Until now, there hasn't been an all-electric car fit for road-tripping. But Tesla's Model S, due out late in 2012, is made for extended drives. Its battery goes up to 300 miles on a charge. Its cabin is spacious enough for seven passengers. And it can get up to cruising speed fast—the Model S accelerates from 0 to 60 in 5.6 seconds.
At 85 kilowatt-hours, the Model S boasts more than triple the battery capacity of the Nissan Leaf. Its thousands of lithium-ion cells use a new electrode chemistry from Panasonic, which could allow them to store more power than other comparably sized cells.
Tesla plans to install proprietary 440-volt charging stations (first along the I-5 Corridor between Los Angeles and San Francisco) built to match up with the Model S's circuitry. They will provide a full charge in an hour. Standard chargers will require a full night.
To protect the motor, circuitry and battery from heat, channels filled with liquid coolant run through the components. Pumps cycle coolant through a front radiator and a pair of A/C condensers. This helps the motor deliver twice the power of its Roadster predecessor.
To increase the sedan's range, the designers of the Model S kept its weight low with a body constructed from 97 percent aluminum. They added heavier structural steel only where necessary for safety: in central supports and front-end crash zones.
The Model S's batteries sit beneath the floor in a large flat pack that spreads the width of the car and about two thirds of its length. This arrangement leaves ample space in the trunk for cargo or two backward-facing jump seats. The main interior holds five adults.
Top Speed:130 mph
Range: 300 miles
Seats: Five adults, two children
It’s nice to see new cars coming out on the market. But can we go back to basics? Standards came in very quickly when gas/petrol cars became readily available to the general public. 98 octane, diesel, 12 volt battery electric systems, I could go on. We British like standards, railway track, 4ft 8½ in, mains supply 230v. With standards we can go places. But with electric cars at present “NO”.
We all agree that electric cars will be the future, and they require batteries. I will place to one side “hydrogen”. Charging batteries in the cars will be the hardest job for the industry. The faster you charge the battery the hotter it will become due to the in-efficiency of the system. Until the “designing world” comes up with standards for electric car batteries, we are at a stand still. Until I can drive from Lands End to John O’Groats without waiting 3 – 6 hours for each individual charge, it’s a no win for me. Like wise driving the Route 66. (Jeremy Clarkson does have a point, petrol will remain king).
From this point, how about “Standards”
1) Car battery terminal voltage for the motor.
Sensing devices for faults, overheat, dead or dieing cells, gas detection, etc.
Internal battery construction and configuration are down to the design team. As long as the terminal voltage is correct.
The amperage output is down to the car user, ie as in filling your car with 10 gallons/litres or 25 gallons/litres.
2) Battery slab having the same size or multiples, say 800mm x 200mm x 400mm. This size will fit nicely below the boot/trunk of the car.
The battery slab will require the same size supporting structure, locking mechanism, terminal location, etc.
With a standard battery slab, three possible modes of operation can be achieved.
1) Motorway Driving – Long Distance
The car arrives at a charging station. Reverse back into a charging unit. The bumper/fender is dropped down exposing the battery. The battery is released from the car, removed and a fully charged battery is installed. The removed battery is automatically taken away to be charged. The driver pays the bill for the newly charged battery, and goes on his/her way.
2) Car Owners House
Plugging in the car over night whilst in the garage is straight forward. If the family is well off a replacement battery can be swapped by a mobile unit within the garage. This also means that the family can use various forms of car transport, a small runabout for the city with one battery, then going on holiday using a 4x4 with three batteries, one of these batteries taken from the city car.
If the battery car breaks down with a faulty battery the fourth emergency service can replace the battery knowing it is the right size.
As long as the batteries for the cars are certified in full working condition by an independent authority this idea will possible work. As time passes battery performance will improve, increase in amperage, life expectancy, quicker charge rate, etc. Keeping the battery the same size will not have any effect on upgrading.
To achieve this, the first thing we will have to do is bash the heads of the large manufactures like GM, Nissan, BMW, etc, together to produce a standard size battery for all types of car. Until then no progress. I am now 60 and I don’t think this will happen in my life time.
I look forward for some university in providing the solution, slip in slip out, (SISO) and in any comments.
@ TEA42: I appreciate your respect for EVs' potential, but you're far too cynical and pessimistic. If Ev progress is merely evolutionary-- profiting from lots of smallish advances over a period of years-- yes, electric vehicles may never overtake the use of gasoline within your lifetime.
But I am more optimistic than you are-- I am quite confident that we will be well on our way to an EV society much sooner than you think.
Electric motors are very close to being 100% efficient, but nearly everything else that makes up an electric car has room for massive improvement, such as battery chemistry, electronic drive systems (controllers, inverters, charging systems, etc.) and materials science (allowing lightweight, strong car bodies and suspension), and we have reasonable expectations for making rapid progress in all these areas.
Battery chemistry is the one area which can provide the greatest increase in EV performance, and there are several new approaches to the problem that may provide as much as 10 times the energy density of the best batteries used today. If a Tesla Model S can provide 300 miles range today, a battery with 10 times the range could give us 3,000 miles range-- but in practical terms, what would really happen is that car makers would build cars with battery packs that are just 15% of the size and weight of a conventional pack, allowing designers to dramatically reduce the weight and cost of nearly everything else in the car-- the auapension, frame, motor, wheels and other parts.
The development of air batteries by IBM, MIT and others is being aggressively pursued; so are the use of carbon nanotubes, graphene, silicon nanowires and other materials that may similarly make it possible to produce batteries of dramatically increased potential. In fact, it may be possible to double up on these technologies, so that rather that increasing energy density by ten times, imagine a battery that was, say, 100 times greater than today's batteries? That may sound pie-in-the sky, but 30 years ago, who could have predicted that we would have devices that cost less than $200., that could easily slip into a shirt pocket, and yet have hundreds of times the speed, storage capacity and capabilities of computers costing thousands of dollars?
Your pessimism is unwarranted. There are lots of very smart, motivated people working on the barriers hampering EVs, and all it will take is one or two significant breakthroughs to trigger a renaissance in transportation.
$77,000?!!!! I cant even afford a crappy piece of junk used car from the 90's. Until they make a non fuel burning car that is actually affordable then its not practical. They can jabber about all the fuel money saved until doomsday but the fact of the matter is that if your gas free car costs twice as much as a standard car and you can afford it then fuel prices probably don't bother you much anyways.
Currently all EV transportation does is displace the emissions to a central location and use up a whole lot of toxic and rare materials.
These standards people speak of didn't pop up over night in petrol vehicles either. There are still 18 and 24v cars on the road, and even many 12v versions that use a pair of 6v batteries instead of a single one. There's no reason to set a standard in EV battery charging until there's demand enough to spur real growth and weed out the less feasible options. With little to no competition, that isn't possible at this time.
A three fold bigger range the Leaf with only a 2.2 fold larger price.
Which would seem nice except that the base price is so high only doctors, lawyers, actors, ball players, corrupted congressional members, and drug pushers can afford one.
I don't find TEA42 comments to be pessimistic at all - more like constructive. In fact, I find them to be an obvious observation. Standards are very important in the purchase decisions for many of us. It's really awesome and exciting to finally see car manufactures break out of the mold - especially Tesla (big fan!). With that being said, as a software developer myself and someone who proactively thinks about potential reuse of code and thus standardizing as much a possible early on in any project, I would think these manufacturers would like wise do the same, most especially around the very thing that makes the cars so special – the battery technology and how it’s implemented. Say, a form factor for the batteries as well as their inputs/outputs and how they should be installed/serviced/maintained – not by the proprietary manufacturer, but by the consumer. If they were to do this, and bring other manufacturers together to follow this standard of thinking, then I would be more inclined to take interest. It just seems like right now the consumer is asked to take a chance along with the manufacturer on their products, not just with their wallets, but also with their service. Standards lower the risk and give the consumer choices.
I find TEA42 comments more like constructive, too.
I like the look of this car. To bad I can not afford it.
Science sees no further than what it can sense.
Religion sees beyond the senses.
I'm more curious at what speed is the 300 miles achievable? is it going 25MPH? Even the Leaf has a 100 mile range if you travel at 19 mph. Any faster than that and the range drops considerably.
The way I see it, the best way to handle battery recharging stations is for the battery to be removable from under the vehicle. When you drive up, you pay the station a fee that will cover the electricity and service, and they'll swap out the battery with another standardized battery of the same size, which will be charged slowly. They can decide when to run maintenance or replacement on the batteries, the cost of which will be covered with said fees, as well as some of the overhead on upgraded batteries, which are also sold at the station. If all the manufacturers can decide on this and make it a standard, then both maintenance and the "refueling" process will be universal, just as it is today with gas pumps.
There will probably be a membership system at some places - be a paid member of a particular charging brand and you get discounts on charging there, and have the opportunity to upgrade to higher capacity cells at reduced expense. Naturally, it will be less expensive to just charge at your home, but if you've got the 50-80 grand to drop on the latest and greatest EVs, you'll have the cash on hand to pay for the convenience of recharging very quickly away from home.
The rich early adopters will choose what lasts until general acceptance. Remember, computers and VCRs were prohibitively expensive too, but there were enough early adopters to drive the improvement and acceptance of the technology.
The seeker of knowledge who seeks to reach beyond the stars to go where no mans gone before to see things no man has seen and bring these experiences back for the whole world to hear and see.
I don't know whats all the fuss is here i don't know if you guys seen the key words here 300miles to a charge if i'm correct i don't drive even 300miles in a week for some this is freaking great to me if i bot this car i could do everything i do normally without having to stop pay for global warming and pollution at a gas station instead i can ride the gravy train of green tech i believe somebody said pollution cause of rare earth metals and lithium maybe you don't know what you are talking about 89% of a battery is reusable that's fact and will get better i used to design the ins and outs of smart phones when i was product designer are biggest problem wasn't battery it was cost we wanted consumers to be able to afford are products so we chose cheaper routes remember that Rome wasn't built in a day instead of complaining about the technology blame your self for not buying for the more money my company made the bigger are budget's were for building smart phones adoption spurs innovation the more people wants the better it gets not backwards well that's all i have to say
There is a standard for the cells themselves - they use 18650 size lithium ion cells. The tesla roadster is powered by several thousand of them. Not sure about the model S though. But you do have a point, in that it would be convenient to standardise the pack specifications. The problem that would need solving then is how to keep people from tampering with the batteries and for example filling a pack with dud batteries and then replacing it with a good pack at the fuel station. There are of course ways to prevent this kind of abuse (like a computer inside every battery that keeps track of age, usage, charge cycles, energy remaining, whether it's been tampered with or the cells disconnected etc. in which case the automated fuel station thing will refuse to change it).
But this is all just for added convenience really, I mean, come on - who travels more than 300 miles without at least a one-hour break?
Also, IIRC Tesla also has models with smaller batteries (thus lower-range and cheaper) for people like myself (and I'm guessing 99% of people for 99% of their driving trips).
Ah, just checked their website. The 85kWh is $70,000. The 40kWh variant (about half the capacity hence about half the range) is $50,000
This Telsa S car is nice! It has excelling styling and curves. I think I will open the door and take a little text drive.
Say...., this car is all electric just like me. Wow, it is powered by it’s a battery of 85 kilowatt hours!! This is getting exciting!
Watt! Watt! It has thousands and thousands of lithium-ion cells from the NEW chemistry by Panasonic. This is so gnarly!
Beep! Beep! Cute horn, but why do all modern cars have horns made for toys. I feel like I am driving a Barbie car.
Well cruising is nice. I am moving along and well gone 250 miles. Hey, I am stopped at the light and those girls in the other car are checking me out. I will just power down the windows and give a little hello. Urt, zoom! Their GONE?! Heavy sigh, being a robot is not easy.
Ok, keep cruising. “Bing! Bing!” Oh, what is that? Oh, a little alarm on the dash telling me I need to charge the car. Ok, I will pull over and give this little car a zip e do da charge. Ok, that was quick, only one hour!
With these Tesla proprietary 440-volt charging stations, I can’t get a charge anywhere else and the local restaurant here only has a 300% markup on the menu, while I wait. Let me see the bill for my electrical charge? Oh joy, another 300% mark up. Well, that is ok. I bought this $77,400 car, (not including additional options) because I am rich, over 40, losing my hair and have a super need to show off! Ah, the joy of technology! Thank you Telsa!
Science sees no further than what it can sense.
Religion sees beyond the senses.
"Which would seem nice except that the base price is so high only doctors, lawyers, actors, ball players, corrupted congressional members, and drug pushers can afford one."
Hmmm... sounds like cell phones in the early 90's.
Damn, I guess we gotta get this ball rolling somehow. The cost may seem excessive but the technology, if allowed to grow, will make it available to all.
PS - I have now entered five SPAM captchas, each correct and each denied. This is not what I would call 'popular science'.
Last try. I give up.
Strange that in scientific journals and websites there's still talk about inches, feet, miles, gallons, etc. and that people who pretend to be in the know are incapable to convert to normal units e.g. centimeters, meters, kilomters, liters, etc. That has already cost a multimillion dollar Mars Lander which thought it was still miles away but in reality only kilometers.
And the Lander was flown by scientists and not a horny Italian cruise ship captain who was thinking he was driving a $ 450 million SUV. Look ma, no hands...uhhhh no ship either.
Pretty funny that alot of you all are complaining about not being able to afford this Tesla car. After all, your tax dollars ALREADY BOUGHT THEM! If we really want efficient cars then we need to get the EPA, USDOT, and every other federal agency that regulates cars to go away.
If it weren't for emissions standards that restrict the amount of CO2, NO, NO2, etc. that engines make per unit of displacement and all of the onerous safety regulations that they force us to buy; our cars would have far fewer bells and whistles and they would be more efficient.
Sure, the higher end cars might still have traction control, side curtain airbags, and anti-lock brakes; but the small cars that people buy to conserve fuel and their checking account would not need these things eliminating hundreds of pounds from even the smallest of cars.
Also, without having to worry about emissions standards, we could use our direct injection technology to make gas engines with insane compression ratios that verge on diesel territory or better and we could get more torque from smaller engines using less fuel equating to higher mileage.
Gov't needs to get the hell out of the free market. Just think, Aptera was an electric car company with a good product and backorder list a couple years long. Had they not been restricted by gov't regulations and gov't loan approval processes, they would still be in business. And what about all of the auto producers of the last century that went belly up because of gov't intervention? Ever heard of Tucker? They brought us the rear mounted aluminum flat 6 cylinder engine, rolling center beam headlamp, seat belts, and padded dashes in an era when safety was of NO concern. The gov't destroys all that it surveys and does not receive campaign donations from. It has to stop.
"Slot Cars" are electric powered. I wonder if such a technology (slotless using induction charging) could be adapted on the interstates-motorways-autobahns of the world.
Your car charges as you drive. Start with slot-car charging on the motorways- as the technology grows- it expands to major highways.
Price may be prohibitive at first- but I wonder if it could be lowered to reasonable levels if widely adopted.
Oh my it costs how much to..
fly on one of those new aeroplanes?
own a tv?
own a car?
a personal computer?
Look. All new technology costs more. When mass produced and improved this may be a way to help out the massive energy use. We simply can't rely on fossil fuels.
Alex Ingram How about a car or truck that doesn't have ANY computers on board (unless you bring a laptop), that can be worked on with common tools (Sockets and wrenches). I had a 5 speed Chev Vega back in 1976 that was rated at 38mpg and it ran on regular gas. It also had the largest in-line 4 cylinder engine in North America at the time. It actually got about 36 mpg, and the optional 5 speed manual transmission built by Borg-Warner was so light it could be held in one hand. It's time to go back to basic designs. Electrics will be great when we have an infrastructure to support them. You burn fossil fuels at a power plant, lose half to transmission line loss, then lose more to hysteresis, (heat loss from magnetic fields), and you end up with a overly expensive composite vehicle from hell, so complex that it takes an electrical engineer to diagnose what he'll eventually call design flaws. The carbon footprints gonna be enormous unless you get some solar, tidal, geothermic or hydro-electric renewable source of energy in the loop.
How about just staying home and working, teaching, learning from computers. The transportation age is coming to an end. Long live the communications age.
You are certainly young, and never lived in a big city such as Los Angeles! If you HAD lived in LA during the Dark Ages-- the 1970's-- you would not have even been able to see the mountains most of the time, the sunsets were spectacular with all the pollutants cars were discharging, and the emergency rooms were overrun with people with asthma attacks, emphysema, heart attacks, premature infants and many other effects of air pollution. We now have the strongest air pollution standards of anywhere in the world, even stronger than other US states, and you don't hear any complaining about it from anyone old enough to remember. Air pollution standards are there for a reason, and the benefits are great-- many catrgories of illness and other yardsticks of health such as birth weight, birth defects, expected lifespan and other factors tied to air pollution have been improving steadily as our air quality improves.
The ancient marble statues of Greece and Italy survived nearly intact for thousands of years, until cars started spewing their noxious fumes-- go there today, and tour guides will show you the permanent damage done because of the pollution they ignored for too long. If that's what it does to solid stone, imagine what it does to your lungs.
That is not the only benefit, or arguably the most important benefit of driving with electrons rather than fuel: the World Trade Center was destroyed by Saudis who funded the terrorists with our oil dollars. That is still the problem today-- the people dying in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere due to improvised explosive devices and suicide bombers because of oil money from despotic rulers in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria and elsewhere-- money spent on oil has almost never been used for the good of the people-- the common folk of Saudi Arabia, Syria, and other OPEC countries are among the poorest in the world. Power corrupts-- absolute power corrupts absolutely. The egomaniacs that collect their oil money use it for self-aggrandizement-- do you remember the thousands of monuments and paintings Saddam Insane built to himself before the country fell into chaos and bloodshed? It was all funded by our oil money, and if we were to suddenly all start driving EVs today, imagine the collapse of all that terrible hedonistic excess.
If we were all driving electric today, all the world's problems would not end-- they'd surely be replaced by a different set of problems-- but it would be a good start, and the lower cost of living would help to level the playing field for many of us.
There are three kinds of people: those that learn from their mistakes, those that don't learn from their mistakes, and those that learn from other people's mistakes. I would rather be a member of the latter, SgtB... you should, too.
ok...I now have a generator that is self-propelled and we now have free electricity. My invention is called The Resourcer. Once it's started, i unplug and play. www dot silvermix dot us. It's the world's first perpetual motion device and it's offspring is free volts and amps. There is no friction. There is no pollution. There is no oil. There is no gasoline. There is no supercollision. And it spins infinitely. The answer to the universe and the Grand Unified Theory is one is equal to three parts. 1 = 3. I also have written the Law of Destiny. Where the future can always be determined. Z=unknown/future Y=present tense/actual known. x=past tense. Simply multiply what you do know times 52percent PLUS what you do know. Thus, Z=.52y + y. The outcome is always determined, perhaps a 3% variance. NOW, we shall have electric cars that are new lifeforms, and do not need to be recharged at all...for they are constant. We would only need to unlock the door. Also, we shall soon have Airplanes that need not fuel in the wings, for the turbines are constant and they would never have to land. I have video evidence at my website. Please spread the news.
My problem here is with the people complaining about the cost. Really? When first introduced, digital watches were in the thousands of dollars. Now you can get one for about a dollar.
New tech costs money, even if it is good for the environment. The price will fall eventually. We need to promote this to the folks who can afford it to prove that electric vehicles are in demand and companies like Tesla should continue making them.
Saw one of these in Scottsdale, Arizona
Also sat in a Fisker Karma in Orange County, Ca...
The tesla is 1000 times more pleasing and roomy than the Fisker. Anybody that can get their hands on a Tesla Model S is going to be one lucky driver...
Now lets get the environmentalists to allow the plug in stations...so far they are saying no to this fabulous green and stunning change in our transportation system...If it works half as good as it looks and sits..it will overtake transportation completely within 10 years...
Yeah Tesla Motors
This looks to be the finest example of a practal EV to date. Way overpriced though and with the battery tech being so new little in the way of good feedback on the longevity of it being a worrying factor. I personally would love one of these but like every other technology once the masses adopt it they'll raise the fuelling prices and cripple us all into yet another iteration of corporate socioeconomic slavery.
compressed air + electricity
emmulett pass it to the left