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@Herman I think the starting price of RMB 369,000 is just a short-term price for this Benz/BYD car. It is one of the first BEVs to go on sale in China and (apart from Tesla) it is the only one with significantly more range than the competition all using 24 kwh battery packs or less. I think they will be able to lower the price significantly as others enter the Chinese BEV market. China also currently has a generous subsidy program of up to RMB 120,000 paid out when the car is sold. It is not a tax rebate see http://media.daimler.com/deeplink?cci=2464278 Moreover, Tesla's Model S has started selling for RMB 700,000 or 120,000 USD. It is a much more attractive car than this Benz/BYD but also twice the price. The Nissan Leaf will also hit the Chinese market in September 2014. I am looking forward to see how Tesla does. A huge market response is necessary for Tesla to go ahead and build a factory in China.
@Harvey I trust that you know that all biomass grow by breathing CO2 from the air and that this CO2 is released back into the air when producing bio-fuels from biomass and when burning these fuels. If you do not use any fossil fuels producing the biomass and the bio-fuels they will be completely CO2 neutral. That means making fertilizer using renewable electricity, harvesting and transporting biomass to refineries using renewable electricity and converting the biomass to bio fuels and plastics using renewable electricity. We are not they yet but we will get there.
@EP You have convinced me that biomass based fuels and hydro are not enough to deal with the intermittency in a 100% renewable energy system based on wind, solar, hydro and bio-fuels. We need other technologies as well to make it happen. Harvey mentions hydrogen. You can make that from renewable electricity for example form surplus electricity from solar power during the spring and summer months. It can be stored as liquid hydrogen in cryogenic tanks and used as backup power during spring and summer and as part base load during autumn and winter. The 1.3 billion ton of biomass should be used for making aviation fuel and plastics for the manufacturing sector. With regard to land based and perhaps also sea based transportation we need to go completely battery electric for this 100% renewable energy scenario to happen. Wishful thinking would be me believing we could do all this within 30 years. I think we need 50 years at best and at worst 100 years. Of cause we need much lower costs for producing both batteries, PV solar cells and wind turbines. They are the three core technologies for a sustainable renewable energy future as I see it. There are also a host of other solutions that can be used to deal with the intermittency of renewable energy. I will just mention 3 other solutions. 1) The smart grid. The internet of things that connect pretty much everything that is electric to the internet will happen in the next 10 to 20 years. Consumption of electricity can be increased or decreased in real time using price signals that correspond with renewable production of electricity. 2) The super grid. Superconducting long-range cables would be able not only to connect the sub-grids of large countries like the US. I think it will not stop until the entire planet is one large grid. With cables connecting all the continents. A company like American superconductor has the technology but it is small and not up for the task of doing massive infrastructure projects. Hopefully they will be bought by a larger player like Siemens or ABB. 3) Power capacity over-sizing. You can lessen the intermittency burden by over-sizing the needed capacity of the renewable power system as that may be less costly than building other solutions that deals with the intermittency.
@Roger The seasonal intermittency from a 100% renewable energy system can be managed by using bio-fuels. A country like the US has at least 1.3 billion ton of biomass to make bio fuels from. A company like Poet Energy are confident they will be able in a few years to convert one ton of dry biomass to about 80 gallons of ethanol for as little as 2 USD per gallon. So the US should be able to produce about 7 million barrels of ethanol per day (6.78 million bpd = ((1300*80)/42))/365). In a future where all vehicles are either BEVs or PHEVs with vehicle to grid capability the 7 million bpd plus hydropower should be enough to take care of the seasonal intermittency of a 100% RE system in a country like the USA. The only power plants we need are the vehicle to grid enables PHEVs. 40 million of those each with 25kW of generating capacity (1000GW) is more than adequate to power the entire US grid. Further into the future biomass made from growing crops and trees in mother nature will be replaced by bioengineered microorganisms converting water, ambient air and dirt into fuels using bioreactors powered by surplus electricity from renewable power. How many decades it will take to make it happen I do not know but I am certain it will happen at some point in time.
@EP A 100% renewable energy future is possible with hydro, wind and solar. Low capital cost back-up power for the grid can be provided by BEVs and more importantly PHEVs operating on bio-gas or bio-ethanol. Centralized power plants are not needed and frankly I do not think they are economical either when large scale solar, wind and vehicle to grid technology is employed in the coming years. My only worry is whether it will be in time to prevent the catastrophic GW scenarios.
Global warming should be solved without creating another and perhaps equally large problem, such as, nuclear waste that stays extremely dangerous for tens of thousands of years. Future generations should not be burdened with that either. We could have safe nuclear power if all plants were build miles below ground but that would be prohibitively costly. Moreover, nuclear power plants are indeed dangerous as they blow up terribly on this planet every 15 years it seems. If we get 15 times as many of them we may end up with a new Fukushima happening every year on this planet. Nuclear power plants also take too long to build. We need to act now on global warming and a lot more wind power and solar power can go online with short notice in time to prevent the most catastrophic scenarios for global warming. Of cause if China and India does not do anything but keep increasing their CO2 emissions year after year then the most catastrophic GW scenarios will be certain regardless of whether USA, EU and Japan go completely CO2 neutral within 40 years. GW is a real test for mankind. Will greed or common sense prevail?
Note the E-golf battery is 76wh/kg (=24200/318). Tesla Model S is 142wh/kg (=85000/600) at the pack level. Short rage BEVs need to use more durable cells that can cycle more in order to be able to sustain a 100,000 mile warranty. These cells have less energy density than the cells Tesla can use in their long rage BEVs. It is a shame that VW/Audi does not make a long range BEV. Hope one day it will come. When Tesla comes out with that cheaper Model E and get it into full volume production at 500k units by 2020 I do not think there will be much of a market left for those short-range BEVs that everybody but Tesla seems to favor.
I found a picture showing the Model X layout. It does have a smaller and single front motor and the rear motor setup is identical to Model S. http://a396.idata.over-blog.com/4/99/85/35/Tesla-Model-X-powertrain.jpeg
Skip it and go right to CO2 instead. Much better for the environment and for car safety.
It is marketing BS. Announce the real vehicle price and the EPA rated range as well as the real price for retail hydrogen and it will look real lousy when compared to a gasser. Not much power or trunk space either and no fuel stations.
Roger you have a point that a smooth drive must be ensured when pulse charging the motor at peak efficiency load. The link below shows the Tesla motor seems to have 60 poles so that you should be able to turn it on and off 60 times during one rotation. Even at very low RPM say 100 you therefore get 6000 (100*60) opportunities per minute or 100 (6000/60) per second to switch the engine on and off. So the smooth drive should be ensured even at low speeds. http://www.teslamotors.com/roadster/technology/motor I know think Tesla's Model S/X AWD editions with have the same drive-train at the rear as the current Model S and that one or maybe two small motors (less than 30kw) will turn the front wheels. They need to be small because I do not think there is not enough power in Tesla's battery pack to deliver much more than the 310kW for the rear engine and because the weight needs to be kept down in order to avoid needing to make large changes to the strength of the chassis which would be expensive. The small front motor will of cause be inefficient (say 85%) compared to the much larger rear motor (possibly 93%) but that will not matter as the font motor will only be used for traction whenever the extra road grip is needed and otherwise not. We will see if I am right about this setup when the Model X is presented later this year. And Roger forget about the two motor rear system. Considering Bernards comments and my own thoughts I am now certain it is less efficient and more heavy than the current Model S setup. There is a reason that Tesla did as they did and I trust they have considered all the alternatives before settling with the best one for Model S. From a commercial perspective the AWD is extremely important for Tesla's ability to attract new customers as AWD is quickly becoming the norm for luxury vehicles at least. You simply cannot claim to have made the world's best car without that car being AWD. So Tesla does not have a choice. They need to make all of their future models available with a AWD option.
Roger nice graph. It is the right type of graph I was searching for. But of cause this is a schematic of a typical AC induction motor. We need the real graph for the specific motor used by Model S. Preferable one for each of the three power levels the Model S motor comes with and one made for its peak performance (310kw) and one for its continuous performance (probably half of 310kw). There could be a huge difference to this schematics as Tesla may have developed an advanced power controller that can operate their AC induction engine always at its peak efficiency load by say 40kw at 93% efficiency. If only 4kw is needed for the propulsion of the Model S it simply pulse power the induction motor switching it on and off in rapid succession leaving it off 90% of the time so that you on average get exactly 4kW of propulsion while the motor is powered only by 40kw when it is powered. If Tesla's motor controller can pulse operate like described then my idea in the previous post to power a 4 wheel drive Tesla Model S/X by a smaller front engine most of the time will not be preferred. It will be better to simple keep using the larger and therefore more efficient rear motor to do all of the propulsion except when better road grip is needed or maximum power is needed then the smaller front motor should also kick in.
@Roger you might be right about better electric motor efficiency at higher loads than 15 kw but I think the gain in efficiency is minimal say from 88% to 91% going from 5 kw to 20kw and then on to 93% at 40kw after which it could slowly falls. I tried finding this graph on the web but it is not there. Think it is proprietary information that Tesla will not publish. Still there might be some meaningful range to gain by switching off one motor say the rear motor and then propel the car with just the front motor whenever less than 40kw is required and the car also does not need the four wheel drive for handling. To be sure, if any spinning of the pulling front wheels are detected the 4 wheel drive should activate immediately regardless of the level of the power consumption. It will be extremely interesting to see how Tesla will implement that 4 wheel drive that Musk has told will be coming for the Model S but probably only after the 4 wheel drive Model X is launched sometime next year. Now my best guess is that the four wheel drive Model S/X will probably get a smaller motor for the front wheels that is optimized for high efficiency at loads below 20kw and that Tesla will leave the rear engine and its power options from 225kw to 310kw as it is. The rear motor will activate only when the power or the extra road grip is needed.
A link showing the Tesla motor, gear and controller a bit better. The video makes me doubt wether I am right above saying the 416hp Tesla motor has hand-welded coils. I read it somewhere but it could be it was for the Tesla roadster normal versus performance edition. In the video the motor seems to be machine made although the coils of the rotor is not shown and they could still be hand-welded. If it is not also precision hand-welded coils that take the engine from 225kw to 306kw it could be just better cooling and more current. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaV7V07tEMQ
Roger I did not suggest replacing the rear differential with two smaller electric motors. I said adding another motor for the front wheels in order to get a 4 wheel drive with ultimate handling and power. As I understand the Model S transmission it has a fixed gear build right into the differential. I believe the 175 lbs you mention is the weight of the entire transmission both differential and fixed gear. The link below is showing a picture of model S engine system. The differential and fixed gear is in the middle with the motor and motor controller on each side. Extremely compact. Replacing one large electric motor and a differential with two smaller motors will most likely be more expensive and produce a less reliable system. That is just what I think and it could explain why Tesla has not done it. After all Tesla's engineers are the kings of technical EV design. The 416 hp electric motor or 305kW motor you mention is of cause the performance edition of the 225kw motor I mention. It is identical but get more current from the larger 85kwh battery and its coils are hand-welded more precisely than the machine welded 225kw engine. I am pretty sure that Tesla will do away with the handmade 416hp edition as it is too expensive to produce. Instead it will be replaced by two 225kw engines one for the rear and one at front giving the 4 wheel Tesla a combined 450kw or 611hp! That will be the future performance edition and I expect it can easily do 0 to 60 mph in less than 4 sec. I do not think you are right about increasing efficiently by turning off one electric motor in a dual motor system without a differential. They are in a fixed gear and efficiency is a function of rounds per minute which does not change whether one or two motors pull. It would also produce terribly handling only being pulled by one wheel and asymmetric and/or accelerated wear down. Moreover, electric engines are more efficient the more hp so two smaller electric motors with the same combined power is less efficient. https://www.google.com/search?q=tesla+differential+with+gear&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-Address&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=ySYbU9j6K8mAywPlzYIo&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAg&biw=1358&bih=856#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=2DhIrcMh4K6yGM%253A%3By3jhKqU0YjzsWM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fmedia.caranddriver.com%252Fimages%252Fmedia%252F51%252Funder-the-teslas-skin-2013-tesla-model-s-january-2013-issue-photo-493013-s-original.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.caranddriver.com%252Ftesla%252Fmodel-s%3B429%3B475
Tesla's Model S uses a 1-speed fixed gear (9.73:1) transmission. It probably cost less than 1000 USD whereas this 9 speed transmission probably cost between 4000 and 8000 USD. Model S does better in acceleration and efficiency that any of the cars that will get this 9 speed transmission. Tesla is also able to fit a 225kW engine, transmission and cooling system in the floor between the rear wheels. That is impossible with a combustion car that will need nearly the entire space under the front hood to fit its engine, cooling system and transmission. I think Tesla will never use anything but a 1 speed transmission because it is cheaper, more reliable and more compact. If Tesla needs more acceleration they can just add another engine system and do a 4 wheel drive. I suspect the efficiency and thereby range gain that can be made from using a multi-speed transmission in a Tesla is also partially lost to the weight gain of such a system. It would be cheaper to add more kwhs to the battery to get the range rather than add a multi-speed transmission.
@EV insider thank you for that info. I guess that at some point Tesla should stop this unintended behavior of people using superchargers close to their home address by making it explicit in the purchasing contract of the Tesla that free supercharging for life only apply for superchargers that are over say 70 miles away from your home address. However, if you say that the net income from free supercharging is still sound and only a small number of people exhibit this unintended behavior then perhaps for marketing purposes it is best to do nothing to stop this behavior as it does not matter much. Nevertheless, I think I would put the limitation of charger use in the contract right now but not currently enforce it. That would prevent costly future court cases from Tesla owners suing Tesla the day Tesla find out they have to make that limitation in order to ensure healthy net profits from free supercharging. Better be safe than sorry. @Harvey don't worry about blog posts. Elon Musk is probably the entrepreneurial genius of our century and the rest of us are just morons grasping to understand the world we live in. The good thing is we only need a few clever people to steer this world in the right direction making it a better place for most of us. Tesla's strategy is brilliant and it will be recognized as such the more cars they sell. Eventually other automakers will copy Tesla's strategy or they will perish in the competition.
Tesla will support free charging at the supercharging stations forever because it is not that costly as long as Tesla does not build these chargers closer than 150 miles apart which is within the range of all of the vehicles they will ever sell. The average Tesla owner will probably only use the supercharger 100 times during the 16 years of the life of the vehicle. The rest is home charging or flying. These 100 times will cost Tesla 60kwh*100*0.1 USD or 600 USD. Also with 150 miles apart Tesla only need about 250 stations in North America, 120 stations in Europe and 250 stations in Asia to cover it all. That is 620 stations costing 0.3 million USD a peace or about 200 million USD. Split that on 100k Model S and you get 2000 USD per vehicle. So you see this is very doable. Even people living close to a supercharger station will not drive there to use it in order to spend 30 minutes to get 6 USD worth of free electricity as that does not make sense even on a minimum wage which Tesla owners are not subject to. You only use it if it is absolutely necessary to do what you have to do. The supercharger network has real practical value but its marketing value is more important because it sounds truly incredibly good with free long distance driving for life. No such offer will ever be possible for gassers and the phantom fuel cell vehicles.
Tesla will support free charging at the supercharging stations forever because it is not that costly as long as Tesla does not build these chargers closer than 150 miles apart which is within the range of all of the vehicles they will ever sell. The average Tesla owner will probably only use the supercharger 100 times during the 16 years of the life of the vehicle. The rest is home charging or flying. These 100 times will cost Tesla 60kwh*100*0.1 USD or 600 USD. Also with 150 miles apart Tesla only need about 250 stations in North America, 120 stations in Europe and 250 stations in Asia to cover it all. That is 620 stations costing 0.3 million USD a peace or about 200 million USD. Split that on 100k Model S and you get 2000 USD per vehicle. So you see this is very doable. Even people living close to a supercharger station will not drive there to use it in order to spend 30 minutes to get 6 USD worth of free electricity as that does not make sense even on a minimum wage which Tesla owners are not subject to. You only use it if it is absolutely necessary to do what you have to do. The supercharger network has real practical value but its marketing value is more important because it sounds truly incredibly good with free long distance driving for life. No such offer will ever be possible for gassers or the phantom fuel cell vehicles.
The 24kwh is too small and a huge disappointment. Being less aerodynamic than the Leaf if will have less range for sure than the Leaf's 84 miles year 2014 EPA rating. This is not nearly flexible enough for a commercial vehicle. It will not sell well. I am looking forward to see Nissan get their next generation 40kwh pack ready. This is still too little but it will sell better.
It is easy to see what VW does. They are making a modular platform for nearly all of its vehicle types so that each of these vehicle types can be build on the same assembly line with either gasoline engine, diesel, bi-fuel natural gas/gasoline, PHEV drive-train or short-range BEV. That is fine as VW can bring down the costs using the same platform and the battery cells that are used for the short range BEVs and PHEVs across all platforms might be identical, (with high power and long cycle life) in order to achieve volume and cost reduction there as well. What is missing in VWs strategy is three long-range BEV platforms for small, midsize and large vehicle types all using the same battery cell (with high volumetric energy density and short cycle life (read a Panasonic 18650 cell)). That is of cause Tesla's skateboard platform solution where the engine, transmission and cooling/heat pump system resides in the floor between the two pair of wheels and the battery pack is a large flat rectangle spanning the entire floor between the four wheels. This design is unsuited for PHEVs, gasser etc. but it is perfect for a long-range BEVs because it makes a car with more luggage space than any gasser, etc can achieve. It also makes a car with a lower gravity point than any gasser car can achieve. Finally, electric vehicles can exploit that high power electric engines are inexpensive to produce. In mass production a 225kW electric motor/transmission/cooling system will cost less than a 80kW system for a gasser. Moreover, unlike the engines in vehicle gassers electric engine are more efficient the more power they have. You can even do four wheel drive in a BEV that are just as efficient as a two wheel drive BEV. This is impossible for gassers. The future of the automobile is therefore long-range battery electric because it produces the ultimate car that has better luggage space, better handling, more power, less noise and vibration than possible for any gasser or PHEV. BEVs can also be charged at home at one third of the cost of a gasser per mile driven. However, this future of the automobile is being delayed by traditional car makes because they focus on developing traditional platforms for gassers and PHEVs and because of their spending on fruitless fuel cell vehicle research. The sooner more car makers start making the long-range BEVs that Tesla does the sooner we will get the price down for the type of battery cells that are needed for that long-range battery electric platform, namely, battery cells that excel in volumetric energy density.
@Harvey if there is no demand for larger battery packs Tesla will not make them just as they scrapped the 40kwh pack because it was not in demand (less than 5%). Today about 20% of the packs Tesla deliver are 60kwh packs and 80% are 85kwh packs. The 3.4Ah cell could make a 94kWh pack and I think that will be made available sometime next year. It will also cost more so it may not be in very high demand. If it is less than 10% of total sales Tesla will not make it but instead use the 3.4Ah cells to make less costly and less heavy 60kwh and 85kwh packs. Future larger Tesla models such as a minibus, a truck or a more conventional looking SUV will be less aerodynamic and heavier. They will probably need a 105kwh pack to get a 265 miles range EPA rating just as the 85kwh Model S. They will probably be using the 4Ah cell and a larger and stronger frame than the Model S/X. However, I now believe that Musk prioritizes getting the Model E with a smaller frame than the Model S/X done before making larger and more expensive vehicles. Musk must focus on making a car that will keep Tesla as the volume leader in terms of kwh because that will enable him to have lower costs than other car makers and therefore be more profitable. And the lower priced Model E is the best way to maintain Tesla's volume leadership.
Roger there are 13 million tons of lithium to be mined from brine mines. Each 85kwh pack from Tesla uses about 40 kilo of lithium carbonate. So you could do 325 million of these battery packs. However, you can also extract lithium from seawater although more expensively currently. There are 230 billion ton of lithium to be extracted there enough for 5750 billion 85kwh packs. We just need 1 billion of these packs to make every vehicle on the planet a long range BEV. Tesla will recycle materials from worn-out batteries into new battery packs. At some point in time this planet can do just fine with lithium from old battery packs so there will be no or little need for mining/extracting new lithium. Fuel cell cars and gassers will eventually be considered impractical by comparison because they cannot be charged at home and because of their limited trunk space. Note that the Model S has more trunk space than a similar sized gasser. It has a trunk both at the front and in the back. The 10s of billions of USD that have gone into the development of fuel cell vehicles is unfortunately a nearly complete waste as that car will never succeed in the competition with BEVs. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-19/ipad-boom-strains-lithium-supplies-after-prices-triple.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium#Production