, veggie oil powered.... is to have fun.

A balls out trip across the country using only free electricity with some friends sounds very fun to me.


RE: Free ride?
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/17/2014 12:25:15 PM , Rating: 2
My point was that you are dictated by WHERE and HOW you travel across the country by where the charging stations are located.

Yes, driving across the country in ANY vehicle would be fun, but I don't want to be limited by where I would be able to charge up. If I wanted to start from Wilmington, NC and take I-40 all the way across the country to CA, I wouldn't be served by Superchargers for my entire trip... yet.

Being an early adopter for city driving is COMPLETELY possible. Being an early adopter and traveling long distances from any corner of the country without roadblocks is not possible yet, but I welcome the advancement of charging infrastructure to get there.


RE: Free ride?
By Mint on 6/17/2014 1:55:37 PM , Rating: 2
"yet" is the key, and what's more is that Tesla doesn't need thousands of stations to cover almost every route.

You started your article with "97 Superchargers versus 90,000 gas stations", but omitted that most of the nation's 100 million homes (yes, most) have the ability to charge while you sleep.

That's the EV's huge advantage over hydrogen and even CNG. The infrastructure is mostly built, and a company whose output is only 1/5000th of the nation's GDP can fill in the gaps with a few percent of revenues.


RE: Free ride?
By Spuke on 6/17/2014 5:30:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
what's more is that Tesla doesn't need thousands of stations to cover almost every route.
How so?

quote:
You started your article with "97 Superchargers versus 90,000 gas stations", but omitted that most of the nation's 100 million homes (yes, most) have the ability to charge while you sleep.
This doesn't help you while you're long distance driving which is the point that Jason is making and you keep avoiding.


RE: Free ride?
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/17/2014 6:05:59 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, I look NOTHING like Jason :)


RE: Free ride?
By Mint on 6/18/2014 11:33:58 AM , Rating: 2
Did you forget to read the first sentence of my post? Or is "yet" too cryptic for you?

They already have commited to building many more Superchargers, and if they form a partnership with BMW and Nissan, then they'll build more still.


RE: Free ride?
By tng on 6/18/2014 1:51:07 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, he does have a point.

Given that a single charger will need hours to sufficiently charge a car, there will need to be plenty of chargers at each location, plus a hotel nearby where you can go and spend the night just in case.

ICE cars have the advantage of being able to "re-charge" within 10 minutes, so a station with 4 pumps can service hundreds of cars per day. A Tesla charging station with 20 chargers could not keep pace with that.

I already know one location near Albany NY where they just installed 5 chargers from Tesla in the parking lot of a Mall. I have never seen these used yet, but my thinking is that businesses who want that crowd should install these, people who can afford a $70K-$100K car should have some disposable income and will have some time on their hands to spend it.


RE: Free ride?
By Mint on 6/18/2014 3:57:34 PM , Rating: 2
First of all, none of what you say is outside the scope of "yet". Tesla will expand the stalls as needed, and hotels (along with parking lots) are installing chargers or even simple sockets all over the place.
quote:
ICE cars have the advantage of being able to "re-charge" within 10 minutes, so a station with 4 pumps can service hundreds of cars per day. A Tesla charging station with 20 chargers could not keep pace with that.
A Tesla charging station needs no attendant, is more than an order of magnitude cheaper, and thus far, less than 5% of mileage is charged at these stations.

If you do the math, there is no problem:

Say that over 15 years, an average Tesla does 200k miles and 15% is fueled by Superchargers (I'm tripling the current Supercharger usage to cover a future rise in usage). It takes maybe 105 hours over the life of the car to charge those miles, or 7 hours per year. Let's say Tesla wants each stall to be used only 10% of the time on average to prevent crowding, so that's 876 charging hours per year provided by each stall.

In other words, each Tesla only uses 0.8% of a single Supercharger stall's uncrowded capacity. If you have a million Teslas, you'll need 8,000 stalls correctly distributed for the same low usage rate.

Tesla said Supercharger stations (let's assume 4 stalls) cost $150,000 installed. 0.8% of a stall works out to $300/car. 8000 stalls would cost $300M, which is again $300/car for 1M cars.

$300/car is nothing. They charge $2000 for the Supercharging option. It's a very viable model.


RE: Free ride?
By tng on 6/19/2014 8:30:30 AM , Rating: 2
From the Tesla website...

quote:
A Supercharger can replenish half the battery in as little as 20 minutes.

So you can get the equivalent of a 1/2 tank in 20 minutes... Still literally about 4 times longer than getting a full tank for an ICE, along with paying the attendant. Not horrible though.

The next thing is that at some point, this will be a chargeable service... I know that the website makes it sound like one big happy family, but someone is opening the bill from the PG&E, ConEd, National Grid or whoever your power provider is and has to pay for it.

While I ultimately like solar for a number of reasons (none of them environmental) the best solar cells in the world right now are about 30% efficient, very expensive and will not be a good fit for a super charger.


RE: Free ride?
By Mint on 6/20/2014 9:57:21 AM , Rating: 2
It really won't have to be a regularly chargeable service. Tesla is going to just play the odds and assume people will generally charge at home, because it's more convenient. Few Tesla owners will live within 5 min to a supercharger, and even if they do, few will think it's worth 20min of time for $5 of electricity.

Tesla charges the customer $2000 up front, and maybe $500 of that goes to the Supercharger construction cost, while $1500 pays for enough electricity to drive 40k miles or more.


RE: Free ride?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/17/14, Rating: -1
RE: Free ride?
By Spuke on 6/17/2014 1:01:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Being in a car for ~3,500 miles does not sound like fun to me, no. And I LOVE to drive. But that's just not fun, sorry.
I've done it once by myself and once with my family. It IS fun BUT, IMO, not until you get out west or out east. Sorry but driving through the mid-west is boring as hell. When I did it myself, I limited my driving to 8 hrs a day max, that way I could find a hotel and eat dinner while it was still light out. Made for a more relaxing drive. Takes almost 4 days going it that way.


RE: Free ride?
By chimto on 6/17/2014 2:46:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
People would be best served by fast charging in their cities and suburban areas, you know, where they actually LIVE and drive?


Why would people need fast charging in their neighborhoods. The only time you would need fast charging is when taking a trip that is longer than the range of a full charge. An EV has a different paradigm than gas cars. They should be fully charged every morning you wake up because it should be plugged in while you sleep.

Think of it this way. If every home had a gas pump built in, how often would you be stopping at a gas station?
Answer: Only on long road trips.


RE: Free ride?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/17/2014 4:24:15 PM , Rating: 1
Convenience. Convenience is huge. I know you people have it in your heads that people will ALWAYS charge at night and never need fast charging around town. But I'm sorry, that's just so unrealistic it's not funny.

People are going to run into situations where they forgot to charge the car, the kid took the car joyriding and wore down the battery, etc etc. To know you can drive a few miles, charge up quickly, and be on your way would be a MASSIVE boost to EV's.

quote:
They should be fully charged every morning you wake up because it should be plugged in while you sleep.


Sigh, see? This is what I'm talking about. Yes in a perfect world you will "always" have a freshly charged EV ready to go in the morning. But..just come on. Be realistic please.

Not to mention that not everyone has access to a garage or outside outlet. Some people have to *gasp* park their vehicles on the street. What about their needs??

Don't you guys get it? For EV's to go prime-time, they MUST offer similar convenience to ICE's!


RE: Free ride?
By Mint on 6/18/2014 4:42:04 PM , Rating: 2
Do you really think EVs have to cover everyone's needs before people buy them?

Can you not accept that maybe 10% of car buyers can live with 200 miles a day in the city? That in the last 27 years, less than 15% of single-family homes were built without a garage, and that tiny market is the last of Elon's concerns?
http://www.census.gov/construction/chars/pdf/soldp...

If pure EVs comprise just 10% of the US market by 2025, and Tesla gets half of that, they'll be ecstatic. That's almost a million cars per year just in the US, and probably triple that worldwide. To put that in perspective, they'll need several gigafactories for that kind of volume.

Your standards are very unreasonable. This is a gradual process.


RE: Free ride?
By Mint on 6/17/2014 3:01:20 PM , Rating: 2
Fast chargers in the city are important for EVs with 80 mile range, but when you can leave your home with 200+ miles of range? How many people need to do 200 miles a day in the city? I'm sure a few people do, but Elon is not gonna sweat losing a handful of customers from that shortcoming.

The purpose of the Supercharger network is to allow people to travel far away from their home and between cities, and you don't have to travel cross country to use it.


RE: Free ride?
By euclidean on 6/17/2014 4:35:12 PM , Rating: 2
You mean, in City driving where the average person drives less than 50 miles in a day? And can charge their vehicle overnight at home?

I'm not disagreeing that it's a PR move, but lets be honest - the number 1 complaint on EVs is the distance traveled on a single charge combined with the time it takes to refuel.

The average driver isn't putting over 200 miles on the road in a single day in their home region. Just thinking if I were to drive an hour to go see family for the day and come back home, I would have to drive ~125 miles round trip...

So adding Superchargers on Interstates and Freeways allows us to make long distance trips with quick 'fuel' stops in an EV. Short trips around home are already covered in the longevity of the battery, thus (IMO) building the network along the most common cross country routes first is the correct decision (not necessarily a PR move, but in today's world, everything is about PR...).


RE: Free ride?
By flyingpants1 on 6/17/2014 9:48:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I get that Musk want's to prove that EV's can be as practical as cars, but I don't think insanely long cross-country trips most people NEVER make is the way to go about that.


265 miles should be enough for most city driving. Who drives more than 3-4 hours a day within the same city?

Very fast charging destroys the battery. Ideal charging rate is probably <1C. I agree there should be a quick charging option within cities, but ~50-85kW should be enough for now. CHAdeMO is 50kW, that's 85 miles in 30 mins and the stations already exist everywhere in Europe.


RE: Free ride?
By Manch on 6/17/2014 10:23:56 AM , Rating: 2
Are these chargers completely off the grid via solar or wind or magic dust or something? I wonder how long till those charging stations start wanting you to pay? It'll still be cheaper than gas I would think.

Thats cool they are doing this but I want to see the charge time of 75min for a full charge to go down.

Here in Stavanger Norway you see at least 4-5 everytime you drive! The incentives they offer make it rediculously cheap to buy them here. Model S cost you about $115K here vs lets say a mustang,camaro or anything with a comparable engine/hp would cost you about $170K+. Plus you get free charging, use of the bus/taxi lanes(avoids the always congested , free parking(normally $20 an hour), and no tolls($3.50 per pass)

So the tesla drivers get a lot of subsidies here to incentivise buying them.


RE: Free ride?
By protomech on 6/17/2014 10:35:11 AM , Rating: 2
Most of the Superchargers are powered directly by the grid. A small number have photovoltaic canopies that provide some amount of energy into a storage battery .. probably perhaps as much as a dozen Model S 50% charges during the day. In the future the solar canopies and battery storage could be expanded as usage of the stations increases.

Some CHAdeMO and Combo stations require payment, some are free to use. Tesla has committed to making the Supercharger network free to use; "fuel" costs are minuscule compared to installation and maintenance costs for the network.


RE: Free ride?
By Solandri on 6/17/2014 1:37:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A small number have photovoltaic canopies that provide some amount of energy into a storage battery .. probably perhaps as much as a dozen Model S 50% charges during the day.

Based on 16% efficient panels and an average capacity factor of 0.145 for the U.S., a square meter of PV panels generates an average of 417 Wh in a day. Figure trickle charging the PV canopy's storage batteries is 80% efficient, and quick-charging the Tesla's battery is 70% efficient, and this is about 234 Wh per day to the Tesla's battery per m^2.

To fully charge one smaller Model S battery (60 kWh) per day would thus require 257 m^2 of panels. To charge a dozen to 50% would require 1542 m^2. Kinda big for a "canopy" dontcha think? Put another way, this PV canopy at a Supercharge station in Tejon, CA covers about 7 cars. Figure it's 70 ft x 20 ft, or 130 m^2. Despite covering 7 cars and thus implying all 7 stalls are being charged with solar all day, it will only generate enough electricity to charge one (1) smaller battery Telsa to 50% per day.
http://www.plugincars.com/sites/default/files/tejo...

People vastly overestimate how much energy PV solar generates. Cars use a huge amount of energy - roughly an order of magnitude more than your house uses. And covering half your roof with PV panels usually isn't enough to even provide 100% of your home's electricity usage.


RE: Free ride?
By Mint on 6/18/2014 12:27:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Cars use a huge amount of energy - roughly an order of magnitude more than your house uses.
No they don't.

To drive 15000 miles, an EV needs less than 5000kWh. Average US electricity consumption per household was 10,837 kWh in 2012, and that doesn't include heating energy.

I agree that his statement was incorrect, and that solar roofs on Superchargers being largely PR, but note that 100 such canopies across the nation would generate over 3GWh per year (your calcs underestimate incident light and modern efficiency), which can drive Teslas about 10M miles per year. They drove 15M miles on Superchargers since launch, according to the last financial results. Obviously that'll grow as more cars are sold, but my point is that it's not an irrelevant amount of generation.

The rarely used, middle-of-nowhere chargers could well be powered by canopies feeding batteries, without a connection to the grid. Also, Superchargers are often located near malls, so covering mall roofs is an option for more solar area.


RE: Free ride?
By Solandri on 6/18/2014 1:51:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
quote:
Cars use a huge amount of energy - roughly an order of magnitude more than your house uses.
No they don't.

To drive 15000 miles, an EV needs less than 5000kWh. Average US electricity consumption per household was 10,837 kWh in 2012, and that doesn't include heating energy.

I'm sorry, I should have written power, not energy. I talked about energy in the previous sentence and had a brain fart when typing that one. A car cruising at highway speeds requires about 15-20 kW. A house burns about 1.25 kW of electricity.

I think we can all agree a car that is standing still burns no energy, but is not really worth considering since it isn't doing anything.
quote:
(your calcs underestimate incident light and modern efficiency)

No they don't. Most of the panels I'm seeing in commercial products are still 16% efficient, though 18% is becoming more common. You can get 20% efficient panels, but you'll pay out the nose for them.

And you can't just calculate generated energy based on incident sunlight. You have to take into account weather and cloud cover. The capacity factor does that, and the average capacity factor for solar in the U.S. is 0.145.

You can get a higher solar constant (800 W/m^2 or even 850 W/m^2) at altitude or the equator (sunlight tends to strike the atmosphere more perpendicular), but at our latitude and typical altitudes it's closer to 750 W/m^2.


RE: Free ride?
By Keeir on 6/17/2014 11:43:45 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
So the tesla drivers get a lot of subsidies here to incentivise buying them.


I wouldn't exactly call it "subsidy". Model S's still cost more in Norway than the do in US, before subsidy. But it does sound like a whole lot of preferential treatment!


RE: Free ride?
By Manch on 6/17/2014 12:40:43 PM , Rating: 2
That's true but far less than a lot of other cars here. Other than the %25 import tax, all other fees are waived! A $35k Mustang is $44K with the import tax. The remaining is fees and other taxes.

Check out finn.no and you'll see what I mean on car prices. Insane!


RE: Free ride?
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 6/17/2014 11:55:42 AM , Rating: 2
Are these chargers completely off the grid via solar or wind or magic dust or something? I wonder how long till those charging stations start wanting you to pay? It'll still be cheaper than gas I would think.

Superchargers are "free forever". Non-Tesla chargers? Not so much.

However, given that the cost of Supercharging in every Tesla so equipped probably averages out to about $1800 per vehicle, that's a lot of prepaid "free fuel". In the US, with an average per-kWh cost of $0.12, that's about 70-80k km worth of prepaid range.

So the tesla drivers get a lot of subsidies here to incentivise buying them.

Assuming Norway's still a democracy, that's what the people voted for :)


RE: Free ride?
By Manch on 6/17/2014 12:44:48 PM , Rating: 2
lolol, it wasnt voted on believe me. You should see how long they keep cars on the road because of the tariffs place upon vehicles base on engine size, hp, capacity, etc. Classic cars are popular here becasue as long as they stay 70% original they can still be classified as an antique and avoid the bevy of tariffs.


RE: Free ride?
By Flunk on 6/17/14, Rating: 0
RE: Free ride?
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 6/17/2014 11:56:56 AM , Rating: 2
323i is apples/oranges. Try comparing against a 750i for size, power and price.


RE: Free ride?
By Dr of crap on 6/17/14, Rating: 0
RE: Free ride?
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/17/2014 1:24:39 PM , Rating: 2
That's like saying, I could buy a new Ferrari, or I could buy a Ford Mustang. Sure they're both "performance" vehicles, but they're not even directly comparable.

Put in tech terms, it'd be like comparing a flip phone to a HTC One M8.

The Tesla Model S' competition is the 7-Series/Audi A8/Mercedes S-Class


RE: Free ride?
By Peter-B on 6/18/2014 11:19:33 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree. While the Model S in size is closer to the A8/Series 7/S-class than to the A6/Series 5/E-class, it doesn't look as luxurious as the full size sedans from Europe. I havent driven (or even sit in) a Model S, I just had the occasion to check it out in the Zurich store. Of course this is a my subjective opinion, but it's how I see it.


RE: Free ride?
By Rukkian on 6/17/2014 2:31:13 PM , Rating: 2
I can also buy a ford fiesta and save even more, I mean, they are both cars right?


RE: Free ride?
By flyingpants1 on 6/17/2014 9:52:48 PM , Rating: 2
Tesla's 3rd-gen model, scheduled for 2017 (probably more like 2018) will compete with BMW 3-Series

quote:
You can't argue for the Tesla as a money-saver, it's just too expensive right now for it to ever make sense financially.


Depends. I've seen people getting pretty creative with the numbers, to the point where the Model S seems to have a lower total cost of operation than most other cars in its class. Retains its value quite well, almost no maintenance, costs almost nothing to operate.. Works even better if you can use it as a company car and get the benefits from that as well. Also charge for free if you can.


RE: Free ride?
By Griffinhart on 6/17/2014 3:38:11 PM , Rating: 1
If you want a fuel vs performance comparison...

The Performance version of the Tesla S has about 415 HP. But that version starts about $30K more expensive than the Entry Tesla S which is about 360HP. Nice numbers to be sure. But....

The Performance version of the tesla is more than $60K more than a Very nicely equipped Mustang GT with a V8. If gas prices were $6 a gallon, that would be more than enough to drive 15K miles a year for 15 years in the mustang.

A good comparison vehicle to the base tesla S is the VW CC sports sedan. They are about the same size, it's not a cheap car at all. It has fewer HP than the Base Tesla S, but it's also about 1200lbs lighter. You can afford 15 years of gas before you break even on the Tesla.

Even the BMW 7 series is $30K cheaper than the Tesla. You can drive 10+ years for that much gas money.

Of course, you don't get the free supercharging with the lower end Tesla S (it's a $2500 option), and you will have to replace the battery packs in 8 years at $11K. That's enough to pay for another 6 to 8 years of gas at todays prices.

The Tesla is a very nice car, I don't mean to suggest it's not. For an EV it gets fantastic performance and range. But, Let's face it, There is no cost savings here and It's well out of the reach of most of the population.

If Tesla or someone else were to develop an EV that cost under $30k and has a range greater than 200 miles then I think we will be on track with a real winner of an EV that would have strong appeal to the Average family.


RE: Free ride?
By freeagle on 6/17/2014 11:56:57 AM , Rating: 2
You can get the whole battery replaced in (some?) supercharger stations within 90 seconds, fully charged, for less than 100$. Prepare for a lot of hat-eating.


RE: Free ride?
By Spuke on 6/17/2014 1:10:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You can get the whole battery replaced in (some?) supercharger stations within 90 seconds, fully charged, for less than 100$. Prepare for a lot of hat-eating.
You have to have a working battery dumb ass. Besides, which stations are offering that service?


RE: Free ride?
By Mint on 6/17/2014 1:57:31 PM , Rating: 2
If you swap an old battery for a new one, you're gonna be billed for the difference.


RE: Free ride?
By Griffinhart on 6/17/2014 3:43:29 PM , Rating: 2
At $80 a swap. You need to swap back to your battery as well, though they are planning an ability to keep the new batteries for a fee. But, given a battery replacement will set you back more than $11K, I wouldn't expect it to be cheap if your batteries were 8 years old.


RE: Free ride?
By Mint on 6/17/2014 2:10:43 PM , Rating: 2
Your BMW only has a 4 year warranty. That means it's only going to last 4 years, right? Oh, that right, you only apply retard logic to Tesla.

A study that gathered battery life data on Tesla Roadsters projects 85% battery life remaining after 100k miles (Tesla offered a 4 year warranty, and conservatively told buyers 70% after 50k miles). The Model S will be even better due to better batteries.

The battery should be fine for the life of the car. These aren't cellphones, where manufacturers don't care if their products have bad battery life after 5 years.

And really, a 323i vs a Model S? Or are you comparing to the future Gen3 car? That's not going to cost $25k more than a 323i.


Inevitable
By SteelRing on 6/17/2014 12:19:36 PM , Rating: 2
There is no argument that electric-powered transportation is far superior than individual blocks of ICE in each car. The only way gasoline engine will hold its place is if the industry somehow able to lobby for some laws that will put electric car at disadvantage. Given the batsh1t I've seen so far I won't be surprised if these selfish interests are able to pull something like that in this country.

Now, to remain optimistic, what will be a game changer is when things reach critical mass such that the gas stations realize they can convert their business model from a 5-minute fill-up and go model to an hour-long leisure facility where they can provide amenities that would cater to people waiting, like more restaurants, arcades and/or even movie lounges, all that will encourage customers to sit, rest and spend while giving away free electric charges which would cost them pennies in electricity.

Gas stations, err... charging stations will become a fun destinations on your road trip once again instead of just some sh1thole you need to stop to pee at, but only if they're willing to embrace the change instead of kicking and screaming all about it.




RE: Inevitable
By Spuke on 6/17/2014 1:12:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
charging stations will become a fun destinations on your road trip
Who the f&*k wants this?


RE: Inevitable
By Solandri on 6/17/2014 2:07:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is no argument that electric-powered transportation is far superior than individual blocks of ICE in each car. The only way gasoline engine will hold its place is if the industry somehow able to lobby for some laws that will put electric car at disadvantage. Given the batsh1t I've seen so far I won't be surprised if these selfish interests are able to pull something like that in this country.

The only reason EVs are even close to economically competitive is because coal is so much cheaper than gasoline. It has nothing to do with EVs being superior.

- A gallon of gasoline costs $3.50/gal and contains about 132 MJ of energy. Or about 2.7 cents per MJ.

- Subbituminous coal is about $14/ton and has about 20 MJ/kg. Or about 0.07 cents per MJ.

In other words, if ICE cars were burning coal instead of gasoline, we'd be paying the equivalent of 9 cents/gallon. And EVs would be completely uneconomical.

Since the pollution from coal is worse than gasoline per MJ, driving an EV doesn't really help in reducing pollution. Our electrical grid needs to switch to nuclear and renewables before that happens.


RE: Inevitable
By Mint on 6/17/2014 2:31:24 PM , Rating: 2
Coal is only 39% of the US grid, and it's highly unlikely to stay that way for the ~15 year life of a car bought today, let alone further in the future. More importantly, virtually all new generation (to meet new demand from EVs) is wind and natural gas.

But yes, the cost of wind, solar, natural gas, and coal all being much cheaper than gasoline is indeed the primary reason that EVs are even close to economically competitive. So what? That's not changing any time soon.

You also forgot that EVs can have a 250hp motor made from 50kg of steel and copper, and it only needs 1/10th the cooling of a similar ICE. That's a substantial fundamental cost savings.


RE: Inevitable
By snhoj on 6/18/2014 7:46:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The only reason EVs are even close to economically competitive is because coal is so much cheaper than gasoline. It has nothing to do with EVs being superior.


A Mercedes B-class EV has a 28kWh battery and does 85 miles on a charge. This equates to 0.329kWh/mile. Grid plus generation efficiency in the USA is 33% so including that the car uses 0.998kWh/mile.

A Mercedes B180 does about 27.6MPG(US) combined cycle. Petrol contains 33.6kWh/gallon(US) This equates to 1.217kWh/mile. Refinery efficiency for petroleum distillate is 89.7% so the car uses 1.357kWh/mile. Note;- refinery efficiency doesn’t account for energy to extract, upgrade, transport, and distribute etc. Some petroleum like tar sands is extremely inefficient in its extraction and generation of synthetic crude.

quote:
- A gallon of gasoline costs $3.50/gal and contains about 132 MJ of energy. Or about 2.7 cents per MJ.

- Subbituminous coal is about $14/ton and has about 20 MJ/kg. Or about 0.07 cents per MJ.

In other words, if ICE cars were burning coal instead of gasoline, we'd be paying the equivalent of 9 cents/gallon. And EVs would be completely uneconomical.


Coal to liquids is a real process that was used by the Germans during WWII to run their war machine. It is an extremely inefficient process. Coal doesn’t contain sufficient hydrogen to make liquid hydrocarbons and so extra hydrogen must be generated and added to the process or significant amounts of carbon must be rejected. If we ran ICE cars on coal, and we could, we would be adding inefficiency to inefficiency. It’s not done because it doesn’t make economic sense. You’d be better off running a power plant and driving an EV from a purely efficiency perspective. You definitely would not get 9 cents/gallon. For a start local taxes are about 30c/ gallon and total taxes are closer to 50c/gallon on petrol. Those aren’t going to go away.

quote:
Since the pollution from coal is worse than gasoline per MJ, driving an EV doesn't really help in reducing pollution. Our electrical grid needs to switch to nuclear and renewables before that happens.


There you go calling CO2 pollution.


RE: Inevitable
By snhoj on 6/18/2014 7:59:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In other words, if ICE cars were burning coal instead of gasoline, we'd be paying the equivalent of 9 cents/gallon. And EVs would be completely uneconomical.


P.S. by that account we should be getting our power for 0.2 cents per unit. Why aren't we? Because a lot more goes into any of this than just the coal.


RE: Inevitable
By Griffinhart on 6/17/2014 4:34:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Gas stations, err... charging stations will become a fun destinations on your road trip once again instead of just some sh1thole you need to stop to pee at, but only if they're willing to embrace the change instead of kicking and screaming all about it.


I'm pretty sure a gas stop was never a fun destination on my road trip for me.

For the record, I am perfectly willing to embrace change, but not change for changes sake.

Personally, I think EV's in general are better suited for daily commuter/household use than long distance travel.

I actually think Fuel Cell Vehicles offer more potential in the long run, though there are still many hurtles to jump and they are still super expensive. But they represent the best features of EV and ICE without dramatically changing the way things work today.


Why no hotels on board?
By DaSpyda on 6/17/2014 10:31:58 AM , Rating: 2
It would be great if one or more hotel chains get onboard and install one or two stations at each of their locations. People travel, but not all day and all night.




RE: Why no hotels on board?
By protomech on 6/17/2014 10:37:40 AM , Rating: 2
It's not uncommon now for hotels to provide J1772 AC charging - these stations will typically charge at 20-25 miles per hour. So slower AC charging is fine for a hotel, and J1772 has become a standard in the US. That's not an issue.

What the article is talking about is much faster DC charging, that can charge at 150 to 350+ miles per hour .. and currently has 3 competing standards pushed by Nissan, BMW, and Tesla.


RE: Why no hotels on board?
By Spuke on 6/17/2014 1:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
Miles per hour?


RE: Why no hotels on board?
By Solandri on 6/17/2014 1:43:33 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, miles of range per hour. The larger Tesla S has an approx 300 mile range, and the Supercharger station will give it a 50% charge in 30 minutes (same rate as 100% per hour, though the battery can't actually survive a 100% charge at that rate). So it works out to about 300 miles of range per hour.


Sorry Mom!
By rountad on 6/18/2014 9:15:31 AM , Rating: 2
"Now that I've moved to Texas, I'm stuck here and can't visit you."




Telsa
By SallieDiAntonio on 6/18/2014 3:10:13 PM , Rating: 2
Does anyone know the price range for Tesla?




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