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Tesla Reveals Charging Station Sites In 3 US States

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the ok-just-make-texas-next dept.

Power 332

locallyunscene writes "Tesla has created the first solar charging stations for its Model S and plans to offer free charging. Is free fuel enough to for the electric car to finally gain traction? 'The technology at the heart of the Supercharger was developed internally and leverages the economies of scale of existing charging technology already used by the Model S, enabling Tesla to create the Supercharger device at minimal cost. The electricity used by the Supercharger comes from a solar carport system provided by SolarCity, which results in almost zero marginal energy cost after installation. Combining these two factors, Tesla is able to provide Model S owners free long distance travel indefinitely." The "free charging" part applies at least to Model S owners, and will be available first from a network of charging stations in California, Arizona, and Nevada, to be expanded nationwide over the next 2 to 4 years; Engadget features a video of the announcement.

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332 comments

Had to be said (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41448615)

Obligatory "People who can afford a Tesla aren't bothered by the price of gas"

Re:Had to be said (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448663)

That is how everything works. The first airline passengers could have easily taken a week off work to travel from NYC to London.

I am glad rich folks are buying teslas for vanity, hopefully that will fund a car I can afford. Then hopefully my purchase will help to create a car everyone can afford.

Re:Had to be said (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41448919)

You have it all wrong. We need to tax all that extra income and so it can be spent on subsidies for companies to build cheaper models that no one will want.

Re:Had to be said (2)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448931)

That is how everything works. The first airline passengers could have easily taken a week off work to travel from NYC to London.

I am glad rich folks are buying teslas for vanity, hopefully that will fund a car I can afford. Then hopefully my purchase will help to create a car everyone can afford.

Where were you last Pluterday ?

Re:Had to be said (2)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year and a half ago | (#41449021)

Bring back the roadster, in more of the price range of a corvette....and then I'll show an interest.

I'm not interested in a 'family' car for that kind of money....I want a performance sports car that isn't 'fugly' like pretty much every other hybrid or electric car they've put forth so far...

Re:Had to be said (3, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41449149)

The Model S is only about 1 second slower to 60 than a vette.

The Model S is an attractive car, looks actually a lot like an Aston Martin to me.

The old roadster was a slower Elise, the Model S is a big improvement.

Re:Had to be said (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448933)

Then hopefully my purchase will help to create a car everyone can afford.

So the target is the $100 electric car for rural India?

Re:Had to be said (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448953)

I was thinking 10,000 would be a better target for a car. Maybe $1000 for something like a tata.

Re:Had to be said (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41448941)

By the time I can "purchase" the car, it won't help anyone else afford one. You'll have to pay millions up front to get on the road with all the idiot racing around today. That's a price of -$2 million, at least (enough for my family after the death trap kills me). Until then my bicycle gets me 15 miles to and from work, and I can eat whatever the fuck I want too!

Re:Had to be said (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448671)

That was true of the Roadster, but the Model-S is much cheaper.

Re:Had to be said (4, Informative)

captainpanic (1173915) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448827)

That was true of the Roadster, but the Model-S is much cheaper.

Don't bother. Some people will just keep screaming that electric will never work. They will always find something else.

Range already increased so much that you need to take a break before you're empty anyway. The time loss while charging went to an acceptable amount of time. Prices have steadily gone down. Battery life increased. And now charging stations are appearing everywhere... so the skeptics complain about money.

Re:Had to be said (2)

derrickh (157646) | about a year and a half ago | (#41449005)

I was about to comment that $70k isn't a bad price and is in line for what I plan on to replace my current car. Then I realized that maybe I'm one of the people the OP is referring to.

D

Re:Had to be said (1)

hutsell (1228828) | about a year and a half ago | (#41449091)

Obligatory "People who can afford a Tesla aren't bothered by the price of gas"

Probably also obligatory: Will there be enough capital generated from status seeking fans/fanatic to reinvest in a process for creating cost effective innovation in later releases? If Tesla Motors is interested in trying to apply a type of Moore's Law philosophy to the automobile industry, something the old school industry may have genuinely tried in their own way and failed to do, is it more than wishful thinking -- if not in general, perhaps with vehicles using this type of technology?

Then again, perhaps car analogies fail to work in reverse.

Re:Had to be said (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41449151)

Sorry I'm posting anonymous but I forgot my old account and just want to post my opinion regardless of identity.

$70,000 isn't that much; perhaps it is too much money for the "average consumer" but the $70k price tag makes me very optimistic about the future -- if the price could drop by 50% it would be quite affordable for the masses. This 50% drop is achievable if the car was stripped of luxury features and mass-produced, so I'm very excited.

If they put the charging stations nationwide, I would bust my ass to get a loan and pay off one of these cars. It would be awesome to be free from fossil fuels, though I would still be willing to use gasoline when necessary.

When I was 20 years old, I got a loan for a new $24,500 car and eventually paid it off. When I was 22, I got a loan for a small $68,000 house and eventually paid it off. I always earned around $25,000-$30,000 a year. It wouldn't have been much of a problem for me to have skipped these ventures and bought a $70,000 vehicle. All this with no special benefits except living with my mother, with a typical no-education-required job.

I posted in another article recently and received flak for my argument; a couple /.'ers were complaining about what was essentially a few dollars, and I bitched them out explaining that a couple hundred dollars could be saved very easily. Some of you people really reinforce the "17-year-old-gamer-in-basement" stereotype. I wish people as intelligent as those on Slashdot would try to be a little more optimistic and understanding about the price of nice things in life.

I would drive to one of those three states (2, Funny)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448619)

But there is no way I've got enough charge to get there.

Re:I would drive to one of those three states (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448695)

I was gonna say that :( If you have to drive farther than a charge will get you to get to the "free" recharge station, what's the point?

Re:I would drive to one of those three states (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448837)

I was gonna say that :( If you have to drive farther than a charge will get you to get to the "free" recharge station, what's the point?

The point is these stations will eventually be everywhere. But you can't really start at the end, you have to start at the beginning. Which is just three states, in this case.

Re:I would drive to one of those three states (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448955)

But you can't really start at the end, you have to start at the beginning. Which is just three states, in this case.

Hey, the USA were originally only thirteen colonies, right? And then it spread...to twelve. When people from Kobol destroyed themselves. Oh, wait...those were the other thirteen colonies. But you get my point.

Huge increase in total travel time (4, Insightful)

Orga (1720130) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448627)

3 hours of driving at 60 mph on the highway (which is dangerous IMO) and 30 minute fillup. More likely 70-75 mph, 2 hours of driving + finding a station? and then 30 minutes of fillup. 25% more travel time on a long trip. I don't know who has that kind of time on the road. Timing over lunch a great idea... what about at 3pm, not so convenient then is it. I think they have a lot of work to do

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448657)

Yeah, but it's GREEN, man!

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (1, Funny)

Orga (1720130) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448683)

Tell that to the grass under the solar panel you just installed.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448739)

Not a lot of grass under the Nevada Desert.

Perfect is the enemy of Good.
Even killing a little grass is a hell of a lot better than burning gasoline.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (1)

CubicleZombie (2590497) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448791)

Tell that to the grass under the solar panel you just installed.

Exactly. The grass would have been much happier consuming the CO2 belched out by my SUV.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41449097)

SUV's don't belch CO2. They fart it.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41448659)

Oy!

If you have a Tesla, you're a rich son of a bitch.

Which means, while you're getting filled up, you'd be doing some filling yourself of the lingerie model you're with.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448689)

Why is 3 hours of driving dangerous?

Are we now supposed to stop every hour for a break?

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (3, Funny)

Orga (1720130) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448715)

I was referring to 60 mph on a major highway, a lot of states are 70mph speed limit which means travelers are typically doing 75-80. People doing 60 and beyond slow lane slow, you're going to draw attention and it won't be the friendly hey it's an e-vehicle kind.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448881)

Sorry, I misunderstood.
Around here the limits are 55-65 and most folks are doing 65-75.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41448699)

The technology is still young. If they can get it just a little further than that, say 4 hours, you really should be taking 30 minute breaks anyways. It is not safe to be driving for that long without breaks. And in reality, what percentage of people make trips that are longer than 4 hours more than once or twice a year? Hell, there are some people outside the US that never travel those sort of distances by car.

And what they are doing now is a significant improvement over what was being done 5 years ago.

These electric car posts read a lot like the early iPod/iPhone posts.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448893)

The technology is still young.

How long do electric cars need to be around before you consider them a mature technology? Electric cars have been around since the 1800s. I would hardly consider that a "young" technology.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (2)

Orga (1720130) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448945)

Just a couple weeks ago I had a chuckle when I learned that the first cars ever made were fully electric.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41449003)

The push to use them and the supporting technology that was needed is still "young". It was not feasible in the 1800s. The technology we have now is feasible, but still young and still improving.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41448717)

If you need to drive 15 mph above the legal speed limit for hundreds of miles, the Tesla Supercharger isn't for you.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say the car crusher, and a permanent ban on your ability to drive is in order. (IMO.)

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (2)

Orga (1720130) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448765)

I don't know where you live that your highway speed limit is only 60, but I'm sorry for you. In the rest of the country it's 65-70 (now even 80 in some places). People are typically driving at 75-80 on my morning and evening commute.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41449125)

Traffic speeds are faster (or much, much slower) during commuting time. If you drove the same roads before 6:00 AM, between 10:00 and 4:00, or after 7:00 PM, you'd likely discover that one of the lanes actually follows the speed limit.

Since smart travelers often intentionally avoid commuter traffic on vacations, the 60 mph may not be a problem for longer trips.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41448937)

I don't know what country you're from, but on the United States Interstate Highway System, the nominal speed limit is always 10-20 MPH below the actual average speed of traffic any time there isn't a traffic jam.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41449055)

The speed limit here is 75 MPH (western usa) and traffic flows at 85 mph. On lower 65 mph roads, the traffic flows around 80.

If you are NOT driving 10 to 15 over, you are a rolling danger and should have your license taken away. The number of dangerous situations I see develop on highways due to people moving at the "speed limit" but well under the prevailing traffic flow is astonishing.

Better Place (1)

pr0t0 (216378) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448745)

Yeah, I think http://www.betterplace.com/ [betterplace.com] has the better idea. Swapping out a battery in just a few minutes is far superior to waiting 30 minutes for a charge.

Re:Better Place (1)

Orga (1720130) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448793)

I agree I think this is the way to go, much like propane tanks. Even take a deposit in the system if it's needed. Regular gas stations can use this to supplement their income and it's easy enough (just like most sell propane)

Re:Better Place (1)

WhiteDragon (4556) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448853)

Yeah, I think http://www.betterplace.com/ [betterplace.com] has the better idea. Swapping out a battery in just a few minutes is far superior to waiting 30 minutes for a charge.

I'd love to see Tesla working with those guys. The Tesla cars with the Better Place battery swap system would be great!

Re:Better Place (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41449031)

Oooo, will they do my Zero S too?

http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/zero-s/

Re:Better Place (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41449089)

In a way it makes more sense, but somehow the problem has to be solved: If it's my car and I have taken extreme care to treat my low-cycle-count battery pack well, I don't want to swap it out for some unknown high-cycle-count abused-to-hell-and-back pack.

Also, there's the problem of dealing with the sheer number of packs involved. At busy times, a large gas station with 10+ pumps might see over a hundred fillups an hour. A battery-swap station would have to have hundreds of charged packs on hand, and moving them around is more involved than a bit of petrol going through a hose, due to their size and mass.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (1)

AikonMGB (1013995) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448763)

Arguments like yours annoy me on a few levels. First, you've already prejudiced yourself by declaring that you don't think highway driving is a reasonably safe mode of transport. Second, you seem to think that 25% more travel time is unacceptable -- when I travel back to my hometown every few weekends, I experience much greater variation in my travel time than 25% just based on the traffic and whether it is a holiday weekend or not. You've also neglected that most people driving for more than three hours tend to stop and take a break, even if it is not over lunch, e.g. to visit a restroom, buy a bottle of gatorade, whatever.

Third, I don't understand what you mean by "I don't know who has that kind of time on the road" -- just about anyone that is taking a long-distance trip, that's kind of the whole point! Lastly, you indicate that because it is not an ideal perfect solution, it has no business being here at all. Of course they have a lot of work to do, the entire electric vehicle industry is barely entering its infancy; but if technology developers don't push for change to happen, it never will. This is a good step in the electric vehicle industry, and I hope that it increases demand for technological development.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (1)

Orga (1720130) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448869)

You're correct I don't think 60mph on a highway is safe, but not because it's too fast. Visiting the restroom, bottle of Gatorade, whatever doesn't typically take 30 minutes. I hope these stations have a place to eat in walking distance... cause you'll be walking... and I hope there's something scenic close by.. cause you'll be walking. What I know from experience is that fueling stations off the highway don't typically have a lot going on for themselves and MOST definitely do not have anything interesting within WALKING distance.

Stick these only in scenic places with things to do? great idea, however, I highly doubt they're going to be next to a major highway.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41448969)

I agree with you, the other poster is a moron.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41449109)

25% on a 12 hour drive is an additional 3 hours. At 60mph average speed that's the equivalent of driving in circles for 180 miles.

On a religious note this explains how Moses and the Israelites wandered the desert for 40 years looking for their holy land when the distance from Egypt to Palestine is only about 750km (470 miles).

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=distance+from+egypt+to+palestine

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (1)

Revotron (1115029) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448781)

So let's say I offered you two options:
A) A free plane ticket for an 10-hour flight from point A to point B
or
B) A paid plane ticket for an 8-hour flight from point A to point B

You're saying you'd rather pay and get there 20% faster? My point here is that if you're really that pressed for time where you can't afford to stop every 3 hours to stretch your legs, grab a bite to eat, or whatever, then you're probably in a big hurry and money would be no object anyway. But for a cross-country (or in this case cross-3-states) vacation, I think most people would be quite happy getting there for free but spending 25% more time travelling.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (2)

Orga (1720130) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448921)

Fuel cost is only one of many things calculated in the cost of travel. Wear and tear, maintenance on a vehicle. Perhaps a 2 day trip is then stretched to 3 and you're staying another night on the road. On the road food is also typically more expensive, along with your personal time, which perhaps you enjoy driving great, but still, fuel is not the only consideration in the cost of a trip.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (1)

Art Challenor (2621733) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448811)

The only reason you can drive gasoline cars long distances is because "charging stations" (aka "Gas Stations") have been built on every corner. The Tesla has about the same range as a gas car, but the infrastructure has yet to catch up. These charging stations are the first steps in providing unlimited range for EVs in the same way as it is done for gas cars.

That they allow driving long distances with NO emissions - since the power is solar there is no "long tailpipe" - emphasizes the superiority of the technology and is a nice touch be Elon Musk.

The cost of charging stations, even the free solar stations, should be much less than gas stations. No buried tanks, frequent gas deliveries, leak checking, etc. etc. and the site cleanup if the station move is also lower.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41448879)

The "charging stations" in a conventional car only take 5 minutes then you are back on the road. No amount of charging stations will fix the problem of having to wait hours to charge an electric car.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41449087)

Which is why it does not take hours to charge a modern electric car. These quick chargers can do that job in about 30 minutes.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (1)

Orga (1720130) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448891)

The Tesla has about the same range as a gas car, but the infrastructure has yet to catch up.

Even my gas guzzler family hauler has a 360 mile range on a tank. From TFA: 3 hours at 60mph is 180 miles. 50% is not about the same.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#41449041)

The only reason you can drive gasoline cars long distances is because "charging stations" (aka "Gas Stations") have been built on every corner. The Tesla has about the same range as a gas car, but the infrastructure has yet to catch up

2012 Tesla Roadster EPA estimated range (Per Wikipedia): 244 mi/charge

2012 VW Jetta TDI EPA estimated range (Per MotorTrend): 493 mi/tank

Since when does "less than half" == "about the same range?"

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#41449059)

In fairness:

2012 Tesla Model S EPA estimated range (Wikipedia again): 265 mi/charge.

Re:Huge increase in total travel time (1)

Issarlk (1429361) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448877)

I think that people spending their lives on the road will not buy a Tesla, but something that can run longer. That 3h/30 minute example is probably here to dispell the "but what will I do if I want to go on vacations with my electric car ?" problem.

Marketing, it is all marketing (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about a year and a half ago | (#41449081)

You create a situation in which your product looks good. You insert reasonable values into an otherwise onerous situation to spin the conversation in the direction you want.

You expect to have some people pick apart the argument you put forth, however you expect far more people to just nod their heads and move on.

Who is going to pay for the roads (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448665)

Like local and state sales taxes paying for services, state and federal fuel taxes are not going to be able to pay for roads and the deficit in the same way as we move to more efficient vehicles. Now with electric cars there is no fuel tax. The states have loved to live on these hidden taxes, in clothes, in fuel, on the phone bill, but really we are going to have to start more open taxes and explain what they pay for and how they are applied. If every dollar a middle class American makes is going to be taxed three times, one on payroll, once on income, once when it is spent, that makes less sense than just taxing it to begin with. Of course that will result in the wealthy paying taxes. For instance, most of us pay payroll taxes on everything we make, but someone making 200K does not. Now if you can afford a Tesla, you don't pay for the roads you use.

Re:Who is going to pay for the roads (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448733)

The free ride will only apply during the early adopter phase. And it's needed to encourage this shift in technology. Once it becomes mainstream, for sure it'll be taxed, in one way or another.

Re:Who is going to pay for the roads (2)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448951)

The problem is, it'll probably be taxed by mandating a GPS unit in all electric vehicles --- but there are no privacy implication for that, right?

A better solution would be to place the tax on tires (which are already the subject of especial taxes and disposal fees), say based on the mass squared of the tire --- this would penalize the heavier vehicles which actually damage roads and encourage people to take better care of their tires and keep their vehicles in alignment.

Re:Who is going to pay for the roads (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#41449119)

I'm reminded of the natives who didn't like their photo being taken because they thought it was taking their souls. People fear what is new. But they get used to it.

Credit cards have privacy implications. But people have got used to it, and they don't worry about it when making a purchase.

The future is bringing ANPR anyway. Automatic Number Plate Recognition. It's already a fact of life in the UK. And it's becoming a fact of life in the US for toll roads and priority lanes.

Your suggestion is problematic too. If you increase the cost of tires, then more people will tend not to change them when the tread is worn out.

Re:Who is going to pay for the roads (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#41449155)

The problem is that it's way too easy to get contraband tires. Go over to Canada for the day and get a new set of tires. Canadians do it all the time going the other way, not because of taxes on tires, but because tires are so much cheaper in the US. Plus tires only have to be bought once ever 100,000 or more KM. That would have to be a pretty hefty tax to account for all the gas taxes that would have been collected. This would make getting non-taxed foreign tires too good for most people to not do it. They could much more easily just build something into the car, oh, I don't know, like the odometer, which measures how far you travel without recording where you're actually travelling.

Re:Who is going to pay for the roads (1)

hsmith (818216) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448741)

I love this "argument".

Greens have pushed for huge subsidies for electric/hybrid vehicles, in the $5k-10k+ range

Which is more than any of these vehicles would ever pay in gas taxes in their entire life time for road maintenance.

So, we are giving huge tax breaks on these vehicles, then bitching that they aren't bring in tax revenue for roads. It is beyond stupid.

Re:Who is going to pay for the roads (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41448829)

It's less stupid than subsidizing the price of gas so that people don't know how much it costs. At least subsidizing electrics and hybrids is pushing us closer to where we need to be. Subsidizing gas is just ensuring that it takes far longer to get there and that when we do get there we will have more of a mess to clean up.

It's not stupid, when you look at the numbers of these vehicles on the road, you're talking about a fraction of the total number of vehicles and ignoring the fact that this was a problem way before these products were affordable to everyday people. Hybrids and electrics weren't really affordable until about 10 years ago, but the roads have been crap for as long as I can remember.

Perhaps rather than bitching about the greens, you could bitch at the budget hawks that ignore the fact that you have to balance a budget with revenue increases sometimes because you can't cut everything.

Re:Who is going to pay for the roads (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448927)

This is just an argument being used as an excuse to install trackers in cars so that the government can track us down wherever we go.

Re:Who is going to pay for the roads (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41449107)

Or just use the odometer like they do during the yearly inspection.

No tracking needed, and data that is already collected!

I agree! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41449033)

I love this "argument".

Greens have pushed for huge subsidies for electric/hybrid vehicles, in the $5k-10k+ range

Which is more than any of these vehicles would ever pay in gas taxes in their entire life time for road maintenance.

So, we are giving huge tax breaks on these vehicles, then bitching that they aren't bring in tax revenue for roads. It is beyond stupid.

And while we're at it, let's eliminate all the subsides the oil and coal industries get too.

Contrary to what side of the argument you're on, what we really need in the US is a complete over haul of our tax system (THE worst in the World for its complexity) and make it more transparent. This way, we'll see the true freeloaders - like the Koch brothers who made a lot of their money (billions) from tax subsidies - and we can stop having these asinine ignorant "debates" - usually pointing fingers at the "green" energy when fossil fuels are the biggest offenders.

Re:Who is going to pay for the roads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41448815)

For instance, most of us pay payroll taxes on everything we make, but someone making 200K does not.

Sorry, everyone pays payroll taxes, regardless of the amount of incoming involved.

Unless you're intentionally conflating their 200K "income" with "investment returns" (which is taxed at the cap gains rate; the second tax after it was already taxes when they earned it as income), which sounds like what you meant - the usual lib blur.

Now if you can afford a Tesla, you don't pay for the roads you use.

You're kidding right? I suppose I'll play along for a second - what about all the teacher's union^X^X^X^X^X^X^X^X school taxes I pay when I don't have any children? and, if you're going to say that I derive benefit because of the education being provided everyone else's children, I'll concede only if they are being educated at a testable, average C+ level or higher, which they are nowhere near close to.

Re:Who is going to pay for the roads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41448991)

SS only is applied only to the first $106,800 of wages. Above that, the tax is not applied. Therefore, someone making 200k does not pay this payroll tax on their entire income.

Re:Who is going to pay for the roads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41449053)

FICA taxes are capped at $110,100 annual income, so someone making $200K is paying half the rate that someone making $100K is paying.

This is separate from capital gains, which only tax gains, i.e. income, not the investment principal; I'm not sure where that weird objection came from.

As for your education rant; well, if you define "C" as "average" and then demand an average of "C+", I submit that you will be perpetually disappointed.

Re:Who is going to pay for the roads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41448863)

It doesn't bother me since this argument doesn't apply in NJ. The taxes never actually get where they were supposed to go in the first place.

Obligatory BttF reference... (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448711)

But I want a Mr. Fusion, not a solar charger.....

Re:Obligatory BttF reference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41448985)

WTF is wrong with you? Hoverboards you dumbass. It's the Hoverboards you want. Fuck the fusion.

Good concept (1)

febreezey (2718123) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448725)

However like others have pointed out if I can only drive for 3 hours at below what the usual speed is on the highway THEN I have to wait 30 minutes for it to charge, then it's gonna take a long time to get from place to place in a reasonable amount of time.

how many kids can fit in there? (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448731)

it seems like the car is meant to be a toy for a midlife crisis like the corvette.

for most people with kids you need something bigger

Re:how many kids can fit in there? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41448803)

I forgot, almost everyone with a vehicle is in the breeding phase of their life. Back to the drawing board.

Re:how many kids can fit in there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41448909)

it seems like the car is meant to be a toy for a midlife crisis like the corvette.

for most people with kids you need something bigger

The car seats 7. 5 adults + 2 children.

Re:how many kids can fit in there? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448959)

The Tesla seats 5 people.
The average US household size is approx 2.6.
The average US family size is approx 3.2. (not 3.2 children, but 3.2 in total.)

The Tesla is certainly big enough for the vast majority of families.

Re:how many kids can fit in there? (1)

Deag (250823) | about a year and a half ago | (#41449143)

They are releasing new models. The roadster was the initial toy, but the long term goal of the company is to make regular cars.

The other important announcements (5, Informative)

dnaumov (453672) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448755)

From the SEC filling:

As our main focus is on quality, we have methodically increased our Model S production at a rate slower than we had earlier anticipated.

We now anticipate that we will deliver between 200 and 225 Model S vehicles to customers in the third quarter and between 2,500 and 3,000 Model S vehicles in the fourth quarter.

We anticipate, however, that manufacturing and supplier issues will continue to arise and need to be addressed in a timely manner.

In the third quarter of 2012, we anticipate that our gross margin will be negatively affected primarily by the limited number of Model S vehicles we intend to deliver

We also expect selling, general and administrative expenses for the third quarter to increase modestly over the prior quarter as we continue to increase our vehicle selling and servicing capabilities.

We have now fully drawn down our $465 million DOE Loan Facility.

Three of fifty is six percent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41448767)

Woo boy. A whole three states. Without even reading the article I can probably guess two of them (California, New York). And the third is most likely one where driving isn't a necessity, either. Boy howdy, is that ever going to help things. After all, who cares about the little people in the unpopular states where they actually need to drive? They never even invented a single iPhone there, amirite?

Meanwhile, Toyota (3, Insightful)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448777)

(Who know a thing or two) are abandoning pure electric cars because they can't make the engineering sums add up with present battery technology. They have even produced a hybrid (Yaris hybrid) that undercuts the cheapest electric cars without subsidy. Now that Mercedes is bringing out hybrids and are producing their first fuel-cell cars, meaning we have gasoline, diesel and fuel cell hybrids, it looks like Tesla and the other all-electric experiments are a dead end.

Re:Meanwhile, Toyota (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41448867)

Yes, because one or two companies can't get something to work in a fashion they consider fiscally acceptable, that proves that nobody else can!

Believe it or not, Toyota doesn't know everything, and they don't do everything right. Neither does Mercedes, General Motors or Boeing.

Try a real argument, not one of association.

Re:Meanwhile, Toyota (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | about a year and a half ago | (#41449065)

I would think that Toyota could figure out how to make the engine/generator a swapable unit, so that people could just buy a hybrid without it. Then you put in a 3rd party battery configured to the same space as the engine/generator, et viola, a pure electric vehicle. (Perhaps it is, and they are just not advertising it)

Re:Meanwhile, Toyota (1)

Ost99 (101831) | about a year and a half ago | (#41449129)

Hybrids are fossil fueled and represent a short term improvement over existing designs, not a solution to fossil fuel dependency. Anything involving a fossil fueled combustion engine is a dead end in the long run. I'm not sure I understand the significance of the Yaris hybrid introduction, the Yarris is far-far smaller than the Tesla S, and also significantly smaller than the Leaf.

The hydrogen economy needs a significant technological breakthrough to be feasible, the energy efficiency of the current technology is less than half of a pure electric solution (of less than a third if Tesla is to be believed). The main problem is the energy cost of compressing hydrogen, but efficient (clean) production of hydrogen is also a challenge. Solving the range problem for batteries with quick chargers, wireless charging on the road or changeable batteries seems more likely.

Something doesn't add up: (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448783)

electricity used by the Supercharger comes from a solar carport system

Maybe if you have one car to charge every couple of days - but with the total solar energy hitting the eath's surface being about in full sunshiew, and many cells producing 100-130 watts per square meter [cruzpro.com] this cannot be the sole energy source for a 40 - 85 kwh charge [teslamotors.com]

Re:Something doesn't add up: (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448975)

For my part, I don't understand why car manufacturers don't work up a retro-fit kit for garages (or a modular garage) of solar panels which can be bundled w/ the car when its sold.

Swappable battery (1)

jasenj1 (575309) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448897)

I prefer Better Place [betterplace.com]'s approach of using swappable battery modules. It's faster for the consumer. Batteries can be tested and replaced before they degrade.

- Jasen.

The only electric cars that could possibly happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41448957)

Would have use a universal interchangeable battery pack that could be easily changed for a set fee at stations. The likelihood of car manufactures ever getting together and making this possible is just about zero squared unfortunately. Even though the design would be dead simple and economical to do.

Sorry we are just not a cooperative enough society yet to even allow ourselves to think out side of the box with four wheels. As oil hits 200 a barrel and the international tensions, hegemony and coercion by the corporations that control it becomes even more obvious to the public at large things might start to change however.

Tesla's ideas are a good start but they are far too exclusive and expensive to be practical. I don't see a gazillion Segways or practical small electric cars zipping around yet for this very reason even though it is technically possible.

Re:The only electric cars that could possibly happ (1)

gaelfx (1111115) | about a year and a half ago | (#41449117)

I always thought zero squared was infinity? If zero is nothing, and I have no nothings, I have everything, right?

Ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41448961)

These comments are awful. You people suck.

Batteries batteries batteries. (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about a year and a half ago | (#41448995)

This seems to be a reoccurring problem for many an electronic.
We've advanced far and wide in several fields, but we're not advancing (fast enough?) with batteries.
Instead of focusing on these charging stations (which just feels like a bandaid fix to me), they should be finding a way to make a higher capacity/more efficient battery.

So when (1)

gaelfx (1111115) | about a year and a half ago | (#41449075)

will they start using some new battery technology [slashdot.org] to make this actually significant?

PS To those who are saying electric vehicles have already lost, you're not thinking longterm enough. They will (have) work(ed) by the time the sun burns out.

Wallmart have installed Blink Pedestal charges (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about a year and a half ago | (#41449135)

Those aren't Superchargers though. So it's going to take substantially longer than 30minutes to charge your EV.

Looking at this

http://www.greenretaildecisions.com/news/2011/12/01/walmart-to-install-ev-charging-stations- [greenretaildecisions.com]

All participating Walmart stores will have two Blink Pedestal chargers installed, except one store in Oregon that will install a Blink DC Fast Charger. The Walmart locations were selected based on the EV Micro-Climate process, which takes into account traffic patterns, regional attractions, transportation hubs, guidance from Walmart and input from regional partners.

http://www.blinknetwork.com/brochures/l2-pedestal-charger/page02.html [blinknetwork.com]

Input Voltage 208 VAC to 240 VAC +/- 10%

Input Phase Single

Frequency 50/60 Hz

Input Current 30 Amps (maximum); 12A, 16A, 24A available

So this is a 240V*30A = 7kW charger.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/tesla-motors-launches-revolutionary-supercharger-032000226.html [yahoo.com]

The Supercharger is substantially more powerful than any charging technology to date, providing almost 100 kilowatts of power to the Model S, with the potential to go as high as 120 kilowatts in the future. This can replenish three hours of driving at 60 mph in about half an hour, which is the convenience inflection point for travelers at a highway rest stop. Most people who begin a road trip at 9:00 a.m. would normally stop by noon to have lunch, refresh and pick up a coffee or soda for the road, all of which takes about 30 minutes.

Now a 100kW charger can charge a car in 30 minutes or half an hour. So a 7kW charger can do it in 100/7*0.5 7 hours.

Fancy hanging around Walmart for 7 hours?

http://www.greenretaildecisions.com/news/2011/12/01/walmart-to-install-ev-charging-stations- [greenretaildecisions.com]

The EV Project is a public-private partnership, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy through a federal stimulus grant made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Sounds like the taxpayer ended up paying for infrastructure no one is going to use.

Actually the Blink Fast Charger would have been a better bet.

http://www.blinknetwork.com/brochures/dc-fast-charger/page02.html [blinknetwork.com]

60 kW Max (Setting Adjustable 30kW - 60 kW)

So you'd charge in 100/60*0.5=0.83 hours or 50 minutes. Then again I'm not sure I'd fancy hanging around Walmart for an hour while my car charges. And if people leave their cars charging while they get lunch, isn't that going to lead to queue?

I could see exchanging batteries working. But how do I know I'm not going to swap a brand new battery worth tens of thousands of dollars (Tesla won't even cite a replacement price [nytimes.com]) - for one which is worn out?

Exchanging 60kWh batteries is like swapping a $30K (based on âTesla ostensibly charges $10,000 for 20 kWh of capacity' from here [nytimes.com]) vehicle with a stranger and trusting them not to give you a knackered one.

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