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The UK government put together 5 million pounds ($8.6 million USD) for the program

According to a new report from Bloomberg, the UK's Government Car Service is considering Tesla's Model S under a program to buy more than 150 low-emission vehicles. The cars would be provided to UK ministers for official business purposes across London. 
 
The UK government, which put together 5 million pounds ($8.6 million USD) for the program, is looking to use EVs to address current issues like crowded streets and fees for gasoline vehicles.
 
Tesla's Model S reportedly has the longest range of any other EV considered for the program, with a 312-mile [European Cycle] electric range per charge. 
 
Tesla started preparing for its UK entry last year by opening new Model S dealer sites in London and delivered the delivered the first right-hand-drive Model S' in June. The vehicle is priced at 50,280 pounds ($86,000 USD) in the UK. 


Tesla's Model S

Selling Model S' to the UK government could be a great opportunity for Tesla as the automaker attempts to ramp up sales overseas. In addition, seeing government officials riding around in the all-electric Model S could prompt UK citizens to purchase the vehicle. 
 
Tesla has seen a great year so far, with 6,457 Model S sedans sold in Q1 2014 alone. For all of 2014, Tesla is expecting global delivery of 35,000 vehicles.
 
The forecast for Q2 2014 calls for production of 8,500 to 9,000 cars, with deliveries at about 7,500.

Source: Bloomberg



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Batteries?
By Arkive on 7/21/2014 10:44:52 AM , Rating: 2
I'm a big fan of what Elon Musk is doing on all fronts, but this EV revolution have me a little concerned. Primarily, at what point is battery production going to start being an issue, from a natural resources standpoint? Also, these vehicles still have to be charged and that costs money (certainly less than a tank of gas, but the energy isn't free, nor guarenteeed to be clean).




RE: Batteries?
By techxx on 7/21/2014 10:54:04 AM , Rating: 2
I'm convinced that Elon Musk is far from an idiot and would not be investing so much in EV if he thought it was a dead-end venture. Have you not heard of the Gigafactory he's building for mass production batteries? As for being greener, yes, making batteries themselves is not very green, but unless the batteries only last 10k miles before having to be replaced, it's going to be much greener than gasoline.


RE: Batteries?
By Arkive on 7/21/2014 11:10:46 AM , Rating: 2
I just mean if EV's take over, at what point do the materials used to create the high-capacity, fast-charging batteries of these vehicles become the new fossil fuel? To be fair, I don't know the tech or materials in these devices but I'm pretty sure it goes behind a simple lead-acid battery. It doesn't seem like a big deal because we're only talking about thousand per year, but what happens when it's millions and millions of these giant battery packs per year?


RE: Batteries?
By FITCamaro on 7/21/2014 11:36:02 AM , Rating: 2
I've been mentioning that rare-earth metals are going to be the new fossil fuel for a couple years. And unlike oil, we don't have tons of them. So if we do switch to EVs, in a decade or two, we're just going to be relying others for new materials instead of oil.


RE: Batteries?
By Milliamp on 7/21/2014 2:08:11 PM , Rating: 2
Part of the answer is batteries can be made from other materials and breakthroughs and improvements in the technology do happen. Graphene supercapacitors may be the replacement for the Lithium Ion batteries in use today. Hybrids are generally still using Nickel Cadmium (NiCad).

Lithium can also be recycled an unlimited number of times, and 20 tons of spent Li-ion batteries yield one ton of lithium.

Another important point is some cars use magnets that require rare earth elements but Tesla specifically uses an AC induction motor rather than magnets for operation and its believed that for large powerful motors (like for pure EV) induction offers better overall efficiency than brushless DC motors with magnets.


RE: Batteries?
By atechfan on 7/21/2014 11:16:29 PM , Rating: 1
Kind of ironic that a car company named after Tesla uses AC motors when Tesla was a huge backer DC for electricity transmission, losing out to Edison and others who backed AC.


RE: Batteries?
By freaqie on 7/21/2014 11:56:04 PM , Rating: 3
Actually

Edison was in favor of DC (which would not have worked due to extreme losses over distance and would be much more dangerous to people exposed to current)

Tesla proposed AC:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_currents


RE: Batteries?
By WLee40 on 7/22/2014 10:48:32 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Kind of ironic that a car company named after Tesla uses AC motors when Tesla was a huge backer DC for electricity transmission, losing out to Edison and others who backed AC.

Um, you have that backwards!


RE: Batteries?
By atechfan on 7/23/2014 8:17:33 PM , Rating: 2
Oops. Well, don't I look stupid now.


RE: Batteries?
By flyingpants1 on 7/21/2014 8:24:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I've been mentioning that rare-earth metals are going to be the new fossil fuel for a couple years.


That's great! There are no rare earth metals in the Tesla, period.


RE: Batteries?
By freaqie on 7/21/2014 11:55:31 PM , Rating: 2
Actually

Edison was in favor of DC (which would not have worked due to extreme losses over distance and would be much more dangerous to people exposed to current)

Tesla proposed AC:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_currents


RE: Batteries?
By techxx on 7/21/2014 11:36:32 AM , Rating: 2
I don't understand the problem. Batteries can be recycled.


RE: Batteries?
By FITCamaro on 7/21/2014 11:46:17 AM , Rating: 1
Batteries aren't the only problem. There's also the rare earth metals problem since those are need to make the magnets in electric motors, wind turbines, and a few other things. Which China controls the majority of right now and likely into the future. And they're ramping up electric car and wind power production.


RE: Batteries?
By SublimeSimplicity on 7/21/2014 11:51:32 AM , Rating: 2
AC motors (like the Tesla) don't have any magnets at all. The future of EV motors, I think, will be switched reluctance motors which are even cheaper to manufacture than AC motors.


RE: Batteries?
By Milliamp on 7/21/2014 2:15:41 PM , Rating: 2
One of the Tesla Engineers explains here why they don't use a magnetic brushless DC motor: http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/induction-versus-d...

Essentially although brushless DC motors are pretty efficient at full load the powerful magnets cause efficiency losses under lower loads because the magnets power (B) is not adjustable. But with AC induction motors the field (B) can be adjustable so it offers better overall efficiency for EV. The main downside is it requires a more complex controller to operate but for something as expensive as an EV that's not that big of a deal.


RE: Batteries?
By Mint on 7/22/2014 4:59:34 PM , Rating: 2
How many times do we have to tell you how wrong you are about rare earths?

They were big in the Prius because it used NiMH batteries. EVs and PHEVs all use Li-ion, which use no rare earths. Just common materials like nickel, cobalt, aluminum, manganese, graphite, etc.

And while some EVs still use a small amount of rare earths in permanent magnet motors, Tesla uses AC induction motors. There's no rare earths needed in the latter.


RE: Batteries?
By bug77 on 7/21/2014 12:31:55 PM , Rating: 2
Not for free. Hint: plastic can also be recycled.


RE: Batteries?
By Samus on 7/21/2014 12:38:45 PM , Rating: 3
We'll run out of lithium about the same time we run out of oil...ie, not for a VERY long time.


RE: Batteries?
By SublimeSimplicity on 7/21/2014 11:18:30 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not an environmentalist, but I'm not sure what's not "green" about Li-ion battery production. Lead Acid, yes... Nickel Metal, sure... but Li-ion batteries contain non-toxic fairly abundant chemicals, especially the direction they're going (Sulphur and silicon based).

Lithium itself is somewhat rare, but it really doesn't have a use outside of battery production and pharmaceuticals (a little goes a long way there) and is actually a small component of the battery (less than 2% by weight).

Most of the material costs of a Li-ion battery is the copper and aluminum, both of which are worth recycling.


RE: Batteries?
By FITCamaro on 7/21/2014 11:38:42 AM , Rating: 2
Both of which are getting more and more expensive as well. Copper prices are already insanely high and have been for years. And aluminum prices are high due to the automotive sector increasing its usage in car frames. Plus as energy gets more expensive thanks to wind and solar power and shuttering of coal plants, its cost goes up as well since it takes a lot of energy to refine bauxite.


RE: Batteries?
By SublimeSimplicity on 7/21/2014 12:38:22 PM , Rating: 3
Battery packs are as big as they're ever going to get IMHO. So the amount of Aluminum and Copper used in a battery pack will remain what it is today (which a Nissan LEAF pack is priced at $5k). Lithium Sulfur batteries are the future and a pack that is physically the size of a LEAF's will get you 200 or 300 miles.

Also I have nothing against coal power, but it makes less sense the further it needs to be shipped. In the South (particularly the SW) solar power combined with battery capacity makes the most sense. Solar cells are getting cheaper by the day. You don't have to be a hippie to see that getting electricity directly from the sun should be the goal. After all, everything on this planet is solar powered, it's just a matter of the length of the pipeline.


RE: Batteries?
By Spuke on 7/21/2014 2:07:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Battery packs are as big as they're ever going to get IMHO. So the amount of Aluminum and Copper used in a battery pack will remain what it is today (which a Nissan LEAF pack is priced at $5k).
Sure but the amount of batteries would increase, would it not? Which would increase the need for more Aluminum and Copper, right?


RE: Batteries?
By SublimeSimplicity on 7/21/2014 2:27:08 PM , Rating: 2
No. A lithium sulfur battery for instance can hold more charge, because a sulfur atom can hold 2 lithium ions vs carbon which needs 2 or 3 atoms to hold a single ion.

So you'd still have the same number of copper and aluminum sheets in the battery, but each sheet would hold more charge. So like I said, packs are as physically big and use as much raw material as they ever will IMHO. Perhaps they'll grow a little bit in the next gen of EVs to hit some arbitrary mark (like 200 miles of range instead of 165), but you won't see an EV using 2x or 3x the raw materials they do today. The Model S will be marveled at like the Duesenberg is today, for what it accomplished with the level of battery tech available. How they hide that amount of cells is amazing.

There are other solutions like flow batteries and graphene capacitors which could eliminate (or significantly reduce) the amount of metal used in batteries too.


RE: Batteries?
By Spuke on 7/21/2014 2:29:05 PM , Rating: 2
I guess I misread FIT. Thanks for the info.


RE: Batteries?
By Mint on 7/22/2014 5:13:23 PM , Rating: 2
Where are you getting this crap from?

Aluminum is merely fluctuating around its historical average price:
http://www.infomine.com/investment/metal-prices/al...
It's cheaper than it was six years ago, and 25 years ago as well, even without accounting for inflation.

Copper hit $4/lb in 2011, and has been decreasing ever since.

There are no resource constraints for Li-ion batteries. Mining production for common materials grow with demand. 25 years ago, aluminum was more expensive than it is now, despite demand being far lower back then. Your theories have no basis in reality, because you're operating under a false premise of limited aluminum and copper.


RE: Batteries?
By techxx on 7/21/2014 11:40:00 AM , Rating: 2
It's not the battery themselves that isn't green, but the manufacturing process. Li-oin isn't bad, but I'm just saying that it does have SOME environmental impact. This is a good read: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technolog...


RE: Batteries?
By DukeN on 7/22/2014 10:59:25 AM , Rating: 2
Totally agree.

I mean, what could Elon Musk know that me and you dont!


Too Fat for London
By Isidore on 7/21/2014 11:28:00 AM , Rating: 2
The model S, whatever it's good points, is just too fat for London. To stop commercial vehicles using residential streets many areas in London are protected by width restrictors, typically 2 metres apart, to prevent vans and similar vehicles from entry. The Tesla just will not fit. Plus, when you consider that government ministers are typically driven around in hardened, bullet proof cars, how much do you think an armoured Tesla will weigh? Better give them all a bike like the Mayor of London uses. This idea is just greenwash political posturing and has absolutely nothing to do with the real features of the vehicle.




RE: Too Fat for London
By Reclaimer77 on 7/21/2014 11:54:07 AM , Rating: 4
Some fatcat politicians just wanted the Model S. Whatever benefits this car supposedly has for their use, get completely offset by the extreme initial price.

Government employees in general should be provided the lowest common denominator of transportation. NOT extremely expensive and trendy luxury cars like the Model S. What does it say when they purchase vehicles for themselves with public money that 95%+ of the citizens they are bleeding dry on a daily basis cannot afford?

I don't live in the UK, but I'm pretty sure there are better uses for 5 million pounds.


RE: Too Fat for London
By hughlle on 7/21/2014 12:46:48 PM , Rating: 2
What does it say of politicians if they won't even use the public transport the whole rest of the cities population is pretty much forced to use? (not a chance i'm getting on a bike in london!)

Maybe they should buy a whole bunch of the cheapest cars they can find, nissan leafs or something, and promote a policy of not being image crazed idiots, but dare i say it, sensible politicians, and with the money saved start to invest in infrastructure solutions to charge these lesser ranged vehichles, which would also benefit the public and potentially create a push towards public adoption of them, not just politicians having them.

All things said, who cares, they'd buy themselves aston martins if they could find an "argument" for it. they will do whatever they please, most often for no other reasons than theirselves. Public objection or superior alternatives don't mean a thing in westminster


RE: Too Fat for London
By Dorkyman on 7/21/2014 2:13:45 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, but there's government officials and then there's citizens. The officials "by definition" believe they are our superiors. What else could explain how they've come to be in charge? So they believe they live by a different set of rules.

Just like the pigs in Animal Farm. Equal, but more equal.


RE: Too Fat for London
By M'n'M on 7/21/2014 5:56:46 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Just like the pigs in Animal Farm. Equal, but more equal.

Ha, exactly. You'd think they could make due w/the lesser Ampera (basically an EV for city travel), which should be available at fire-sale prices. But noooo ....


RE: Too Fat for London
By ritualm on 7/21/2014 4:55:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm pretty sure there are better uses for 5 million pounds.

Correct, remember however that this '5 million pounds' isn't coming out of the fatcats' pockets, so they don't really care where that money goes.

If the USG sends me a EBT card that isn't linked to any of my bank accounts, you can bet on me using it for booze and hookers. ;)


Wagon
By Peter-B on 7/21/2014 11:03:31 AM , Rating: 2
I would love to see and maybe purchase a Model S wagon. I know it's not practical as wagons are for long trips and this car's range is not on par with an ICE car's range, but I would be ok with the extra time lost recharging.




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