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Tesla To Build a Rapid-Charging Station Between LA and SF

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the good-place-to-get-mugged dept.

Power 215

thecarchik writes "Earlier this year at the official launch of the 2012 Model S Sedan, Musk said that Tesla was planning on installing ultra-rapid charging stations along major arterial freeways such as the I-5 between Canada and Mexico, but declined to give specifics. But in an official Tesla earnings call last week, Musk let slip where the first of these ultra-rapid charging stations would be: somewhere between San Francisco and Los Angeles. However, even by the shortest route, the distance between the two cities is nearly 400 miles, meaning that an equidistant SuperCharger would be no use to owners of Model S sedans with smaller 160 or 230-mile battery packs."

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215 comments

Tesla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37988366)

I'm so glad I have a Civic; more than 400 miles between fuel stops and half the cost of an electric car that I'd have to recharge three times in that distance.

Re:Tesla (3, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988532)

Good for you. A Civic is nothing like a model S. One day the electric car that fits your needs will exist, this is a stepping stone to that day. Only the cheapest Model S would need 3 charges to cover that distance, most orders are for a model that only need 1 recharge.

Re:Tesla (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988620)

Still, at the current rate it takes an hour for a 300 mile recharge. That's quite a long time to be waiting.

Re:Tesla (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988698)

Sure, but if you could charge more often that would be fine. A 15-30 minute break every 100 miles is something you will want to do anyway most of the time. Driving for more than 2 hours without a break is generally a bad idea. When I do drives like that we usually swap drivers, pee, buy gas, get a soda, etc every couple hours.

Re:Tesla (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988760)

. A 15-30 minute break every 100 miles is something you will want to do anyway most of the time.

say what?

Re:Tesla (2)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988890)

Assuming, of course, you are taking along small children, the elderly or pregnant women. :-)

Re:Tesla (2)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989052)

Hah, I recently drove the South Carolina to Wisconsin (about 20 hours) with both a two year old AND a pregnant woman. We stopped no more than every 3 hours on average. Thank God it wasn't during the third trimester...

Re:Tesla (2)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988912)

"Say what" was exactly my reaction.

Small bladder syndrome I suspect.

A hundred miles is an hour an half if you follow the speed limits. We typically stop somewhere for lunch on long trips and swap drivers. Any other stop is just to see the sights, not to fill the gas tank, and certainly not to stand around for 30 minutes while the batteries recharge.

Re:Tesla (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988834)

Driving for more than 2 hours without a break is generally a bad idea.

Oh please, I've driven a 4x4 offroad at high speed in 2 back-to-back 5 hour shifts many times with only a 1 hour break. I don't even get tired until near the end of the second shift. And I'm not very fit either.

Re:Tesla (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989240)

I hope that is not for paid work, not sure about your field but in many driving related ones that would not be legal.

It surely is not safe. You feeling tired and when your reaction time has been impacted are not the same thing.

Re:Tesla (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988994)

Everyone is different. And how comfortable your seats are and how you have them adjusted makes a difference.

But every 100mi? Seriously? I drive ~800 miles, in two ~6hr segments. Stop for food, fuel, and restroom about 1/2 way. I occasionally need an additional restroom or food stop, depending upon when I start the trip. If you don't have a medical condition, you shouldn't need to stop more than every 3hrs or so.

Re:Tesla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37988786)

Nice time for some lunch midway between SF and LA, of course this assume that time isn't the most important aspect of your journey. I drive the SF to LA route about twice a year, given I have two toddlers I have to stop for at least half a hour at least for the kids to stretch their legs.

Re:Tesla (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989048)

Would you complain about the time to charge for pennies per mile (in electric drivetrain vehicles) if fuel was $12-15/gallon?

Re:Tesla (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988602)

You almost sound like an old GM commercial. When the others were bragging about their fuel economy GM was bragging on how far you can go on a tank of gas AKA bad fuel economy but much bigger tanks.

Re:Tesla (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988652)

You almost sound like an old GM commercial. When the others were bragging about their fuel economy GM was bragging on how far you can go on a tank of gas AKA bad fuel economy but much bigger tanks.

You think a Civic has bad fuel economy?

Re:Tesla (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988694)

Compared to a plug in electric car? yes.

Re:Tesla (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988824)

Compared to a plug in electric car? yes.

I guess the miles per gallon becomes infinite when you're stuck in the middle of nowhere because the battery went flat.

Re:Tesla (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989094)

So the vehicle is at fault because the user is incompetent and doesn't know when to recharge the car? Fact: Electric cars are orders of magnitude more efficient than ICE vehicles. Fact: Over 75% of Americans' daily commutes is 40 miles or less.

Electric vehicle development is occurring how fast compared to how long it took the ICE from develop from Model-T days to having hybrid vehicles? Keep wasting your time bitching on Slashdot; other folks work all day long to move the world towards electrified transportation.

Re:Tesla (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988946)

You almost sound like an old GM commercial. When the others were bragging about their fuel economy GM was bragging on how far you can go on a tank of gas AKA bad fuel economy but much bigger tanks.

OLD GM Commercial?

GM and others are STILL running this kind of commercial today. Its like they still don't understand that Miles per Gallon (KM/liter) is the only measure that makes any sense. I've been yelling at the TV for years, but it doesn't do any good.

Oh, and don't get me started on "Professional Driver on a Closed Course" ....

Re:Tesla (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988656)

I once ran my Civic 426 miles on a tank. I cheated though. It was a downhill run from the Sierras. There was somebody with me when I did it, and we still talk about that ride. The mileage might have been higher if it hadn't been for road construction in a rural area that required a Caltrans escort through a mile of dirt road!

wow, just wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37988880)

have you considered writing a book?

Re:Tesla (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988874)

Cool. Not particularly impressive though. My car repeatably travels 600 miles between fillups in mixed driving, using no more than 14 gallons. The farthest I have ever traveled without refueling was 782 miles. It doesn't have the cost and complication of a hybrid drivetrain either. And yes, it's a fourdoor hatchback with more interior room than the Civic.

You could still go from SF to LA (1)

Megahard (1053072) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988394)

Because LA sucks.

Re:You could still go from SF to LA (2)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988852)

Yes it does. Terrible weather. Earthquakes and wildfires all the time. Ugly women. Stay away. Move away. Take someone with you.

Re:You could still go from SF to LA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37989284)

Yea, I just hate being able to go to the beach on Christmas. It's just awful to see the same old skinny, blonde, and big-boobed women there all the time. I also hate living around all yuppies and having clubs, bars, and tons of other things to do on the weekends. I agree with the above poster. Stay far away.

Re:You could still go from SF to LA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37989090)

HA HA! That added "pull" would indeed add to mileage.

Most Model S have 300 mile battery (5, Informative)

rwade (131726) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988406)

This is a pretty important quote from TFA missing from the summary:

And while most of Teslaâ(TM)s current orders are for Model S Sedans complete with 300-mile battery pack option, expect Tesla to install multiple SuperChargers along the I-5 route to cater for drivers of lower-range Model S sedans.

So while an charging station placed exactly half-way between LA and San Francisco would be of limited utility to some Tesla owners, it would serve most buyers of the Model S sedan...

Another carchick Troll (4, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988716)

Yes, and more importantly, the main story is that they are planning on building them all along I-5, this is just the first one. So people with other Teslas models will have to wait a few more months before they can get from SF to LA. OMG electric cars are a failure !!1!1!

Every post that slashdot has accepted from thecarchick driving traffic to thegreencarreport has been full of misinformation and FUD. You would think that slashdot might get tired of being played for fools but apparently not.

I've about had it with this site. I swear that this is the only reason [xkcd.com] I have had to visit slashdot the last several years. I should just admit that it is a harmful habit and leave.

Re: OMG electric cars are a failure !!1!1! (1)

lkcl (517947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989214)

yes, they are exclamation mark one exclamation mark :) but that really doesn't go down too well. hybrids on the other hand work very well: they're a compromise - a best-of-both-worlds compromise. which is why i'm designing an ultra-efficient one, having looked at the maths, done the simulations etc. http://lkcl.net/ev [lkcl.net]

Re:Most Model S have 300 mile battery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37988784)

Wouldn't they need to sell some cars first? Also the roadster failed to meet duration expectations why should we expect the S model to be any different? I think this is just for more seed money. Just prolonging the spiral to bankruptcy. The have a so so product, high overhead, and a pricey subpar performers.

Re:Most Model S have 300 mile battery (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989004)

>So while an charging station placed exactly half-way between LA and San Francisco would be of limited utility to some Tesla owners, it would serve most buyers of the Model S sedan...

Really? Most buyers purchase this car for that particular route? Even prior to the charging station being deployed?

This car is still a toy for those with more money than brains. Touting a charging station on a single route does nothing to fix that.

Re:Most Model S have 300 mile battery (3, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989122)

This car is to compete against the BMW 5 series; also, these cars are paying for the R&D that will fund cheaper cars for people like you. Keep whining that its just a toy though.

Re:Most Model S have 300 mile battery (1)

rwade (131726) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989260)

Really? Most buyers purchase this car for that particular route? Even prior to the charging station being deployed?

I don't know why they bought the 300 mile models rather than the models with shorter ranges. But the fact is, they have. From TFA [greencarreports.com] :

"...most of Tesla's current orders are for Model S Sedans complete with 300-mile battery pack option..."

400/2 = 200, and 200 230, please help me. (2)

shumacher (199043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988408)

How would an equidistant supercharger (thus, one that is 200 miles from each of two points, themselves 400 miles apart) fail to help drivers with cars that have a 230 mile range?

Terrain?? (1)

rwade (131726) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988480)

How would an equidistant supercharger (thus, one that is 200 miles from each of two points, themselves 400 miles apart) fail to help drivers with cars that have a 230 mile range?

Good question. That quote was directly from TFA.

That said, there could be a couple of reasons that the drive from LA to San Francisco is not equal in energy use to other drives of a similar length. LA and San Francisco are separated by mountains -- it's not a perfectly flat route.

Additionally, there energy-consuming traffic on both ends of the route.

Finally, few drivers of the LA-SF route are likely to be driving downtown LA to downtown San Francisco. I would guess that many owners of the Model S will live in the upper-income suburbs, some of which are south or west of Los Angeles or in the case of San Francisco, in the North Bay.

Re:Terrain?? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988568)

Traffic is not going to be as bad as in a gas car. Going slower will conserve energy, being stopped wastes no power, etc.

Still those estimates are usually pretty optimistic so it seems possible that a 200 mile drive would not be possible with only a rated 230 mile range.

Re:Terrain?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37988676)

Also note that while going up a mountain takes more energy, going down should actually charge the battery via the regenerative braking system.

Re:Terrain?? (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988908)

Does the 230 mile range include electricity consumed by the A/C system ? In any case, going slower will increase A/C power consumption for the same distance.

Re:Terrain?? (2)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988650)

Simple. Pull a trailer stuffed full of marine batteries.

Re:Terrain?? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988870)

Honestly, that is an option that is ridiculously overlooked. Engineer these electric vehicles so that they can pull a trailer of batteries. All of my driving is either under 20 miles or over 150. My guess is that this is not that unusual. I am not really interested in using the energy required to haul around 300 miles worth of batteries on a day to day basis, and I wouldn't be interested in a car that cannot drive 300 miles in a fill up. I wouldn't think twice about hooking up a trailer for that cross country drive if I could unhook it at home and at the destination.

If done right, you could even have companies like U-Haul and Hertz renting the trailers, so car owners wouldn't even need to own the trailer.

Re:Terrain?? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989044)

Install a tiny lightweight gen in a tiny little trailer.

Lets say it holds 90 KWh and goes 300 miles on a charge at 60 MPH. Simple math shows the average current drain cannot exceed 18 KW. So install a 30 HP snowblower engine in a trailer, plug it in, and as long as you keep the gas tank full, you can drive until you wear the tires out...

Re:Terrain?? (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989252)

Why not a hybrid then ? Put your 30HP engine under the hood, and cut the battery pack in half. Charge it at home for 150 mile range, and run the ICE for longer trips.

Re:Terrain?? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989256)

I think snowblower engines are 2-stroke. (You know, mix the oil with the gas.) This would create quite a bit more pollution than a conventional gas economy car, I think. Might be better to use a standard portable generator.

Re:400/2 = 200, and 200 230, please help me. (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988680)

How would an equidistant supercharger (thus, one that is 200 miles from each of two points, themselves 400 miles apart) fail to help drivers with cars that have a 230 mile range?

The idea, I think, is that you wouldn't be able to do the round trip. If the charging station is equidistant, it would still be 400 miles round trip from the station to LA and back to the station. Not sure why you would want to drive round-trip to LA and back in a single day, but that's the only reasoning I can come up with.

Re:400/2 = 200, and 200 230, please help me. (3, Informative)

nelk (923574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989034)

How would an equidistant supercharger (thus, one that is 200 miles from each of two points, themselves 400 miles apart) fail to help drivers with cars that have a 230 mile range?

The numbers they are going off of are for a 'Rapid-Charge', which, as defined in TFA, would add around 150 miles of range in 30 minutes. You could of course charge for longer and get the full 230 miles out of the smaller range vehicle and make the 400 mile trip.

First!=Only (1)

whoda (569082) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988474)

You have to build the first one somewhere.

Did he say 'directly in the middle of the I-5 route between LA and SF."?

where are the long-range hybrids? (1)

lkcl (517947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988476)

it's so strange to have access to some basic maths, to have done vehicle simulations and also have an environmentally-friendly hat on, it catches me unawares when i see things like this. i have to double-take for a second, because it's so incredibly strange for EVs to have on-board either high-explosive materials (lithium) or highly toxic metals (nickel) in such huge quantities, i really can't understand why people don't understand that batteries are a storage mechanism not a power source, and don't design vehicles accordingly.

there's quite a lot involved, so please forgive me dear slashdot reader for not cut/pasting it all here - here's a link http://lkcl.net/ev [lkcl.net] to relevant articles and so on. some insights are also on http://hybridcar.com/ [hybridcar.com]

Re:where are the long-range hybrids? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988634)

Chevy volt.

Nickel is not that toxic, compared to say cadmium used in most power drills and compared to gasoline lithium-ion batteries are damn safe.

Re:where are the long-range hybrids? (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988668)

Gasoline is also damn safe, despite common portrayal in Hollywood movies of cars blowing up at the slightest provocation.

Re:where are the long-range hybrids? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988736)

Sure, but this is a comparison not a strictly speaking type thing. Diesel is safer than gas too, and hollywood loves to show18 wheelers exploding if they even hit a curb.

Re:where are the long-range hybrids? (2)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988766)

it's so strange to have access to some basic maths, to have done vehicle simulations and also have an environmentally-friendly hat on, it catches me unawares when i see things like this. i have to double-take for a second, because it's so incredibly strange for EVs to have on-board either high-explosive materials (lithium) or highly toxic metals (nickel) in such huge quantities, i really can't understand why people don't understand that batteries are a storage mechanism not a power source, and don't design vehicles accordingly.

Huh?

Is the Lithium in LiIon batteries as explosive as other common fuels used in cars? (i.e. gasoline, natural gas)

I wasn't aware that Nickel metal was considered highly toxic since it's widely used to make coins and jewelry (and yes, some people are sensitive to Nickel, but it's still in wide use)

In the context of a car, how is a battery not a power source? Likewise, how is my gas tank not an energy storage mechanism? My car needs some source of stored energy to run - the battery and/or gas tank provide a source for that energy.

How would you design a car to accommodate a power source as opposed to a storage mechanism?

there's quite a lot involved, so please forgive me dear slashdot reader for not cut/pasting it all here - here's a link http://lkcl.net/ev [lkcl.net] to relevant articles and so on. some insights are also on http://hybridcar.com/ [hybridcar.com]

How about giving us a hint about what your point is? The http://hybridcar.com/ [hybridcar.com] link is down.

Re:where are the long-range hybrids? (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988866)

Toxicity of nickel refers to the toxicity of extracting it. Google nickle mines for a few nifty explanations of how bad nickle mining can be.

Re:where are the long-range hybrids? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988942)

Wait, what?

The reason why people aren't focusing on long range hybrids is because we can already do that, there's little challenge in producing those vehicles and they've been on the market for like a decade. The first vehicles of that type are something like 80 years old at this point.

As for EVs, the reality is that most people don't drive more than 10 miles each way to work, hauling around an ICE for the occasional trip out of town is incredibly wasteful when you could just rent a car for the day if you needed to.

Re:where are the long-range hybrids? (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989150)

most people don't drive more than 10 miles each way to work

That number sounds very low. Do you have a source ?

Re:where are the long-range hybrids? (1)

Frenzied Apathy (2473340) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988978)

Long range hybrid?

My 2006 Prius gets 350 to 450 miles a tank - usually right around 400 miles.

No plugging it in, it charges when you coast and break or when the engine is running and is putting out enough power for moving the car and charging the battery. Plus, when the car is stopped the engine doesn't just idle, it stops - no pollution when the car is stopped.

How about you build some cars first? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988486)

Methinks you might want to start by actually turning out some of those promised cars first.

Re:How about you build some cars first? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988540)

Methinks you might want to start by actually turning out some of those promised cars first.

Chicken and egg: what's the point of building a 'luxury sedan' that can't travel more than 300 miles because there's nowhere to charge it?

I'm guessing most of the people willing to pay $60k for a 'luxury sedan' of such limited use would be in SF or LA, so it makes sense as a place to build a charging point.

Re:How about you build some cars first? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988692)

> Chicken and egg: what's the point of building a 'luxury sedan' that can't travel more than 300 miles because there's nowhere to charge it?

You can charge it at home. That's enough for a lot of folks, especially with a 300 mile range.

So, the chicken exists and the eggs are available at your house. If people are going to buy these things, the time to man up is now. If enough buy it, the eggs will be available on the road. If enough don't, it wasn't to be.

Re:How about you build some cars first? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988768)

You can charge it at home. That's enough for a lot of folks, especially with a 300 mile range.

It's a 'luxury sedan'; what's the point of paying $60k for it if you're just going to drive to and from the store because you have to turn around after going 150 miles from where you live or you won't get back? You could buy a Hyundai crappy thing for $10k and blow the other $50k on wine and loose women.

Re:How about you build some cars first? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988962)

I think you answered your own question. Why buy a luxury sedan vs. a cheapo car?

The range is more than sufficient for most people so it has nothing to do with that.

Re:How about you build some cars first? (1)

swb (14022) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988700)

How many people who own "luxury sedans" do more than drive to their office, their country club and a handful of restaurants and shops that cater to their luxury lifestyles?

I'd wager it's a small number -- any trip outside of their city they will likely fly to.

Maybe it's different in California, or at least Southern California (ie, driving between LA/OC/SD), but I'll bet in most cases people who spend on a $100k luxury car don't decide to take huge road trips.

Re:How about you build some cars first? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988608)

Maybe more useful would be a "dead battery for fresh" automatic exchange station.

Re:How about you build some cars first? (2)

jandrese (485) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988856)

It would be, except that the battery packs are 750lb and quite large. An access port to get at them would have to be fairly big (a quarter panel popping up perhaps), and there would have to be machinery to move the batteries, because a person could not do it themselves. Plus, the battery is considered part of the car for warranty purposes so that would be a problem with this swap scheme. The batteries are also wear items that degrade over time, so making the a commodity like this means someone has to pay for the depreciation (apparently the charging station owners who buy the excess battery packs to have them ready for you?). You would also need to standardize all car manufacturers on one form factor for the battery packs, which would be tough since they're all building different vehicles (the pack for a pickup truck hauling gravel would be the same as the one for the tiny 2 seat commuter car?)

None of the kinks are impossible to work out. You could have a system that has a number of smaller individually manageable (30-40lb?) batteries for each car so people could swap their packs by hand without major equipment (but you'll still break out in a good sweat lugging 20 of those batteries out of your car!) and set up some sort of profitable setup with the charging station owners. The logistics are still quite messy though, and I wouldn't expect to see this anytime soon (or ever really, it's probably too late).

Re:How about you build some cars first? (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989002)

In addition to the problems you mentioned, a swappable battery pack would also make it hard to improve the technology. New tech may not be compatible with old car electronics and form factors.

Re:How about you build some cars first? (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989166)

When I put money down for the Model S, I was told by the salesperson (Chicago store) that the battery would indeed be swappable for a higher-capacity battery in the future.

Proprietary connector (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988502)

Doesn't sound smart to equip these vehicles with a proprietary connector. Why not have a standardized connector, and sell more vehicles ?

Re:Proprietary connector (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988562)

Doesn't sound smart to equip these vehicles with a proprietary connector. Why not have a standardized connector, and sell more vehicles ?

Wow, that's just brilliant. They could sell the vehicle and then sell electricity to them at $10 per kWh when the drivers either pay up or have to pay for a tow from the middle of nowhere.

Maybe Tesla's business plan does make sense after all.

Re:Proprietary connector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37988578)

Because corporations aren't inherently designed to cooperate with their competitors, and if it wasn't for EU regulations (OMG everyone run and scream) we wouldn't have micro-USB as the standard for mobile phones (other than a few outlying devices, like iStuff)

Same issue here, Gov't needs to step in and tell them to figure out one on their own, and stick with it for a set time frame, the problem is... WHAT connector, and what charging volt/amp/etc

Re:Proprietary connector (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988648)

WHAT connector, and what charging volt/amp/etc

TFA mentions that competitors are already using a standard connector:

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/SAE_J1772 [wikimedia.org]

Re:Proprietary connector (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988960)

Whoops didn't see your post before posting my reply. The J1772 tops out around 20 KW, Tesla is installing 90 KW fast chargers. There exists a european connector that handles 40 KW but its condensation state (vapor or real?) is unknown to me personally.

1) Scientists/Engineers think it could be done in a press release. We're at 400 KW here.
2) A tested standard exists. The european 40 KW thing is at least here, maybe further
3) Product ships, but you need to know the secret handshake to buy components. The 20 KW J1772 is here, maybe the European thing is arriving
4) You can buy the connector at Mouser / JDR / Digikey / Electrician supply houses no problemo. Strange twist-lock three phase 440V things are here. "Ten horsepower" sounds like about the limit for those, and they're industrial not consumer-proof like a J1772
5) You can buy it at home depot, made in China, in a big box. Thats 15 amp heavy duty outdoor rated extension cords, good for about one and a half KW although occasionally they catch fire and sometimes leave the ground lead out, if they were made in China.

Re:Proprietary connector (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988706)

What is the standard for a connector at this amperage?

I'm guessing we're going to be looking at navel wiring before we find one. Maybe the power connectors used between ships and docks?

Re:Proprietary connector (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988892)

I've been theoretically thinking about turning an old car into an EV. Lead acid = 10 mile range, but I don't care, thats enough for most trips. So I've been researching connectors for a charger. Realistically most lead acid types put a forklift charger in the back seat, with a heavy duty extension cord coiled up to it, and call it good, but I was thinking of over engineering it, at least until I saw how much a J1772 costs in onsie-twosie qtys. Maybe they're cheaper now?

First of all there is no such thing as a standardized connector for more than fifty or so KW. Sorry.

J1772 tops out around 19.2K. I remember when 19.2K was a baud rate not a charger...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAE_J1772 [wikipedia.org]

There is a strange european undeployed connector, that looks vaguely like the cylinder of a barrett .50 cal revolver, both in size, and probably weight, that tops out around 40 or so KW.

There is a vaporware plan for a 400 KW connector in the works. Either due to insulation, or copper, that dude is going to resemble a firehose, probably in both size and weight.

Even industrially, I've worked in / visited many plants and once you get over a dozen or so KW, big machinery is hard wired in, no connectors. For example the 80 foot long metal lathe I had to walk around at the crane repair company was not exactly powered by a walmart extension cord... In more than a century of electrical service, a "consumer-proof" 100 KW connector has not been needed up to this point.

The 90 kilowatt units will be installed by Tesla

That power level would probably set a J1772 on fire, or at least reduce its service life to nil, if you violated the protocol and just shoved the current thru, mythbusters style.

Re:Proprietary connector (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988940)

First of all there is no such thing as a standardized connector for more than fifty or so KW. Sorry.

Tesla could help design one, together with other electric car manufacturers. If you can use each other's charging stations, it would help solve the chicken/egg problem of electric cars, and benefit everybody involved.

Re:Proprietary connector (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989014)

You should look into using a junkyard Prius battery pack. You might need to build custom charging equipment though, since only the more recent models are plug-in hybrids.

its not about usefulness (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988504)

However, even by the shortest route, the distance between the two cities is nearly 400 miles, meaning that an equidistant SuperCharger would be no use to owners of Model S sedans with smaller 160 or 230-mile battery packs.

Wake up, it isn't about usefulness. It's about hype.

I wonder what kind of mileage an electric car gets (1)

matty619 (630957) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988616)

In mountain driving. As one who has made the drive in question dozens of times, I'm immediately thinking about The Grapevine, aka the Tejon Pass [wikipedia.org]

Can a Tesla even make it from Magic Mountain to Bakersfiled with that kind of mountainous driving? I think you'd need at least 3 charging stations, one on the San Juaquine side of the Grapevine, and one on the Los Angeles side of the Grapevine, then one somewhere in the middle of the San Juaquine valley.

Re:I wonder what kind of mileage an electric car g (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988778)

In mountain driving. As one who has made the drive in question dozens of times, I'm immediately thinking about The Grapevine, aka the Tejon Pass [wikipedia.org]

Can a Tesla even make it from Magic Mountain to Bakersfiled with that kind of mountainous driving? I think you'd need at least 3 charging stations, one on the San Juaquine side of the Grapevine, and one on the Los Angeles side of the Grapevine, then one somewhere in the middle of the San Juaquine valley.

The nice thing about mountains is that, for an electric car, pretty much all the energy you use going up you get back on the way down. Assuming it can make it to the top of the pass, shouldn't limit the range too much as it will be a (mostly) free ride on the way down.

Re:I wonder what kind of mileage an electric car g (1)

matty619 (630957) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988808)

This is true, hadn't thought about that. :)

Re:I wonder what kind of mileage an electric car g (2)

matty619 (630957) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988876)

Of course, back when I was frequently making this drive, it was uphill *both* ways ;)

How do we power it? (0)

Nate_weather_guy (203228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988704)

Who's going to build the coal-powered power plant to supply electricity for the chargers?

Re:How do we power it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37988910)

This.

Seriously people, we make electricity by burning coal. Hell, in my "No Nukes" state of Maryland, we burn trash to generate electricity releasing all sorts of items into the atmosphere (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/editorial/bs-ed-incinerator-pollution-20111017,0,5454513.story) and then pat ourselves on the back for "Going Green" by not going nuclear.

Electricity is not Green, at least not at this time.

Re:How do we power it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37989202)

Seriously people, we make electricity by burning coal.

Except when we don't.

Re:How do we power it? (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989208)

The DOE has a report showing that 77% of the light vehicle fleet in the US could switch over to electric and could be charged at night without any additional base load generation facilities. So, nobody is going to need to build additional coal fired power plants.

How long to charge? (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988750)

How long would it take to charge and how many charging stations would there be? If it takes an hour to charge, and all the charging stations are full, you could end up waiting quite a while...

Not really fun if you've got a bunch of kids in the back.

Tesla: For people with too much disposable income who want to look like they care about the environment.

Re:How long to charge? (1)

Golden_Rider (137548) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989276)

How long would it take to charge and how many charging stations would there be? If it takes an hour to charge, and all the charging stations are full, you could end up waiting quite a while...

Not really fun if you've got a bunch of kids in the back.

Tesla: For people with too much disposable income who want to look like they care about the environment.

This. Whenever I read about "deploying charging stations", my immediate thought is "Charging an electric car takes time - half an hour minimum to several hours. How many charging places will there be, and how long will the queue be during rush hour when people HAVE to charge because there is no other charging station anywhere near?"

That's the BIG advantage of gasoline: filling up the car takes a minute or two max.

Meh, batteries... (1)

wanzeo (1800058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988814)

Tesla cars use batteries, and as much as I love electric cars, I have stopped getting excited about such stories for several reasons:

1. They use Li-ion batteries, which means they will degrade at the same pace as those in my laptop. The horror.

2. Their idea of an "ultra-rapid" charge is one that takes "under an hour". This is a huge problem. Even if the range could be extended to the point where you can drive from LA to 15 min outside of SF, you would still need to stop for an hour to refuel before driving that last 15 min.

3. The price. Because of the above problems, they are unpopular, which prevents any benefits from economies of scale.

This story isn't about fuel cells so I will avoid talking too much about them, but I really believe they are the way forward. Yes, they have their own problems and could benefit from some advances in catalyst technology, but they are unaffected by the range/refueling problem. Also, once you buy one it's final, none of this taking the car in every few years to replace what is essentially the entire price of the car.

Re:Meh, batteries... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989126)

You think fuel cells are going to take off despite the problems involved in hydrogen storage? Barring some unforeseen radical breakthroughs I put all my money on batteries.

Recharging while driving Would be sweet... (2)

SpacePirate20X6 (935718) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988826)

The ultimate addition would be partially subsidized charging lanes along major interstate highways. The major issue right now with pure-electric vehicles is their poor range; if the highways were powered, this would be a greatly reduced problem. I foresee solar-powered induction chargers, even if they are pay per use. I could imagine driving through the midwest between say LA and Dallas, or San Francisco and Vegas, on a pure-electric vehicle without concern for losing power in the middle of the desert. Simply exit onto the lane, your EZ-pass will automatically pay a nominal fee, and set the cruise control.

Bonus points for single lane highways with markers for automatic driving, no passing, just specify your exit on the nav system... That's a bit off in the future, but might as well plan for it now! :)

What's the cost? (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988830)

I suppose if you have to ask you can't afford it applies to the car itself. But what will the recharge cost be (how is it metered, cost per hwh maybe?)
Also if it becomes popular there might be a line at the "pump" er socket.

Re:What's the cost? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989236)

If you buy cars in the <$30k range like most of us working-class joes, then yeah, if you have to ask...

Running cars on electricity is dirt cheap in the US, even if the stations run a massive markup it shouldn't be expensive at all.

I have an idea (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988854)

I have a better idea for recharging for people who need to drive more than 60 miles with heat, AC, headlights, lights, and so on: how about implementing an electric car which is capable of converting chemicals with a very high energy density into heat energy, which can be harnessed as mechanical energy to turn a generator which could be used to recharge the battery, and perhaps even transmit power directly to the wheels in tandem with the electric motors on demand when more power is required? Ideally, such a system would be able to create the required heat from a number of different chemical compounds, ranging from hydrogen to LNG, from propane to diesel, kerosene, or gasoline. I guess we shall forever be stuck with impractical battery-powered vehicles which drop stone cold dead somewhere between 60 and 230 miles, and never attain a practical-yet-economical long-distance driving range.

  If only there were a practical solution which already exists today. One can dream, though. One can dream. ;)

In all seriousness, right now hybrids are practical. Small turbocharged engines are practical. Hybrids with flex fuel capability are practical. Those all give you what is practically unlimited range, good economy, and if you do happen to pull a boneheaded move and run out of energy, you can get a couple gallons (or small compressed tank) of fuel and be on your way, without having to wait hours for a recharge (or "only" 1-2 hours for a high-current rapid charge which accelerates degradation of the cells). The Prius has a great system (in principle), as does the Limited Hybrid, and even the Chevy Volt. You can achieve a practically unlimited range given the existent fuel distribution infrastructure, and not having to wait half a day to recharge the battery every 60-230 miles. I'd love to see someone drive a production car electric car cross-country with the AC running, on a typical vacation schedule. How long would it take to drive to a popular destination like, say, Disney World, or the Grand Canyon from where you live in a hybrid or gasoline/diesel powered car, vs, an electric car (assuming you have recharge stations on the way)? Driving the speed limit, hitting traffic jams, etc. on the way, I can get to Orlando in 22 hours. Via electric car, it would require six recharges (that is being optimistic on the range - more likely 12 with A/C, radio, etc. running). So, 22 hours of driving plus (6*48) to (12*48) hours for recharge cycles., That's longer than most people get for vacation. Or, if you want to drastically reduce the lifetime of your battery packs and you happen to find rapid charge stations along the way, you're still charging at a 56mi/hr rate (Tesla's best-case rating), which would put you at just under two hours to make it the next 224 miles (assuming you would actually achieve that range in traffic with the AC or heat going, wipers, headlamps, etc). - contrast that to refilling a fuel tank, which normally takes under five minutes. Ten if you have a really slow pump, and you have to also answer a nature call and then buy a snack in the store, etc.

From the wikipedia article:

Charging times vary depending on the ESS's state-of-charge, the available voltage, and the available circuit breaker amp rating (current). In a best case scenario using a 240V charger on a 90A circuit breaker, Tesla documents a recharging rate of 56 miles (90 km)-of-range for each hour charging; a complete recharge from empty would require just under 4 hours. The slowest charging rate using a 120V outlet on a 15A circuit breaker would add 5 miles (8.0 km)-of-range for each hour charging; a complete recharge from empty would require 48 hours.

Re:I have an idea (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989060)

How long would it take to drive to a popular destination like, say, Disney World... from where you live in a hybrid or gasoline/diesel powered car, vs, an electric car (assuming you have recharge stations on the way)?

Hmmm... I think I could get to Disney land on one charge, though I may have to charge at the hotel to come back. :P

The only hybrid I have driven would not make sense to the average driver in the south, though. Having to leave the engine running to provide power to the AC 9 months out of the year cuts into your gas mileage! Maybe they've changed the way they power the AC though in the last 4 years.

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