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Tesla Model S: 0-60 In 4.5 Seconds

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the mind-the-headwinds dept.

Transportation 426

thecarchik writes "We already know a lot about the all-electric 2012 Tesla Model S sedan — but at a press event ahead of tonight's exclusive VIP event at the former Toyota NUMMI facility in Fremont, California, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced Tesla was making a faster Model S for those with a sporty side. Cutting the brisk 0-60 time of the standard Model S from 5.6 second to under 4.5 seconds, the sportier version features the same 85 kilowatt-hour, 300 miles-per-charge battery pack found in the 2012 Model S Signature series. 'That's quicker than a [Porsche] 911 [Carrera],' joked Musk. 'Not bad for an electric luxury sedan.' But if you thought 300 miles was the maximum range a Tesla Model S could do, you'd be wrong."

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Don't read this... it is a curse... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37585404)

In 2004, a little boy named Jimmy was sleeping in his bed. He then woke up and walked in front of his laundry room and spotted a glass antique doll with blond hair on the laundry room window ledge. He glared at the doll and screamed, "Whore! Slut! The sandwich that never knew bread!" Jimmy immediately regretted his decision as the doll glared at him and jumped off the window ledge. Jimmy ran outside faster than he thought possible and shut the front door behind him, leaving the doll trapped in the living room.

However, once he ran off of his porch, his clothing vanished and he was sucked bootyass-first into the sky at the speed of light. Once he reached space, his bootyass naked bootyass crashed through the floor in his living room. His bootyass was sticking out of the floor in his living room whilst the rest of his body was trapped underneath his house. He couldn't even move a single cheek!

Then, his vision somehow transported into his living room, and he became a mere perspective. It was as if he was looking at himself through a security camera. He saw the doll slowly approach his bootyass, put its head on his bootyasscheekcrackhole, and then scream, "Your scourning parading, matched! No more truly will away!" Immediately afterwards, the doll let loose a high-pitched screech that sounded like the scream of a little girl. This act inflicted extreme amounts of tickle upon Jimmy's bootyass!

Now that you have read this, the very same doll will screech on your bootyasscheekcrackhole and inflict major tickle upon your bootyass! To prevent this from happening, post this curse as a comment three times.

320 miles (5, Funny)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#37585434)

Summary cut off right where it got interesting, announcing 320 mile range. The Tesla is of course useless because a 320 mile range means I can only drive for 10 continuous hours without a brake in 32 MPH stop and go traffic and I love having a five hour commute each direction. In fact, everyone knows that not only does the average american watch TV 8 hours per day, they also commute 10 hours per day.

Re:320 miles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37585502)

And they spend another 8 hours a day eating!

Re:320 miles (4, Funny)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 2 years ago | (#37585536)

I can only drive for 10 continuous hours without a brake in 32 MPH stop and go traffic

So how do you deal with stop-and-go traffic without a brake?

Re:320 miles (1)

ooloogi (313154) | about 2 years ago | (#37585638)

By using an electric drive system to capture the energy, rather than dumping it in a brake?

Re:320 miles (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 2 years ago | (#37585708)

But how do you stop in stop-and-go traffic without a brake? Doesn't regeneration require a brake?

Re:320 miles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37585858)

No, regeneration uses the electric motors to shop. You still need a brake for the cases where you want to stop faster than the electric system can handle.

Re:320 miles (1)

Sduic (805226) | about 2 years ago | (#37586020)

A cattle catcher?

Re:320 miles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37586024)

Rubber Bumpers.

Eventually the chain of cars gets long enough to loop around itself.

Re:320 miles (4, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 years ago | (#37585556)

If you handle them a bit of plutonium maybe they could install on it batteries that hold 1.2gigawatts, and you'll never get late to work, in fact, you can get there too early.

Re:320 miles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37585694)

Combining the two announcements, you can now drive 320 miles in 5h20m02.25s without exceeding 60 mph.

Re:320 miles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37585720)

They also conveniently missed the $200k price tag.

Re:320 miles (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#37585874)

They also conveniently missed the $200k price tag.

So what? They'll just make Apple users their target market.

Re:320 miles (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 2 years ago | (#37585900)

Probably uses the same type of batteries as the iDevices too ;-)

Re:320 miles (4, Interesting)

Rei (128717) | about 2 years ago | (#37585782)

Actually, in 32 MPH stop-and-go traffic, you'd probably get more like 400+ miles range. Li-ion EVs excel in those conditions. The optimum steady-state speed for the Tesla Roadster is 15-20 mph. Stop and start causes loss of efficiency, but not nearly as much as highway-speed travel. The Roadster's nominal range would be met at approximately a steady-state of 55mph, if I remember the numbers correctly. Since most people drive faster than that on the highway, most people reported lower achievable ranges.

Good to see they're offering an aero wheel mod. Go Tesla! :)

Re:320 miles (3, Informative)

Teancum (67324) | about 2 years ago | (#37585830)

The mileage range is something determined by the U.S. Department of Transportation based upon "typical" driving conditions. Believe it or not, there are standards which apply in this situation which don't come strictly from some marketing executive.

Your concern is legitimate, but the automotive business in America is so heavily regulated that there isn't much wiggle room for claims like this... especially if you have a production certificate from the D.O.T. for serial production. There is a lot of vaporware in the realm of electric vehicles, but eventually you have to put something out there to actually be tested in the real world. Tesla has done that.

BTW, driving range also applies to internal combustion engine vehicles as well, although most automotive manufacturers usually don't make that a key selling point.

Re:320 miles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37585896)

Missing the point.

The 300-mile range Tesla would suffice for about 90% of my driving. 90%, but not 100%, so I still have to own another vehicle for the remainder. I'm not going to rent another car every two weeks to make up for the lack of what my primary one can do.

Since owning two cars is expensive, and the 300-range tesla is more expensive than the lesser range options, it rules it out for me and a great many people.

Now, add a little 10 HP range extender that would sit in a trunk or something and recharge the batteries as I go along, and now you're talking. But pure electric? No sale.

Re:320 miles (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 2 years ago | (#37585944)

Wow. In one out of ten trips you take with you car, you are driving over 300 miles? Even if it were 100 miles, I doubt that it would not satisfy 98% of your needs.

Re:320 miles (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#37586004)

Wow. In one out of ten trips you take with you car, you are driving over 300 miles?

This is a 'luxury sedan': why would you buy it just to drive to the supermarket?

Re:320 miles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37586034)

No, that does not logically follow. It can meet only 90% of his driving needs even if it meets the needs of far more than 90% of his *trips*, because not all trips are the same distance.

Seriously, is this what passes for thought on slashdot these days? Are people no longer able to apply basic reasoning skills?

Innumeracy. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Re:320 miles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37586040)

Maybe he's talking about more than just range. Like needing 4WD sometimes, or more cargo space.

How did you get from his comment to "he must drive over 300 miles in one out of ten trips"? That makes no sense.

How about a Model T? (4, Interesting)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 2 years ago | (#37585436)

The Ford T cost $240 in 1925. That's $3000 in today's money. If you want a revolution, what you want is low prices.

Re:How about a Model T? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37585464)

yep - that's why union workers for GM, Chrysler and Ford will be out of business when Tata, Mahindra, BAW, Chery and others start coming ashore

goodbye Obooboo minions!

Re:How about a Model T? (0)

hamster_nz (656572) | about 2 years ago | (#37585466)

I didn't believe that, but it seems you are telling the truth! From http://www.measuringworth.com/ [measuringworth.com] using various indexes:

$2,990.00 using the Consumer Price Index

$2,490.00 using the GDP deflator

$9,960.00 using the unskilled wage

$12,600.00 using the Production Worker Compensation

$14,400.00 using the nominal GDP per capita

$38,500.00 using the relative share of GDP

Re:How about a Model T? (1, Insightful)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 2 years ago | (#37585628)

None of the latter four are meaningful in this case. Unskilled wage? There isn't much of that left in automobile production. There are not even a lot of skilled workers in modern car factories. GDP per capita is not a good base for comparison either, because there are now a lot more things being done in the USA than in 1925, which are now also part of GDP.

Re:How about a Model T? (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#37585718)

Unskilled wage is how long one has to flip burgers to afford a car.

Re:How about a Model T? (5, Insightful)

haruchai (17472) | about 2 years ago | (#37585658)

Thanks for the link but you'll get a better comparison if you use the Model T's price of $850 in 1909, instead of the cost after being in production for 17 years.

Re:How about a Model T? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37585822)

I think that the OP's point was that in 1925, the Model T was very affordable to the masses (or, using the "unskilled wage index", equivielent to the affordablilty of $10k car to somebody who flips burgers).

Maybe in 17 years the Tesla will be 1/4 the ticket price it is now? Not very likely at all...

THe OP's view is that without that Tesla won't be bringing EVs to the masses..

Re:How about a Model T? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37585660)

Only $2,990 using CPI? I'm not saying it's not true, but you can't really compare 1925 to 2011 using CPI, because, well, you know how much an iPad cost in 1925 or how much buggy whips cost in 2011.

If you believe that inflation has averaged 6% per year over the past 86 years, then using the Rule of 72 (price doubles every 12 years) then $480 by 1937, $960 by 1949, $1,920 by 1961, $3,840 by 1973, $7,680 by 1985, $15,360 by 1997, over $31,000 by 2011.

Perhaps you think inflation has only been 4%, then that's about $7,000 by 2011. Perhaps 5%, then nearly $14,000 by 2011.

Re:How about a Model T? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | about 2 years ago | (#37586056)

Using the phrase, "rule of 72" makes you sound like either a charlatan, or an old timer who doesn't realize that you can get a pocket calculator capable of doing exponents and logarithms for under $10. Sometimes you can even find them on sale at gas stations....

Re:How about a Model T? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#37585742)

Except the numbers the government puts out are pure bullshit [thepeoplehistory.com] .

Re:How about a Model T? (3, Insightful)

Poorcku (831174) | about 2 years ago | (#37585528)

Impossible thanks to regulations:

1. emission standards (euro V or whatever) 2. safety standards (abs, esp, airbags, etc). you can't even put a car the market without those.

Try to comply with all on this list http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/fmvss/index.html [nhtsa.gov] and it will cost you a fortune.

Re:How about a Model T? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37585652)

Yes but in the new libertarian utopia we will have cars that both use led anti knocking agents which reduce the IQ of all children living near the road by a statistically significant amount, compared to matched roads in regions with regulated fuel, which will help the poor people be more satisfied with their menial work. They will also produce a high number of the previously regulated soot particulates which are so efficient at eliminating those with asthma from the gene-pool. As an added bonus they will also not only kill more of their occupants but also more of the pedestrians or passengers of other cars that they hit, due to the lack of crumple zones, this will encourage safer driving. The disadvantage is that as simpler models they will take fewer people to manufacture, so we will have to buy more to make up.

Re:How about a Model T? (0, Flamebait)

darthdavid (835069) | about 2 years ago | (#37585662)

Well you have a choice: pay for all those standards upfront or pay for them later as horrible pollution and mangled corpses at the side of the road. If you want safe, clean cars it's going to cost you.

And you can't really just leave it to people to decide for themselves either: pollution affects everyone, not just the asshole driving around in a smog-mobile, and even if you accept that people have a right to put their own lives at risk driving around in a deathtrap what about their children, or anyone they happen to give a lift to? And what about the sort of safety features which are designed to prevent accidents happening in the first place? Does someone have the right to put everyone else at risk by driving a car that makes getting into an accident more likely?

You can bitch and moan about how expensive this makes everything but I'd choose expensive cars and a cleaner safer world over cheaper cars any day of the week.

Re:How about a Model T? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37585902)

it's the american way. you don't stand in the american way. lot of roadkills there and nothing to see.

Re:How about a Model T? (5, Interesting)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#37585716)

I was looking at a 10,000$ Kia, sure that didnt have AC, power anything or even an AM radio, that car had the highest safety rating of that year, 40MPG. I ended up getting a 15 grand model and that even had a MP3 player.

Meanwhile at the GM dealership I could get a lower quality car, with less features, less gas mileage, less power and a much lower safety rating for damn near 10 grand more than the IMPORT. So its not impossible to make a low cost car, sure not 3 grand like the OP suggests but the American companies are not even trying.

Its been over a decade since I bought a domestic car, and now that almost all the imports are being made in the USA, I get to have a quality product for a reasonable price without hearing the "dey took our jobs" horse shit.

Re:How about a Model T? (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 2 years ago | (#37585848)

Keep in mind the magic "carbon tax credits" and other ways that the market is being skewed. I know of more than a few automobile manufacturers who sell their vehicles at a slight loss and make up for it with sales of pollution tax credits to luxury auto companies. Still, your point is well taken so far as an arguably better vehicle costing less than an inferior vehicle which is "made in America". It isn't a surprise that foreign auto companies have been making inroads into the America auto market for decades precisely because of this kind of problem.

Re:How about a Model T? (4, Informative)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#37585792)

The regulations are expensive to comply with, but most serve a good purpose. What should have been done (blocked by the Big-3) would be to merge US regulations with EU and Japanese regulations so that a single regulation would apply everywhere. Instead, the US has deliberately invented incompatible regulations as protectionist matters to block good-selling EU cars from landing on US shores. Yay protectionism for failing industries at the expense of the citizens.

Re:How about a Model T? (1)

Poorcku (831174) | about 2 years ago | (#37585876)

i never said they don't serve a good purpose. i was just arguing that 3k$ cars are impossible.

Re:How about a Model T? (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 2 years ago | (#37585916)

Which is exactly what people argued 100 years ago. Try:

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/7213 [gutenberg.org]
(My Life and Work by Henry Ford)

Re:How about a Model T? (3, Funny)

zippthorne (748122) | about 2 years ago | (#37586000)

You're seriously making the claim that emissions standards are holding back cheap electric cars?

Re:How about a Model T? (3, Interesting)

Bobakitoo (1814374) | about 2 years ago | (#37585568)

The Ford T has no air conditioner, seat belt, airbags, computer assisted direction and engine or sophisticated electronic gadget. The Ford T was essentially a golf cart, and 3000$ is about right for a modern electric gold cart. If you want a revolution, peoples will have to change what they are expecting from a automobile. We can't no longer afford a 'living room' on wheel. The automobile need to return to its minimalist roots and focus on getting us from point A to point B with the less power possible.

Re:How about a Model T? (4, Funny)

Nethead (1563) | about 2 years ago | (#37585702)

I already drive a '93 Saturn SL1, how much lower can I go?

Re:How about a Model T? (2)

frosty_tsm (933163) | about 2 years ago | (#37585882)

I already drive a '93 Saturn SL1, how much lower can I go?

'85 Geo Prizim?

Re:How about a Model T? (3, Funny)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 2 years ago | (#37585918)

I already drive a '93 Saturn SL1, how much lower can I go?

'85 Geo Prizim?

'76 Gremlin

Re:How about a Model T? (1)

Nethead (1563) | about 2 years ago | (#37585920)

Touche'.

Re:How about a Model T? (3, Insightful)

frosty_tsm (933163) | about 2 years ago | (#37585912)

The Ford T has no air conditioner, seat belt, airbags, computer assisted direction and engine or sophisticated electronic gadget. The Ford T was essentially a golf cart, and 3000$ is about right for a modern electric gold cart. If you want a revolution, peoples will have to change what they are expecting from a automobile. We can't no longer afford a 'living room' on wheel. The automobile need to return to its minimalist roots and focus on getting us from point A to point B with the less power possible.

Clearly we think we can.

What I'm tired of seeing are people with big vehicles of their own choosing (not out of necessity) who are weeping about gas prices. We Americans still have some of the cheapest gas in the world even though prices have doubled since 2004 (when I bought my first car and started really paying attention). But we expect to be able to buy a big SUV or minivan as soon as we have our first kids. Or lift our pickups and put mud tires on them. If we have had $5 gasoline, what prevents us from having $6 or $8 gas before it's time to get a new car?

Re:How about a Model T? (4, Insightful)

haruchai (17472) | about 2 years ago | (#37585634)

You clearly don't understand this is a luxury sedan and not an everyman car.
  How many years or decades was it from the introduction of the auto to the availability of the Model T? The price you quote for the Model T in 1925 is relatively accurate but the car had been in production for SEVENTEEN years by that time and its price of $850 in 1909 would be equivalent to about $22000 today
  Do you seriously think the availability of a low-cost EV will take the same length of time?

Re:How about a Model T? (5, Insightful)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 2 years ago | (#37585828)

The availability of a low-cost EV has already taken more than its reasonable share of time. Actually, they should have been around for at least a decade.

The Chinese have them. In fact, Daimler sued a Chinese car maker in 2006 for making a copy-cat Smart car with an electric engine and battery. And the Chinese had already been using electric cars for real since the mid 90ies. - Not that anybody cared or noticed back in the stagnated [wordpress.com] (that is, not developing) countries.

The key is to understand, that electric cars have no market as luxury items unless and until they have been established as cars for everyday users. Before that, there just won't be the infrastructure it takes to make proper use of them. But in order to get to this point, they need a price point that makes it possible for people to use them as single-purpose vehicles, alongside the traditional ones. (E.g. getting one person and a suitcase to work and back)

$3000-4000 for a light-weight two-person car with limited range (80km/50miles) and speed (below 80km/h or 50mph) is entirely possible to achieve. Weight, range, acceleration and speed are the main determinants of the size of the battery (and its weight!), which determines the price of the battery and thus the price of an electric car. Such a car could actually have reasonable charging times (One tenth the total capacity means one tenth the time to charge) and such a car could do some 90% of the driving for a lot of people. But because of the limited performance nobody is going to bother buying such a car unless it's really cheap. (Meaning: unless it has a price that makes it reasonable to buy without being an eco-freak.)

But then again, you don't get to pay gas prices of $8/gal (as in Europe) until you realize that the USA will collapse if it continues to pretend that cheap oil is only a matter of military power.

Re:How about a Model T? (1)

artor3 (1344997) | about 2 years ago | (#37585646)

So comparable to buying a used compact. Only today's compact gets at least twice as many miles per gallon, five times as much horse power, power steering, power brakes, air conditioning, a radio/cd player, seat belts, air bags, crumble zones, headlights that don't run on burning oil, a top speed above 40 mph, and the ability to start without using a fricken hand crank.

There's a reason modern cars are more expensive. You are getting a much, much, <i>much</i> better product for your money. Absolutely no one would buy a car with specs similar to a Model T at $3000.

Re:How about a Model T? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#37585750)

Consider this to be like the Peugeot Typ 19 [wikipedia.org] , a luxury (for the time) that only a few could afford, and yet something that pushed the technology forward.

In general it has to be invented before it can be mass produced at a low cost. Tesla is still in the invention stage.

Re:How about a Model T? (1)

budgenator (254554) | about 2 years ago | (#37585776)

I'm not sure we could build a Model T for $3K today, and consumers have higher exceptions than they did in 1925.

Re:How about a Model T? (2)

Rei (128717) | about 2 years ago | (#37585810)

The Model T was introduced in late 1908. You're talking about where Tesla would be in nearly 2030.

Back in 1908, the Model T cost $850, or over $20k today. But remember that the part count in such a vehicle was many orders of magnitude lower than that in a modern car. Here's what a 1908 Model T [hfmgv.org] looked like under the hood. Not much there! Also remember that the Model T was hardly the first gasoline car produced in America.

Re:How about a Model T? (1)

morari (1080535) | about 2 years ago | (#37585956)

It worked great for the Volkswagen Beetle as well.

Quarter mile time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37585470)

Anyone know?

Re:Quarter mile time? (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 2 years ago | (#37585604)

60 miles per hour is 88 feet per second. Given constant acceleration, we have 88 feet per second divided by 4.5 seconds, which yields about 19.6 feet per second squared. Using the formula d=0.5*a*t^2, and taking 1320 feet as a quarter mile, we get 1320=0.5*19.6*t^2. Solving for t gives us about 11.6 seconds.

Re:Quarter mile time? (2)

bjorniac (836863) | about 2 years ago | (#37585684)

Where you've assumed constant acceleration throughout? And at the end of that time the car would be going 155mph - I highly doubt that acceleration is anything like constant from 0-60 and it certainly won't be at higher velocities, as drag is proportion at v^2. If it were, you could have one of these babies hit light speed in about a year and a half...

Re:Quarter mile time? (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 2 years ago | (#37585904)

Ah, the dangers of extrapolation. Thank you.

Re:Quarter mile time? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37585688)

Acceleration wouldn't be constant, air resistance varies with the square of speed. 11.6 second cars generally have sub 4 second 0-60 times. My car does 0-60 in 4.6s, but it's 1/4 mile time is 12.9 seconds at 112MPH, I'd expect the Model S to be +/- 0.5 seconds of that.

Re:Quarter mile time? (1)

slater.jay (1839748) | about 2 years ago | (#37585712)

Air resistance increases with the square of the velocity. You can't assume constant acceleration.

Re:Quarter mile time? (1)

Rei (128717) | about 2 years ago | (#37585824)

Air resistance plays a relatively small role on acceleration times. The faster you accelerate, the smaller the role.

Re:Quarter mile time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37585878)

Not in this universe's physics. Air resistance is the main factor in reducing acceleration as speed increases.

Re:Quarter mile time? (2)

arielCo (995647) | about 2 years ago | (#37586042)

That's nothing! It'd run its 320 mile range in sqrt(320 miles * 2 / (19.6 ft/s^2)) = 6m 55s.

Too bad the braking will be a bit complicated at 6.92 minutes * 19.6 ft/s^2 = 5,548 mph.

Wait for Top Gear (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | about 2 years ago | (#37585514)

I remember all the claims Tesla motors made about the original sports car. Top Gear UK tested it and most of the performance claims turned out ot be less than 1/2. It was utter junk. I would like to see Top Gear (who I trust) test this new Tesla (who I no longer trust).

Re:Wait for Top Gear (2)

Dan667 (564390) | about 2 years ago | (#37585562)

doubt that would happen. Top Gear was sued by tesla for pointing out what is common sense (among other inconsistent claims). Having to wait hours to charge a car defeats the whole purpose of having a car, freedom to go where you want when you want.

Re:Wait for Top Gear (2, Informative)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#37585844)

Top Gear lied on-air about the charge level, and extrapolated numbers that were provably false. But the lies weren't actionable because the right number of "might" and "would be" weasel words were added in to make it be an opinion presented as fact, and not an incorrect fact presented as fact.

Re:Wait for Top Gear (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37585942)

If by "lies" and "extrapolated numbers that were provably false" you mean "asked Tesla how long the charge would last driving they way they were on their track, then reported the number that Tesla's engineers gave them in the sentence 'On our track, it would run out in (number) miles' ", yes. However, everyone else would call that reporting accurately.

The brake system DID blow a fuse. Tesla didn't like them reporting that. Just because they didn't spin it exactly the way Tesla wanted them to did not make it inaccurate. "Might" and "would be" weren't a factor. Tesla sued because they wouldn't gloss over the car's shortcomings.

Re:Wait for Top Gear (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37585578)

Re:Wait for Top Gear (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37585630)

Rebuttal [usatoday.com] and video of the review [spike.com]

Re:Wait for Top Gear (3, Informative)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 years ago | (#37585582)

You actually trust top gear to make a fair review? They are there to entertain you, not be accurate.

You really need to get your facts somewhere else before you cast a judgement.

Re:Wait for Top Gear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37585670)

So it doesn't take hours to recharge the batteries? Oh wait...

That point was the real core of Top Gear's criticism and it's 100% true. Until electric cars can be recharged in about the same time it takes to fuel up an internal combustion car, they won't be practical replacements. That technology is on the way, but it isn't here yet. Plus, for most people, they're just transferring their carbon production to electric companies who burn coal. So until we have more wide spread use of electric generation without fossil fuels, it's even less of a practical replacement.

Re:Wait for Top Gear (5, Informative)

Rei (128717) | about 2 years ago | (#37585854)

It doesn't take nearly as long as Top Gear pretended it does, and they knew that. On the standard Tesla charger, a *full* charge (not a daily commute charge, but a "I just drove 200 miles" charge) takes 3 1/2 hours.

Top Gear also pretended the vehicle overheated (it didn't), that they were without a working vehicle at one point (they weren't), that the vehicle ran out of charge (it didn't), and that it would run of charge abnormally earlier than comparable gasoline vehicles (it wouldn't; all-out with a Roadster on the track may only get you ~40 miles, but all-out with a Veyron will only get you ~60).

Top Gear is an entertainment show that doesn't care much for the truth.

As for your "transferring carbon production", the DOE has already extensively studied this (as have many, many other groups). In every case, the conclusion is that even on our current grid, EVs are notably cleaner than gasoline cars. Meanwhile, oil keeps getting dirtier (tar sands, deepwater, etc), while the grid gets cleaner (new power infrastructure in the US is primarily NG and wind).

Re:Wait for Top Gear (3, Informative)

Local ID10T (790134) | about 2 years ago | (#37585930)

So it doesn't take hours to recharge the batteries? Oh wait...

RTFA http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1066795_breaking-tesla-making-faster-2012-model-s-0-60-in-under-4-5-seconds [greencarreports.com]

When the batteries are depleted, Tesla says even the 300-mile range Model S will be able to recharge from empty to full in under an hour thanks to its new direct current external charger. The 90 kilowatt units will be installed by Tesla at suitable rest-stop locations or hotels alongside arterial freeways such as I-5 between Canada and Mexico.

Re:Wait for Top Gear (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#37585960)

When the batteries are depleted, Tesla says even the 300-mile range Model S will be able to recharge from empty to full in under an hour thanks to its new direct current external charger. The 90 kilowatt units will be installed by Tesla at suitable rest-stop locations or hotels alongside arterial freeways such as I-5 between Canada and Mexico.

Wow, I'll be able to recharge in under an hour every 300 miles, so long as I find the 'suitable' location where electricity will probably be priced at $1 a kWh because they know that I have no alternative other than to pay the price or pay for a tow.

I'll stick to my Civic, thanks, which can travel about twice as far, fill up in two minutes and do so at any gas station we pass.

Re:Wait for Top Gear (1)

FrankieBaby1986 (1035596) | about 2 years ago | (#37585994)

Until electric cars can be recharged in about the same time it takes to fuel up an internal combustion car, they won't be practical replacements.

Why not? If you drive a few miles to work everyday and come home everyday, why can't you just top up overnight? How often do you need to refuel that you really need to have it done in minutes? If it's really that often, you might want to consider moving closer to where you work or getting a better car.

Re:Wait for Top Gear (0, Troll)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 2 years ago | (#37585586)

You can probably rest assured that, now that Tesla is in the back pocket of the Obama administration, it will be seen to that anyone who might have the capacity to take an objective look at Tesla Motors will be prevented, by any means necessary, getting their hands on one.

Re:Wait for Top Gear (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37586010)

Do you know how thin the Department of Sinister Conspiracies in Service of the Obama Regime is spread these days?

It's bad. Our unionized-coddled-public-sector employee mandatory augmented lunch break scheme, and general socialist hatred of efficiency don't help, of course; but they just keep dumping more work on us. It's even harder because half of the conspiracies directly contradict the other half(we've had to let three spin-doctors retire with generous disability pensions due to workplace-induced vertigo caused by keeping the media toeing the Party line...

First they want to destroy capitalism by convincing the public that only the State can save them from greedy speculators and economic ruin: "No problem", I tap a couple of marxist academics(we were in the same anarcho-syndicalist squat when we were coasting through liberal arts college on our parent's money, old buddies), and they invent the notion of a "credit default swap" and our media puppetmasters fabricate the necessary backstory, while the economic wrecking squad does some penalizing of Wealth Creators just to make things extra believable.

Then, just as I was kicking back and enjoying some nice, family-values-destroying gay smut, my boss comes in all pissed off: "What the fuck are you doing? If you destabilize the EU, our One World Government will be set back by at least a decade! And how is Obama supposed to coast to an easy victory on strong economic news if you keep up like that?". The entire department had to work until 5pm that evening, coming up with a scheme to bail out GM and allocate 'stimulus' money away from small businesses and toward teachers unions. That sucked.

Worse, once we had GM on our hands, we had to simultaneously prop up their union makework projects and advance the progressive agenda of destroying the Freedom of the Open Road and forcibly implementing collectivist mass transit. We could hardly write grants fast enough to get our pet scientists to stop undercounting spotted owls for a minute and start re-classifying benign automobile emissions as dangerous pollutants.

Don't even start on what the guys in the Middle Eastern Affairs office have to put up with, trying to cast our Leader as strong on terrorism and get some good photo-ops, without getting too many of our Sharia brothers killed...

And now you say that we are going to have to track down every Model S released and ensure that nobody is able to take simple performance measurements? How many Black Helicopter kill teams do you think we have?

Re:Wait for Top Gear (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37585592)

I remember all the claims Tesla motors made about the original sports car. Top Gear UK tested it and most of the performance claims turned out ot be less than 1/2. It was utter junk. I would like to see Top Gear (who I trust) test this new Tesla (who I no longer trust).

I love Top Gear, but you have to be pretty dumb to believe a review of an electric car done by someone who has on numerous occasions said he doesn't like them.

Re:Wait for Top Gear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37585612)

What about the Top Gear episode where they were pushing the Tesla off the track when the battery still had a charge as Tesla claimed.

Top Gear HAS a bias against all electric cars (they even admit it), so why is it you're trusting someone who admits they are biased?

Just remember, Top Gear is made for entertainment.

Re:Wait for Top Gear (1)

Timmmm (636430) | about 2 years ago | (#37585614)

Seriously? The appearance on Top Gear was infamous for being unfairly staged! Top Gear hates electric cars!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/mar/30/tesla-sue-top-gear [guardian.co.uk]

Re:Wait for Top Gear (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37585728)

Seriously?

From your own linked article, from a Top Gear spokesperson, ... actual words (on the show ) were "We calculated that on our track it would run out after 55 miles".

and then the spokesperson also points out
"The second point is that the figure of 55 miles came not from our heads, but from Tesla's boffins in California. They looked at the data from that car and calculated that, driven hard on our track, it would have a range of 55 miles."

Top Gear is getting sued for pointing out that driven on a track, that the car would be out of power after driving 55 miles and that it would take several hours to recharge.

I think Top Gear's major issue with electric cars is the limited range and then the lengthy recharge. A thousand mile drive would take four days including the time to recharge. Even a 180 mile trip to grandma's house would take at least 2 days because the car has to recharge overnight.

Re:Wait for Top Gear (1)

Rei (128717) | about 2 years ago | (#37585860)

How far do you think a Veyron would go at all-out track duty? Seriously, you drive a vehicle with the pedal to the floor, expect your range to suck, no matter what your powertrain.

Re:Wait for Top Gear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37586044)

The difference if you can fill the gas tank of a Veyron and be on your way again. You can't in a Tesla.

Re:Wait for Top Gear (4, Informative)

bagorange (1531625) | about 2 years ago | (#37585650)

Top Gear has a record of out and out faking when "reviewing" Tesla cars. As an entertainment show, I am not sure how much credence I would give them for any brand, when it comes to Tesla they are on record as lying.

http://articles.businessinsider.com/2008-12-29/green_sheet/30080624_1_electric-car-drag-race-lotus-elise [businessinsider.com]

Robert Llewellyn has pointed out that Top Gear's roadshows are sponsored by Shell (who are invested in hydrogen as the alternative fuel of the future) and that Top Gear has talked up the potential of hydrogen as superior to electric vehicles.

Robert Llewellyn is of course a very vocal electric car advocate. I recommend his web series Carpool: just as entertaining as Top Gear, but in a different way.

Re:Wait for Top Gear (2)

DMoylan (65079) | about 2 years ago | (#37585932)

he also has a podcast called fully charged that's worth watching. it's about electric/hybrid technology.

http://www.youtube.com/user/fullychargedshow [youtube.com]

Re:Wait for Top Gear (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#37585832)

Top Gear purposefully devises tests to get a response the opposite of the useful truth. Note they got better mileage from an M3 than a Prius, mainly because of the test they devised. I expect that if the results were "expected" (the other way around with the Prius winning, they would never have aired it and nobody would know. Perhaps they even ran the test 100 times, changing the parameters every time until the more entertaining result was acheived. They don't independently test vehicles (like Car and Driver and other magazines claim to), but they have a vehicle-based entertainment show. I'm confused who someone would "trust" Top Gear. That's like trusting Rush Limbaugh for the news.

Re:Wait for Top Gear (1)

Local ID10T (790134) | about 2 years ago | (#37585914)

Top Gear is full of shit.

They have been caught staging events to make better (more interesting/sensational) TV.

It's entertainment, not science.

The imporant question (1)

dnaumov (453672) | about 2 years ago | (#37585558)

How long will the battery last? It's all great and exciting, but if one has to replace a ridiculously expensive (10,000$+) battery every 5-6 years, this is a nonstarter.

Re:The imporant question (4, Insightful)

abhi_beckert (785219) | about 2 years ago | (#37585644)

The Tesla Roadster has an expected battery life of 7 years, and you can pre-order a new one for $12,000 (it'll be delivered in 7 years).

No doubt the prices for new batteries will have gone down by 7 years from now, and the Model S has a swappable battery (for those who don't want to wait for it to charge).

Yes, this is an expensive car. But it's half the price of their previous car, and their next one is supposedly going to be cheaper again.

Re:The imporant question (1)

pbjones (315127) | about 2 years ago | (#37585664)

battery life depends on use and charge cycle. normal driving/charging will give much more than 5-6 years use. for many drivers the fuel savings over 5-6 years would pay for new batteries twice over. Anyway, it's a premium car with a premium price, the buyer won't care.

Re:The imporant question (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#37585872)

The batteries last about as long as a gasoline engine, and cost about the same to replace. The people bitching do so only because the graceful failure of batteries confuse them to thinking it's somehow preventable. In the same time, you'll spend the same on brake pads, oil and filter, and tires, but nobody even notices because the individual costs are lower and we expect those expenses. But a battery, oh no, fear the unknown and make up lies about the unknown!

Re:The imporant question (5, Interesting)

Rei (128717) | about 2 years ago | (#37585958)

Well, the Volt's pack is going to be *warrantied* for ten years, soo.... Plus, A) EV battery packs can often have parts of them replaced individually, and B) evne a reduced-capacity pack still has value (say, on grid load balancing)

Battery life is always going to be limited by *design*. You can have any sort of lifespan you want out of a battery, from nanoseconds to tens of thousands of years. It's all about tradeoffs. The better the chemistry, the better the temperature regulation. the gentler the charge/discharge curve, the better the charge management, and the lower the depth of discharge range, the longer the lifespan, by orders of magnitude. As for Tesla's design approach:

  * Chemistry: nothing special -- same as in laptops
  * Temperature regulation: top notch -- a far cry from an unregulated battery pack sitting right next to your CPU.
  * Charge management: very good -- detailed computer monitoring and balancing of hundreds of individual subcomponents.
  * Charge curve: The most common case (~3.5 hours per full charge) is a little gentler than an average laptop charge. The mild case (a 120V socket) is exceedingly gentle. The rare case (fast charging on a long trip, ~1 hour) is worse than for most laptops.
  * Discharge curve: Unless the vehicle is being put through track duty, gentler than a laptop.
  * Depth of discharge: It's hard to generalize between laptops. Telsa does not charge to 100%, nor allow down to 0%, and the most common discharge case usually only uses a few tens of percents charge before recharging. So in general, well gentler than for a laptop.

Different vehicles vary. The Leaf uses a better chemistry, but poorer temperature regulation. The Volt uses both a better chemistry and good temperature regulation.

Will it still corner like a pig? (0, Redundant)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#37585632)

Have they reduced the weight of the battery pack?

How many miles will it go after one 0-60 run?

How fast is the second 0-60 run and how many miles left?

How much more does this cost vs. the Lotus again?

Re:Will it still corner like a pig? (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 2 years ago | (#37585898)

This vehicle is being designed for freeway driving..... which implies not just 0-60 in a quick start but sustained driving at 70+ mph for an extended period of time. Obviously freeway driving will suck juice out of the batteries faster than driving at a slower speed, but it isn't as bad as it seems.

I've heard of more than a few people who have driven from the SF Bay area to Lake Tahoe and back with a Tesla Roadster (presumably recharging overnight in Nevada). Figure that out for yourself what that implies in terms of performance and range. Neither the Roadster nor the "Model S" are golf carts in terms of performance.

As for cost.... look it up yourself, Google can be your friend.

Re:Will it still corner like a pig? (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#37585976)

This vehicle is being designed for freeway driving.....

Why would you want an electric car for freeway driving? Electric cars only make any kind of sense in situations where you don't have to sit and wait for them to recharge (e.g. a daily commute where you can recharge overnight).

Re:Will it still corner like a pig? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37586014)

Well if it's the only car you have then it needs to be reasonably good at everything. You know, like a normal car.

0-60 In 4.5 Seconds (0)

EnsilZah (575600) | about 2 years ago | (#37585934)

As someone not particularly familiar with the automotive world I'd like to know, is that an impressive figure?
Could someone please clarify with some kind of an analogy?

Re:0-60 In 4.5 Seconds (1)

Goonie (8651) | about 2 years ago | (#37586046)

Yes, that is *very* quick. It's within cooee of the BMW M5, which, if not the world's fastest sedan, is very close to it. Another way of looking at it - that's an average of 0.6G of acceleration. Peak acceleration at low speeds would be even higher. But even 0.6G is getting slammed - hard - into the back of your seat.

It's worth pointing out that they've chosen the most favourable acceleration statistic to quote. Electric cars are extremely quick at lower speeds, but their acceleration tails off more quickly than petrol-engined vehicles. Over the quarter-mile (standard dragstrip distance) or around a racetrack, I wouldn't expect the Model S to get anywhere near an M5.

However, for a luxury sedan, the Tesla will be more than fast enough, will have that instant throttle response that makes overtaking a breeze, and be eerily quiet. If I could afford one, I'd buy one.

Re:0-60 In 4.5 Seconds (1)

Tacvek (948259) | about 2 years ago | (#37586050)

I'm no expert. Based on Wikipedia, and verified by external sites, I've compiled the following information for comparison:

Normal high end cars get a zero to sixty of a little under 6 seconds. Expensive exotic cars get 3-4 seconds. The worlds fastest street legal car (the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport) does 0-60 in 2.46 seconds (that car costs the equivalent of over 2.5 million US dollars!).

The Formula One race cars (which trade some safety of street legal cars for extra speed), can get 0-60 time of around 2.3 seconds.

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