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Tesla Touts Cross-Country Trip, Aims For World Record

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the keep-charging dept.

Transportation 357

smaxp writes "A cross-country trip by two Model S sedans 'recorded the lowest charge time for an electric vehicle traveling across the country – a feat that is now being assessed for recognition as a Guinness World Records achievement,' according to a Tesla blog post. 'The 3464.5-mile jaunt is yet another attempt to ease range anxiety among many consumers who worry about being stranded in a car with a depleted battery pack and nowhere near a charging station. While Tesla’s Model S is too expensive for average consumers, the company plans to roll out cheaper models at some point and needs to address the fear that has stopped many people from buying electric cars, even cheaper ones such as the Nissan Leaf...'"

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Call me when they can do trans-Atlantic (4, Funny)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 7 months ago | (#46142045)

Now THAT will impress me!

Re:Call me when they can do trans-Atlantic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142107)

I remember this car ad on TV back in the 90's.
It had the catch-phrase, "if this car had wings, it could fly."
Well no shit. If I had wings, I could fly too. That's like saying "If this car had pontoons, it could float."

Re:Call me when they can do trans-Atlantic (2)

olsmeister (1488789) | about 7 months ago | (#46142139)

Tell that to a penguin or an ostrich.

MOD PARENT DOWN! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142377)

You speciest PIG. How DARE you discriminate against our flightless birds, you strange BIGOT.

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN! (3, Funny)

master_kaos (1027308) | about 7 months ago | (#46142559)

Hey! You are the speciest insulting pigs in that manner you blockhead nincompoop!

Re:Call me when they can do trans-Atlantic (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about 7 months ago | (#46142447)

It's like that centuries-old saying gunga-gunga-gunga-galunga. Which translated from the classical tongue means, "If your auntie had balls she'd be your uncle."

EPA to Recognize Winners of National Smart Growth (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142313)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy will recognize the winners of the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement in a ceremony on Wednesday, February 5. The award recognizes and supports communities that use innovative policies and strategies to develop in ways that protect the environment, provide housing and transportation choices, and strengthen their economies. WHO: Gina McCarthy, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Gwen Keyes-Fleming, Chief of Staff, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Kasim Reed, Mayor of Atlanta Roy D. Buol, Mayor of Dubuque James Erb, Mayor of Charles City Steve Hansen, City Councilman of Sacramento Randy Blankhorn, Executive Director of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning WHAT: National Award for Smart Growth Achievement ceremony WHEN: Wed., Feb. 5, at 11 a.m. EST WHERE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Rachel Carson Green Room, William Jefferson Clinton South 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20004 The ceremony will feature remarks by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and representatives of the communities receiving awards, and a video presentation of each of the winning projects. The ceremony will be followed by a panel discussion and reception on Capitol Hill hosted by Smart Growth America and Congresswoman Doris Matsui of Sacramento, California. The EPA administrator will not be part of the discussion. The EPA building is located above the Federal Triangle Metro station on the Blue and Orange lines. Media should arrive no later than 10:30 to go through security. Please RSVP to attend the ceremony by going here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1AC6no675DqX0a-b7bq-2HGTHwWFsRpkCxXcz7leduiA/viewform [google.com]

This is a gimmick. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142055)

A gasoline tanker could drive itself across the country easily if the fuel hose attached to its own tank. Lifting yourself out of the Earth's gravity well has always been 95% of the battle. Every pound in extra weight requires multiple pounds of fuel.

Re:This is a gimmick. (2)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about 7 months ago | (#46142205)

Diesel trucks don't run too well on gasoline. The octane is much too high.

Re:This is a gimmick. (1)

magarity (164372) | about 7 months ago | (#46142321)

A lot of big trucks run on gasoline instead of diesel.

Re:This is a gimmick. (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about 7 months ago | (#46142875)

Not the ones pulling tanker trailers.

Re:This is a gimmick. (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 7 months ago | (#46142349)

Just like a battery truck could drive across america if it hooked up all the batteries it was carrying to it's electric motor... What's your point?

Re:This is a gimmick. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142469)

His point is: you could shove your dick up your ass and fuck yourself.

Range anxiety isn't really rational (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#46142071)

Big point-proving stunts don't help with people who go "my local gas station doesn't provide chargers. I'm doomed if I get one." Because that's really in their head, more than about any particular drive being possible. Tesla has to win market share the same way every new technology does: winning enough early adopters to seem normal(and creating a support market).

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (4, Interesting)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 7 months ago | (#46142125)

The thing that concerns me is that the various car companies have never even agreed on a standard for charging stations. So not only would I have to look for a charging station somewhere in the (currently pretty limited) areas they're available, but I also have to deal with looking for one specific to my car manufacturer. I can't just take my Nissan Leaf down to a local Tesla charger, or vice-versa.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#46142181)

1. Negative charisma means you are literally unable to communicate at all. I thought that was more important than the discussion at hand.
2. There are generic chargers outside the building I live. I've seen both leafs and teslas hooked up. I'm not sure whether that disproves your point or misses it, but there you go.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142607)

1. Negative charisma means you are literally unable to communicate at all.

So that's why no one listens to me no matter what I say.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (2)

Githaron (2462596) | about 7 months ago | (#46142965)

I think the issue is the superchargers being particular to one car manufacturer. If you are on a trip, you want to be able to charge in minutes not hours.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142207)

Even Tesla cannot agree on a standard (see the story where Tesla chargers stop charging in Norway).

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 7 months ago | (#46142829)

Meh....

If you want to get my attention back again Tesla, start building the roadster performance model again, or something similar in the price range of a corvette.

Then I'll be interested!!

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (5, Interesting)

mlts (1038732) | about 7 months ago | (#46142299)

Nail, head hit. It would be nice to have multiple standards for charging stations, and it work across all cars. If we can do this with phones (MicroUSB), we can do this with cars, except with some caveats:

1: Circuits may vary. One place may have a 15 amp, 120VAC circuit at best. Another place might have an 80 amp circuit to support higher chargers, with a 50 amp subpanel coming from it to handle current charging needs.

2: The charger would need some safety features, If someone stuck a fork in a charging cord and got even a tingle, the lawsuits would be flying. Most current chargers are goof-resistant, but this is definitely an issue, especially in the US where I've seen workers stick two straightened clothes hangers into an outlet, then use alligator clips between those and the prongs on a plug.

3: Patent neutral. This needs to be a benefit for everyone, as vendor-neutral chargers will help every player in the market.

4: Low voltage failsafes. US power can be dirty [1], so it should either downshift or stop trying to charge altogether if it gets under 90 volts.

5: High voltage failsafes... Same reason. Just in case someone hooked up 120VAC to 240 or vice versa. This isn't an issue in Europe and the rest of the world, but there are a lot of RVs killed each year by plugging into a 240VAC dryer outlet which is almost the same shape as a 30 amp, 120VAC receptacle.

[1]: As a RV-er, a hard-wired EMS is a must if one doesn't want to fry their A/C due to voltage sags.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142493)

I'm going to cal BS. Dryer outlets don't look anything like regular outlets. I don't believe RVs are dying from plugging a cord into the wrong outlet.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (2)

slapout (93640) | about 7 months ago | (#46142929)

So you're saying we need charging stations with "Regular", "Mid-grade" and "Premium" like options.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 7 months ago | (#46142991)

There are already standards for chargers. You just need a charging cable suitable for your local market (US ones are different to European ones and Japanese ones) but Tesla supply one with the car.

All the requirements you list have already been met. The cable negotiates with the charger to see how much power it can draw and to make sure the current isn't turned on until it is securely attached. Tesla cars monitor the voltage and current constantly so if there is a problem they reduce power. Voltage support is universal so 120V and 240V doesn't matter.

charging standard does exist (3, Informative)

mbkennel (97636) | about 7 months ago | (#46142547)


actually they have.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAE_J1772

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VDE-AR-E_2623-2-2#VDE-AR-E_2623-2-2

Tesla's supercharger however is proprietary because it delivers far more power than the standard mechanism permits and it is intimately linked with the battery & its control system in the car.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 7 months ago | (#46142665)

WTF? A simple electric outlet isn't standard enough to you?

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (1)

Meeni (1815694) | about 7 months ago | (#46142931)

European union has enforced a norm. So you could expect that this will become somewhat pervasive. Except if USA decides to come up with its own norm as usual.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142145)

Exactly. Today, you can't "really" do a cross country trip unless you are extremely careful about where you go, where you stop, and do your research on charging stations, hours of operation, hotels nearby, etc. They need to continue building up to the point where the average person can just say, "roadtrip" and go. That will take time, and probably means easily swappable batteries at locations (similar to how in the US they have swappable propane tanks at stores and you just switch yours out with a full one for a fee. Those locations would need some serious grid power so they can charge the empties. Until they have that, this whole "charging" thing is going to continue to be a problem. Having stunts like this try to convince people that it is viable isn't really all that productive when anyone can see it isn't viable for most people - yet.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 7 months ago | (#46142211)

They really should:

a) Agree to a standard for the chargers for all brands (so that Nissan, Chevy, Tesla, etc. are all on the same page and working together)
b) Bring in some major gas station chains and offer them a subsidy for installing at least a single electric "pump" at all their stations.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 7 months ago | (#46142785)

b) Bring in some major gas station chains and offer them a subsidy for installing at least a single electric "pump" at all their stations.

Now this would be a significant step toward widespread acceptance of electric cars.

Actually, you don't even need a subsidy - offer to install, say, 2-4 chargers (with software for metering and selling the electricity) at every gas station for free.

Or have the Feds do it.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | about 7 months ago | (#46143001)

Why does it have to be gas stations? If they're really serious, have every McDonalds & Walmart install 3-4 charging stations at their stores. Then you at least have a place to sit or something to do for the half hour the super charger takes. Its not like you specifically have to be a gas station with all the associated hardware to install these things, its much much simpler than burying a giant tank and coming up to code and all that.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 7 months ago | (#46142175)

But your local gas station doesn't need chargers, because you can charge it at home. The Tesla has a good enough range that many people could probably drive it back and forth to work all week, do the groceries, and still only charge it once a week (on the weekend, when electricity rates are low). At 300 miles, that gives you 42 miles a day. It won't cover everybody's commute, but a fair number of people should be able to make it through the week on that. In reality, the main place you need charging stations is out on the highway. Add them in at hotels and shopping malls for visitors to the city to use, and you could clear up quite a bit of land currently in use by gas stations.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142285)

But your local gas station doesn't need chargers, because you can charge it at home.

Which is useless when you're not at home. There is more to life than driving back and forth to work.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142315)

There is more to life than driving back and forth to work.

You're not being rational.

Re: Range anxiety isn't really rational (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142905)

"There is more to life than driving back and forth to work." Right, there is also driving back and forth to the store, and to swimming lessons, etc. etc.

Home charging is way better than the gas station. My wife's car is often way to close to empty for comfort (and my kids will attest). My Tesla, on the other hand, is always fully charged within a couple of hours (at most, usually much less) of arriving home. No problem.

Re: Range anxiety isn't really rational (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46143003)

There is also not driving back home. What good is charging at home if you aren't returning home.

Not that I would expect you to understand that. After all you were dumb enough to buy a tesla.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 7 months ago | (#46142693)

But your local gas station doesn't need chargers, because you can charge it at home.

No, but the local gas station I stop at halfway to my parents house needs one. Otherwise I can't visit home with an overnight stay somewhere.

And yes, I can have another car to use for long trips. Or rent one. But if I have to keep an extra car around, or pay rental to use one, I might as well keep the gasoline burners I use now, rather than switch to electrical.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 7 months ago | (#46142255)

Well, yes, of course, they would also need some new technology as well, rather than this 100 year old technology they are working with. However, they may have finally found the way to win a place in the market for this technology, despite the fact that it is not new.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#46142387)

Please, electric motors aren't new, but lithium ion batteries and their absurd ability to hold a charge and recharge are only a couple decades old as usable tech.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 7 months ago | (#46142461)

They are batteries. Yes, they are a new form of battery, but batteries are not new technology. Batteries appear to be even older than electric motors by a significant number of factors.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 7 months ago | (#46142475)

I forgot to add, wheels did not become a new technology when we started making rubber tires.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#46142671)

Let me spoil some things for you:

James Watt didn't invent the steam engine, he made it pragmatically efficient.
Edison didn't invent the light bulb, he (paid people to) improved the design to make it cheap to manufacture and relatively reliable.
ENIAC wasn't the first computer, it was the first one to be able to do some tasks faster than a human.

Improvements in technology have almost never been sudden and game-changing, and it's completely disingenuous to pretend that advancement to the stage of usability isn't a big deal.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (0)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 7 months ago | (#46142857)

You expressed the opinion that what Tesla is selling is a new technology. What Tesla is selling has been around for essentially as long as ICE vehicles, was initially more popular than ICE vehicles. In order for Tesla to succeed they must prove to people that what they are selling is a superior solution to what they are already doing to meet the need. They have developed a strategy that may work, part of that strategy is to convince early adopters that it is new technology, even though it is not. They appear to have succeeded with you, even though you appear to know that it is BS.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#46142977)

I can't argue against your absurd assumption that incremental improvements that make important headway aren't new. It's crazy in the face of the history of technology, but you've decided that point as an absolute fact, and I'm not going to convince you you're wrong, apparently.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#46142383)

Big point-proving stunts don't help with people who go "my local gas station doesn't provide chargers. I'm doomed if I get one." Because that's really in their head, more than about any particular drive being possible.

Aside the fact that the Model S is an $80,000 luxury car (which is a fact that will limit sales all on it's own), the lack of charging stations and charging times are real concerns, which is probably why it's "in their head[s]."

Tesla has to win market share the same way every new technology does: winning enough early adopters to seem normal(and creating a support market).

This is a car that costs almost 6 figures, not the latest smart-gadget. I do not believe early adoption plays into the situation as much as with other, cheaper technological improvements - not nearly as much as the expense, charging times, and lack of range do.

Don't get me wrong, now that I've seen a Model S in person it's really grown on me, but regardless the fact remains that I, like most people, A) can't take on a(nother) $400+/mo car payment just because "it's neat", B) occasionally need to drive more than 200 miles at a time, and C) value my time more than a minimum 1-hour-to-charge wait affords.

Range anxiety is wholly rational (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 7 months ago | (#46142495)

"my local gas station doesn't provide chargers. I'm doomed if I get one." Because that's really in their head

It's not that at all.

Electric cars would work fine for most people day to day.

However - sometimes you have to drive across town unexpectedly. Or you want to go on a long road trip where the destination is a way off the main highway.

All of those things could well exceed the remaining charge if you've already driven to work - or just not be possible, like if you were going to go drive around the Osarks or the mountains of Colorado/Wyoming. Neither of those things is unreasonable to want to do, yet you would be constantly running on the edge in an electric vehicle.

Even in a gas car, I start looking for stations when I get to 100 miles of estimated range. Electric cars get to that point way too quickly for my comfort.

In the end the ethnology that will win out, for those reasons and others, is Hydrogen. Cars will still be electric, they just won't have to lug around a literal ton of batteries.

Re:Range anxiety is wholly rational (1)

johnlcallaway (165670) | about 7 months ago | (#46142797)

And of course there is the driving in heat/cold problem that sucks down the juice far faster than normal. Let's see them do the same Phoenix/LA trip in July, when temps hit 110 and most people will want the A/C running. Or how about from Fort Kent Maine to NY one day with the temps hovering close to zero, in a snow storm where you have to run BOTH the A/C and heater (A/C takes moisture out of the air and makes it easier to keep the inside of the car frost-free).

I don't want a car that I can drive most days, most places where there are roads. I want one like the one i have now, that will take me just the same places I go now whenever I want to. And if there aren't enough gas stations along the way, I can toss a couple of jerry cans in the back to get a few more miles.

I'm not against electric cars, but I can afford to drive my truck when it's hot or raining, and my motorcycle every other day. I have no desire to restrict my driving habits just to save a few dollars. People want to earn more and more money so they can enjoy more things in life, not fewer.

And I'm not getting a third car, there isn't enough room in our garage for the vehicles we have now and any gas savings will need to be used to pay for the higher insurance of a newer car compared to my 13 year old truck and 25 year old motorcycle.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (1)

EvanED (569694) | about 7 months ago | (#46142605)

Because that's really in their head, more than about any particular drive being possible.

It really isn't, at least from what I can tell, for long road trips. Even under the numbers from Tesla's range calculator [teslamotors.com] you just can't make the same pace you can in a gas car even in reasonably forgiving conditions. In moderately hard but still very realistic conditions, it becomes even less favorable:

If you put in 70 mph and 32 degrees, you get 204 miles. And that's on a full charge. But that's not the most time-efficient way of charging -- better is to spend about 45 minutes charging to, IIRC, about 75-80% capacity. That drops you to 164 miles. So that's "drive for less than 2 1/2 hrs, charge for 45 minutes." That's making pretty poor time IMO.

And what about colder weather and, say, 75 mph (which their range calculator doesn't even go up to)? You could easily be driving less than 2 hrs between charges, even if the superchargers were placed perfectly.

I'm super optimistic about something like the Tesla for around-town driving and shorter trips. But for the longer ones... I think Tesla needs very good coverage with cheaper battery swaps than they are planning.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142647)

Big point-proving stunts don't help with people who go "my local gas station doesn't provide chargers. I'm doomed if I get one." Because that's really in their head, more than about any particular drive being possible. Tesla has to win market share the same way every new technology does: winning enough early adopters to seem normal(and creating a support market).

I have to give you this, you are consistently one of the most idiotic commenters on this site

A Tesla driving across the country does little to address the REAL problem of scarcity of charging
stations. The concern some drivers have about being able to charge an electric vehicle is
firmly based in the reality that without the ability to charge a vehicle, the vehicle which needs
charging cannot serve their needs. I live in the mid-Atlantic US and I drive hundreds of miles on
a regular basis. There is no electric vehicle which can meet my needs no matter how much bs artists
like Musk or idiots like "I Kan Reed" insist otherwise.

Seriously, I kan reed, you have proven you are an idiot, and it is time for you to shut the fuck up.

Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#46142751)

Look at me not doing what you say.

What I don't get... (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 7 months ago | (#46142081)

Why doesn't Tesla rent little trailers with extra batteries for long trips?

(or some sort of thing you can clip on the back of the car, or on the roof, whatever it takes...use your imagination)

Extend the range to as far as you're ever likely to drive in a single day.

That way you can drive down to Vegas for a weekend, drive to Grandma's place for thanksgiving, etc., no problem.

Re:What I don't get... (0)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 7 months ago | (#46142219)

For the same reason we can't simply add more batteries to the car itself.

The batteries are heavy.

Worse, unlike gasoline, when you use up the energy, the battery do not get lighter. If you double the number of batteries, you don't double the range, you get something like 25% more range.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 7 months ago | (#46142569)

If you double the number of batteries, you don't double the range, you get something like 25% more range.

Citation needed.

Re:What I don't get... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142225)

It may have something to do with the weight of the extra batteries cancelling out some of the additional benefit - not unlike using aircraft to transport gasoline for army vehicles.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 7 months ago | (#46142549)

Sure, some of it.

Re:What I don't get... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142265)

Cool idea!...EXCEPT that battery pack that would extend range by 300 miles would weigh 1200 pounds.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 7 months ago | (#46142503)

You've calculated that precisely, have you?

Re:What I don't get... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 7 months ago | (#46142287)

This is an idea I've always thought would be nice. You could even hook up an electric generator on the trailer for easy refueling. I wonder what size of generator you'd need to continuously charge the batteries? It may sound like a step backwards to be using gas to power an electric car, but if you're only using it for long trips a couple times a year, that's still a huge savings to the environment.

Re:What I don't get... (2)

Whorhay (1319089) | about 7 months ago | (#46142509)

The original plans for the Model S actually included a small built in generator for extending the range. The idea was scraped though at least in part because they wanted to stick with keeping it 100% electric with no ICE at all. If I ever own a Model S I will definitely build my own small Generator trailer for it. Heck it might not even need to be a trailer, you might be able to get away with something that just hung on a trailer hitch. If plug in electrics ever catch on without huge improvements in batteries I expect some company will start building these kinds of things and selling them to companies that do rentals or something.

A purpose built generator will likely be more efficient fuel wise than a normal ICE engine for propelling the car. This is because the generators ICE could be built to run at it's peak efficiency range and its power output would be just enough to charge the batteries. A normal ICE for a car spends most of its time operating significantly outside its peak efficiency range.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 7 months ago | (#46142601)

This is an idea I've always thought would be nice. You could even hook up an electric generator on the trailer for easy refueling.

That's a good idea.

A little trailer with a generator in it for long trips - go as far as you want to!

Re:What I don't get... (1)

cnkurzke (920042) | about 7 months ago | (#46142747)

What size generator would you need to power a car on the freeway?

How about a ~50hp to 100hp Generator. Kinda like the one built into the Chevy Volt? And the Prius?

Your Honda 2000W "backup generator" is not gonna cut it.

Re:What I don't get... (2)

mlts (1038732) | about 7 months ago | (#46142325)

I've wondered similar, except a space for an Onan generator. Since Onan gensets can be gasoline, LP gas, or diesel, one can pick what fuel supply they want to use, have that genset installed and be good to go.

Of course, the gensets are made for AC voltage, but that is what the charger is made to handle. It probably would not take much work to make DC generators so only DC-DC conversion would be necessary to keep the car's batteries going while on a long trip.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142413)

That's actually a great idea. Being removable means that it can be swapped out in the same amount of time it would take to fill your tank in an ICE car. Right now even the fastest charging stations (Tesla Superchargers operate at 120kW!) take a minimum of half-hour to get you only 170 miles of extra range, while standard ones are 10 times slower.

dom

Still too slow. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142089)

An ICE car can make the trip in 32 hours 7 minutes. The tesla took a mind numbingly slow 76 hours and 30 minutes.

Re:Still too slow. (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 7 months ago | (#46142171)

An ICE car can make the trip in 32 hours 7 minutes.

Average 108mph?

I assume Tesla wanted this test to be legal...

Re:Still too slow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142331)

I guarantee you the Tesla was exceeding the speed limit.

Re:Still too slow. (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 7 months ago | (#46142677)

I guarantee you the Tesla was exceeding the speed limit.

...but their competitors can't do some simple math and *prove* it.

Re:Still too slow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142945)

If the tesla was going with the flow of traffic then they were breaking the speed limit.

Infrastructure from the 60s, today! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142269)

The 3464.5-mile jaunt is yet another attempt to ease range anxiety among many consumers who worry about being stranded in a car with a depleted battery pack and nowhere near a charging station.

A: But doesn't that same problem exist with gasoline-fired cars if you run out of gas and there's no gas station around?
B: Don't be silly! There's gas stations all over the country!
A: True, in most places. But there's long, lonely stretches through unpopulated areas like Montana or the deserts of the southwest where there's nothing for miles.
B: Okay, fine, but in those cases, you can plan your trip better and remember to refuel before you leave!
A: Um... you can also do that with electric cars...
B: Of course, but the point is that you don't have to with gas cars because there's a huge, generations-old infrastructure of gas stations everywhere! Yay!
A: But what if we took the time to expand the infrastructure of electric charging stations? I mean, out in the desert, for instance, you could set up solar farms to help supply the stations with power, something you can't do with gas.
B: [blank stare, face appears to have frozen in place]
A: Um... are you all right?
B: Segmentation fault (core dumped). Restarting argument from last saved state. Of course, but the point is that you don't have to with gas cars because there's a huge, generations-old infrastructure of gas stations everywhere! Yay!
A: [deep, annoyed sigh]

Convenient Ignorance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142459)

This argument conveniently and consistently ignores the additional fact that a gas tank refueling, after a 300 mile run, takes 4 minutes(8 if you also take a piss and grab a drink).

Meanwhile, the electric "refueling" takes a minimum of 75 minutes for a full charge. Tesla suggests that an 80% charge is optimal and fastest at 40 minutes(minimum), but suddenly the "300 mile range" becomes a mere 170 mile range, at best.

Point being, that when you perform an apples to apples comparison, the higher energy density of gasoline makes for much faster much longer trips.

Re:Convenient Ignorance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142735)

higher energy density of gasoline

Good point! Why just yesterday as I was putting some rechargeable NiMH batteries in a charger, I wondered, why am I not using electric capacitors instead? A quick search of the Wikipedia showed that chemical batteries have at least 100 times the energy density of the best electric capacitors.

Planning (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 7 months ago | (#46142557)

: Okay, fine, but in those cases, you can plan your trip better and remember to refuel before you leave!
A: Um... you can also do that with electric cars...

Um, you can't "fill" your electric car before you leave and even REACH the remote areas, much less drive through them.

Um.

Your "plan" would have to be to stop for a day in some town you would otherwise be simply driving through in an ICE car.

Still toys (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142295)

Tesla cars are awesome, but they are still toys for rich people, cross-country road trips notwithstanding.

I'm holding out for something better than hydrocarbons. Suspect that won't happen soon, but that we'll move from internal combustion engines to engines driving a generator and electric motors (like trains).

Cannonball! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142333)

Cannonball!

Well, maybe in 15 years.

Give me a petrofuel range extender (2)

toejam13 (958243) | about 7 months ago | (#46142351)

It would be nice if there was an option for a small turbine with a 4 gallon fuel tank that could drive a generator for extended range. Preferably an air-cooled model so you can omit the radiator and coolant lines/pump.

Re:Give me a petrofuel range extender (1)

OhPlz (168413) | about 7 months ago | (#46142579)

Isn't that self-defeating? The whole point is that the vehicle is all electric, otherwise it's just another hybrid. I wouldn't want to lug around the extra weight just on the off chance that I can't make it to a charging station. Adding such a feature would be admitting that there is a problem with the concept.

Re:Give me a petrofuel range extender (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 7 months ago | (#46142705)

Why only 4 gallons? And why not put it in a trailer, along with some space for a couple more suitcases? One that you can rent when you need it?

But Does it Scale? (3, Insightful)

BBF_BBF (812493) | about 7 months ago | (#46142391)

OK, so Tesla builds ONE string of charging stations approx. 150 miles apart that stretches across the US. So tell me how does that work when there are millions of Tesla cars on the road? Charging will take 40 minutes, but the line to get to charge will take 24 hrs.

Will Tesla be able to build enough fast charging stations when selling cars that cost less than $40K?

A lot of things work when the average selling price of your cars isclose to $100,000, you have government subsidies flung at you and/or your customers left and right, you have fewer than 100,000 vehicles in the field, your company isn't really expected to show a profit, and your customers actually *read* the users manuals (probably send corrections to technical errors in them to your engineers) and make Apple Zealots look like disinterested teens.

Re:But Does it Scale? (5, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#46142521)

Just like they built all the gas station before putting cars on the road.

Come on, with popularity charging stations will be built.

Re:But Does it Scale? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142927)

Come on, with popularity charging stations will be built.

SO, clever boy, why don't you explain how the cars which need charging stations are
going to become popular BEFORE charging stations are built ?

( hint : "they just will" is not an acceptable answer )

Re:But Does it Scale? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142591)

"millions of Tesla cars on the road"? Try 60 000 in the whole world.

Re:But Does it Scale? (1)

mbkennel (97636) | about 7 months ago | (#46142597)


When there are millions of Tesla cars on the road, Tesla will have the money to build many strings of charging stations and expand capacity on the existing ones.

Re:But Does it Scale? (2)

necro81 (917438) | about 7 months ago | (#46142629)

OK, so Tesla builds ONE string of charging stations approx. 150 miles apart that stretches across the US. So tell me how does that work when there are millions of Tesla cars on the road? Charging will take 40 minutes, but the line to get to charge will take 24 hrs.

Will Tesla be able to build enough fast charging stations when selling cars that cost less than $40K

Switch to decaf and chill out. Do you think the gasoline/diesel infrastructure we have today was built in just a year or two? When filling stations first showed up, they too were isolated points that couldn't be linked by the range of the available vehicles, then got strung out on transportation corridors, and only now are ubiquitous. Having a look at the rollout map [teslamotors.com] , the infrastructure will cover a lot of the US's transportation corridors by the end of this year.

As for what happens when $40k electrics start rolling out - I'm not terribly concerned. The number will be small to start, and the number of vehicle trips that would actually require a supercharger station is vanishingly small. I doubt that the utilization of the existing stations now is anything above 5%. You can bet that Tesla has realtime statistics about utilization, and probably even the wait times (i.e., how many cars are queued up), and can adjust their rollout accordingly. Given the stock price, the limiting factor in the rollout certainly isn't capital, which is a good position to be in.

Re:But Does it Scale? (1)

petrix (1747832) | about 7 months ago | (#46142697)

Something about the way you formulated your questions is telling me you are not willing to read a serious response, but I'll try anyway: If they will start sellling many cheap cars, that will not happen over night. If they are not able to keep up themself with building charging stations, others will use the oportunity and make some money. Most people will buy this kind of car for daily driving around the city (work, mall and so on) and will have the posibility to charge at home. If they cannot charge at home, they are not likely to buy a Tesla. I've seen in Paris(France) charging stations on the street, because they really want electrical cars to decrease pollution. I am pretty sure that the change will be slow anyway. That's my take.

Still not good enough. (0)

kaplooi (3453691) | about 7 months ago | (#46142405)

Sorry Tesla, but you're about 200 miles short on the car's range. That's a notable achievement, no doubt, but if you want to sell a car to Joe Public based on it cross-country capabilities then you need to provide a battery that will last for an entire day of driving at highway speeds before needing to be recharged (i.e. 8-10 hours behind the wheel). That means around a 500 mile range. I for one wouldn't bother driving cross country if I couldn't do at least 500 miles between when I woke up and when I had to turn in for the night (i.e. charge the car fully overnight). And that's not counting the times I've driven non-stop in shifts with other drivers and done well over 500 miles. For any gas car this pretty much means more than 1 tank per driving day, but when filling takes all of 5 minutes, so it's a non-issue. That kind of range won't really be possible with EVs until Sodium-air batteries or some other type of metal-air battery makes super high capacity batteries cheap and light enough to bring to the masses. The bottom line is that EVs will remain a niche market until advancements in battery technology bring down the costs enough to be competitive with gasoline or diesel powered cars of equivalent range, if not equivalent refueling time. Anything less is not 'progress'. That's why hydrogen fuel cell cars, at least on this front, have more 'promise' in the sense that you get the same sort of range and refueling time vs today's gasoline cars. I won't get into the myriad of other issues with hydrogen fuel cell cars here though.

Re:Still not good enough. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#46142539)

That just tells me that if this where 1920, you would still own a horse becasue cars wouldn't have enough range.

"The bottom line is that Automobiles will remain a niche market until advancements in gasoline technology bring down the costs enough to be competitive with hay "

Re:Still not good enough. (5, Insightful)

master_kaos (1027308) | about 7 months ago | (#46142787)

then rent a car. Seriously all these people say "but it can't do this!" well it's not meant for that application no matter what tesla tries to shove down your throat.
99% of the time I am driving it is <50km Another .5% of the time <150km the other .5% of the time I may run into issues. But guess what, that two days a year Ill just rent a car instead. Honestly even know sometimes I'll rent a car for long trips.. ill rent a fun driving car just to try something new.

You wouldn't buy a coupe if you had a family of 5, just like you shouldn't buy a Tesla if you are consistently driving far range.

this acknowledges range anxiety is real (1)

Dan667 (564390) | about 7 months ago | (#46142433)

The fact that tesla is doing something like this really only acknowledges that getting stranded somewhere is a real problem they have no solution for.

Re: this acknowledges range anxiety is real (2)

necro81 (917438) | about 7 months ago | (#46142673)

The fact that tesla is doing something like this really only acknowledges that getting stranded somewhere is a real problem they have no solution for.

And rather than avoid the problem and pretend it doesn't exist - like every other electric vehicle manufacturer to date - or accept the car's limited utility, Tesla is actually doing something about it. It looks to me like they are putting out a solution. Not a perfect solution, not the only solution, but a solution that can ameliorate the problem. Is that something that should be ridiculed?

Gravity charging? (3, Funny)

Dare nMc (468959) | about 7 months ago | (#46142483)

I would be curious if the car is efficient enough to charge with say a 50 gallon inflatable water bladder in the trunk. IE could I drive to the top of the 9000' mountain pass with a stream, use a electric pump to fill the bladder with stream water, drive to the bottom using the regenerative brakes and empty the bladder. Would I have more energy than I started with? Obviously a steep enough grade, a few passes would eventually charge the battery enough for a few extra miles anyway. Could reduce the range anxiety getting through the mountains a bit, but wasteful on water use (unless you could dump back into the same stream.)

not exactly correct (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 7 months ago | (#46142489)

That's really only half true. Informed buyers know that a slow charge time (16 hours or so for the Leaf if I recall) is annoying and unusable. Informed buyers also know that extremely fast charging batteries wear out much faster. There are battery banks in some popular cars that cost over $10,000 to replace and have an anticipated usable life of 3 years due to their fast charging time. So what they really need to address is how internal filaments around the charging port break down in most lithium batteries.

Re:not exactly correct (5, Informative)

Sprouticus (1503545) | about 7 months ago | (#46142987)

According to the info I found the Leaf will lose an additional 10% of capacity(70% vs 80%) over the course of 10 years (not 3) if fast charging is used. Not great but not horrible. For an informed buyer, you are not seeming to be very informed.

There are plenty of challenges for Electric cars, no need to exaggerate them.

Exactly how much fossil fuel was burned... (2)

jdastrup (1075795) | about 7 months ago | (#46142581)

based on 1197.8 kWh it took to drive, you can figure that out here: http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/... [eia.gov] or

1281 lbs of coal, or
1197800 cubic feet of natural gas, or
95 gallons of residential fule oil.

Just to keep things in perspecitve for the tree huggers.

Re:Exactly how much fossil fuel was burned... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142779)

remember, though, some of the SuperChargers utilize Solar Energy. soooooo, temper the overall consumption a bit (though probably not by much). ;)

Re:Exactly how much fossil fuel was burned... (5, Informative)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 7 months ago | (#46142967)

Tesla addresses that issue on their site:

http://www.teslamotors.com/goe... [teslamotors.com]

44% of US power generation comes from coal, with 23% from natural gas and 20% from nuclear. They have a map that shows each state's breakdown. If you're charging in Washington, Idaho, or Oregon, for example, you're not using a lot of fossil fuel. If you're charging in Wyoming, Indiana, or Kentucky, on the other hand, then it's mostly coal. If you're charging in Vermont then you might as well be fellating a tree, but without the splinters.

Scenic route? 672 Extra miles (~24%) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142641)

Google maps shows the Drive from LA to NYC being 2,792 miles. I guess they had to take the scenic route to be able to hit their charging stations. So that's an additional 10 hours of driving! Plus the extra stops to recharge.

Electric cars are for brown people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46142661)

You don't want to be a brown people, do you?

Gas car rentals to supplement electric cars. (5, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 7 months ago | (#46142839)

When you buy it in bulk gas cars can be rented for less than 25$ a day unlimited miles. Electric car makers can easily throw in 28 days of gas car rental as a sweetener to induce sitting-on-the-fence customers.

Also time is ripe for rental car companies to offer a simple car rental accounts to electric car, bus/rail commuter, bicyclers, elderly etc. I imagine if they come up with a model like 50$ a month gets you two days of rentals, and the unused days accumulate, once the customers reach something like 28 days of rentals they just pay a small annual fee to keep the account current. The might even provide a couple of electric charging stations and brag about their green credentials.

electric cars are cool, BUT ... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 7 months ago | (#46142903)

the only one that is worth buying is Tesla.
The leaf is far too high priced for what you get. And the other electric cars are pure junk.
Elon Musk is about to announce his giga-factory. This will build batteries. It will effectively double the amount of batteries on the global market.
It appears that he will be using lithium from Wyoming, since it is the cheapest lithium in the world (and loads of it).
And considering that Elon focuses on lowering manufacturing costs via heavy automation and other techniques, it is obvious that he will cut the price of lithium batteries in half or more.
When Tesla does their model E in 3 years, it will have cheap batteries, and the base on it will be around 35K, while having better luxury than anything that Audi, MB, Caddi, or BMW have in that range. At that point, gas/diesel car sales will plummet, as will stock prices for car makers that are not into decent electric car production. And so far, none of them are.
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