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Long-range Electric Car World Speed Record Broken By Australian Students

Soulskill posted about 1 month ago | from the also-stores-baby-cars-in-a-warm-pouch-on-its-undercarriage dept.

Transportation 120

New submitter is_this_gdog writes: The Sunswift solar car team from UNSW Australia has broken an international world speed record for the fastest long-range electric vehicle, averaging a speed of 107km/h (66mph) over 500km (310miles) from a single charge with their car, eVe. Solar panels were not used for this record (with solar, the car has a range of over 500 miles), the challenge was endurance speed with battery only. There are faster electric cars, and one or two with longer range if you go slow enough — Sunswift eVe is the first to officially do 500kms at highway speeds (pending official FIA approval). Pictures of the car are available here.

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1st (-1, Troll)

eyjeryjertj (3755333) | about 1 month ago | (#47531013)

setjestjesaehrhearaerjahaewrhawrhgwegetjsaethafawrhg

Facebook? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531045)

Seriously? Using links to Facebook?

Aside from the complete idiocy of Facebook itself, 99% of company filters block Facebook.

Re:Facebook? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531395)

Seriously? Using links to Facebook?

Aside from the complete idiocy of Facebook itself, 99% of company filters block Facebook.

Keep it up and Slashdot will be next on the filtered list.... Especially BETA!

Australia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531021)

I guess because the air is warmer it's less dense, making this kind of record "easier"?

Re:Australia? (3, Funny)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 1 month ago | (#47531143)

Yes, but there is also a 290% higher chance of hitting a kangaroo than on cooler continents, which could really slow you down. So I think it balances.

Re:Australia? (2)

OzPeter (195038) | about 1 month ago | (#47531193)

I guess because the air is warmer it's less dense, making this kind of record "easier"?

The record was set about 100k SW of Melbourne (Actually the Australian Automotive Research Centre near Anglesea) in Victoria, in Winter.

The temps there in the last week were around 12 Deg C (55 F)

So much for 'less dense' air

Re:Australia? (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 1 month ago | (#47531215)

I forgot to mention .. Pretty well at Sea level as well.

Re:Australia? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531325)

Try that shit in winter in Canada, faggot, we'll see what's dense. You have no snow either.

Re:Australia? (1)

jittles (1613415) | about 1 month ago | (#47531393)

I guess because the air is warmer it's less dense, making this kind of record "easier"?

The record was set about 100k SW of Melbourne (Actually the Australian Automotive Research Centre near Anglesea) in Victoria, in Winter.

The temps there in the last week were around 12 Deg C (55 F)

So much for 'less dense' air

I think he was talking cognitively less dense than from a US perspective. The people there are less dense. ;)

Re:Australia? (1)

LduN (3754243) | about 1 month ago | (#47532711)

I guess because the air is warmer it's less dense, making this kind of record "easier"?

The record was set about 100k SW of Melbourne (Actually the Australian Automotive Research Centre near Anglesea) in Victoria, in Winter.

The temps there in the last week were around 12 Deg C (55 F)

So much for 'less dense' air

mid winter?!?! thats what we've been havin for the last week in mid summer!!! (yay Canada) :)

Australia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531299)

It's Midwinter in Australia. Not warm at all -_-

Re:Australia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531607)

Pretty sure it's always 30 degrees in NT :\

That's great, but ... (2, Informative)

jschultz410 (583092) | about 1 month ago | (#47531031)

The body is obviously specially designed to be extremely aerodynamic -- the undercarriage of a typical car is largely missing -- which means it would not be comfortable / practical for normal usage. Also, the tires were extremely narrow to reduce friction. Wake me up when we have a breakthrough on battery technology that actually allows for practical long distance EVs at a reasonable price and/or can recharge in less than half an hour.

Re:That's great, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531139)

Wake me up when we have a breakthrough

See you later then, Rip Van Winkle.

Re:That's great, but ... (2, Informative)

CaptainLard (1902452) | about 1 month ago | (#47531259)

Right, because gas powered cars built specifically to break speed/efficiency records are so much more practical...oh wait, they're also worthless for everything but breaking records and look just like this one. Good thing some of that engineering knowledge transfers over to consumer vehicles.

And in case you missed it, several Tesla's have already made cross country road trips. It might take 30 min to charge but 3 years ago it took 12 hours. Why would you want to go to sleep now and miss all the exciting rapid development? Do you sleep through movies to watch the credits?

Re:That's great, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531317)

Right, because gas powered cars built specifically to break speed/efficiency records are so much more practical..

The gas powered cars that can break the records set by these gimmicks are absolutely much more practical.

Re:That's great, but ... (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 1 month ago | (#47531419)

Yea, you can recharge them quicker... (sarc off)

Re:That's great, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531495)

That is because the records they are trying to break are the ones that EVs are relatively bad at.
When it comes to things like getting up to speed after full stop or longest range per $10 the gas powered vehicles will be quite a lot more impractical in comparison.

Re:That's great, but ... (1)

CaptainLard (1902452) | about 1 month ago | (#47531601)

The gas powered cars that can break the records set by these gimmicks

Gas powered cars that don't use their engine and are propelled by batteries and electricity alone can break electric propulsion records set by pure EV's? That's amazing! I bet if they took out the heavy gas engines since they're not using them, they'd go even farther.....and by farther I mean nowhere. Apple and Orange, meet troll.

Re:That's great, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531687)

Gas powered cars that don't use their engine and are propelled by batteries and electricity alone can break electric propulsion records set by pure EV's?

No a Gas powered car that can go farther and faster than this piece of shit electric car is much more practical.

Re:That's great, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47533447)

Man you must really hate those piece of shit gas vehicle from the 60's and 70's that had terrible gas mileage and horsepower that did nothing...Are you seriously this dense?

Re:That's great, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47533605)

Man you must really hate those piece of shit gas vehicle from the 60's and 70's that had terrible gas mileage and horsepower that did nothing...Are you seriously this dense?

Any car from the 60's and 70's is a way better can than any electric.

Re:That's great, but ... (1)

jschultz410 (583092) | about 1 month ago | (#47531621)

"Right, because gas powered cars built specifically to break speed/efficiency records are so much more practical...oh wait, they're also worthless for everything but breaking records and look just like this one ... Why would you want to go to sleep now and miss all the exciting rapid development?"

My point was that we are still at least one major breakthrough in battery technology away from having EVs actually being meaningful competitors to ICEs.

"And in case you missed it, several Tesla's have already made cross country road trips."

Most people don't have $80+K to drop on a Model S.

"It might take 30 min to charge but 3 years ago it took 12 hours."

Is this actually true? Can you repeatedly fully re-charge a Model S in 30 minutes without doing long term damage to the battery? If so, then that's exciting news to me.

Re:That's great, but ... (1)

jschultz410 (583092) | about 1 month ago | (#47531723)

I just went and looked at Tesla superchargers and they claim that their next iteration of superchargers (i.e. - akin to gas stations) will be able to give 50% charge in 20 minutes and 80% charge in 40 minutes. That's pretty exciting assuming it doesn't degrade the lifetime of the batteries.

Now if they can just get the cost of the batteries down to a reasonable level, then this will be a true competitor to ICEs in the near future.

Re:That's great, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47532033)

50% charge in 20 minutes and 80% charge in 40 minutes.

Still way too slow.

Re:That's great, but ... (2)

jschultz410 (583092) | about 1 month ago | (#47532341)

Maybe, but they are getting close to an acceptable mix of mileage and recharge time. Recharging for twenty minutes every few hours on a long trip is not so burdensome as to put such an EV out of the running for most people.

Re:That's great, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47532685)

Maybe, but they are getting no where close to an acceptable mix of mileage and recharge time.

Fixed that for you.

Re:That's great, but ... (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | about 1 month ago | (#47533215)

No, that's not the future performance of their next iteration of superchargers, it's the actual performance of their current superchargers [teslamotors.com] . They've got more than 150 of them now.

Re:That's great, but ... (1)

jschultz410 (583092) | about 1 month ago | (#47533425)

Scroll down on your link:

"Tesla Superchargers represent the most advanced charging technology in the world, capable of charging Model S 16x faster than most public charging stations. We will soon roll out 120 kW Superchargers, which are 33% faster than our current version and can replenish half a charge in as little as 20 minutes, for free."

Re:That's great, but ... (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | about 1 month ago | (#47533581)

That's weird, they keep stating that figure just about everywhere (including at the top of the page, and in the FAQ lower on the page, so I'm not sure whether they are using false advertising or they simply forgot to update that line about "we will soon". It's the figure I was given on my test drive as well. I'll try to find out for sure.

Re:That's great, but ... (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | about 1 month ago | (#47534067)

I just checked on the Tesla forum: they just didn't update that part of the website, but most current superchargers are 120 kW right now except for a handful of early ones.

Re:That's great, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47533473)

Tesla is building a factory solely devoted to bringing battery costs down.

Re:That's great, but ... (1)

jschultz410 (583092) | about 1 month ago | (#47533533)

Yes, but even Tesla projects that this will ultimately only shave 30% off the cost of the batteries and 3rd party analysts are skeptical of Tesla's claims on the cost of their current batteries and there ability to reduce them. It looks to me like a technology breakthrough is needed here, not just economies of scale.

Re:That's great, but ... (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | about 1 month ago | (#47533307)

Even better, Tesla has announced a new battery to retrofit into their old roadster model, which will bring its range up to 640 km (400 miles) EPA rated range. Maybe that's at a lower speed, I'm not sure how EPA rated range is calculated, but certainly close enough to make this new record by a university team rather unimpressive. My first reaction to the summary was "isn't their a zero missing somewhere?".

Re:That's great, but ... (1)

Cederic (9623) | about 1 month ago | (#47533419)

And yet they have a record, which implies that the Tesla can't sustain a mere 66mph for just 310 miles.

I'm finding myself continually underwhelmed by these electric cars.

Re:That's great, but ... (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | about 1 month ago | (#47533615)

Well, they just announced the new battery, they're not actually selling it just yet, but anyway, even if they're just below the record, with an ordinary production car that anyone with enough money can buy, I would expect a university team with a specially built car driving at constant speed to do way, way better.

Re:That's great, but ... (3, Interesting)

swillden (191260) | about 1 month ago | (#47531629)

practical long distance EVs at a reasonable price and/or can recharge in less than half an hour

The price may or may not be reasonable, depending on your budget, though it definitely is for a non-trivial number of people, but the Tesla Model S fulfills the other requirements today.

My Nissan LEAF doesn't, though it's still a very practical car that easily manages all but a small fraction of my driving.

Re:That's great, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531671)

"That's great, but my car that runs on a finite resource will get better economy until that finite resource runs out...."

How about we develop renewable energy technologies a bit more before being complete cunts about it.

Re:That's great, but ... (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 1 month ago | (#47532065)

You mean, like a Tesla? Range of about 250 miles, supercharger stations that will give you 80% of your range in 30 minutes.... If you're looking for a luxury sedan, the Tesla beats every other car out there, except if your make-or-break deal is that you be able to refill now every 2 miles or so.

As for reasonable price.... well, no one but you knows what that reasonable price is. So I guess you'll sleep forever.

Re:That's great, but ... (1)

jschultz410 (583092) | about 1 month ago | (#47532303)

"As for reasonable price.... well, no one but you knows what that reasonable price is."

So, you think that more than $60K (and that's lowballing a Model S's cost) is a reasonable price for a car for most people? If Tesla can build a cheaper, say around $30K, but still decent car with the same range and recharge capabilities, then they'll be in the mainstream market and not just the luxury market.

My whole point was that I think we are at least one major breakthrough in battery technology away from that reality because the power pack for the lower range Model S costs about $25K all by itself. Or at least that is what Tesla is charging for it as they charge $10K to upgrade from the 60 Kwh -> 85 Kwh battery pack.

Re:That's great, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47532391)

Could you elaborate on what is missing? Petrol cars have exhaust and all sorts to ruin aero, which electric cars don't require.

Testla supercharges (the ones with now open patents) do half a charge in 20 mins, so you should be able to add 160-170ish miles to your range in 30 mins.

From full that's about 440 miles with a 30 min break in between. Any responsible driver will be stopping for this long during such a trip regardless, So it shouldn't add any time to your journey. All thats missing is infrastructure.

Re:That's great, but ... (1)

jschultz410 (583092) | about 1 month ago | (#47532467)

"Could you elaborate on what is missing?"

With the undercarriage missing like that, it is likely that the interior and storage space of the vehicle is far smaller than is usual in a regular car.

What's missing from EVs more generally is the kind of range the Model S has for a price that is competitive in the mainstream (rather than luxury) market of cars.

Getting there. (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 1 month ago | (#47531061)

However with my current car I get about 450 miles per tank. at 66mph.

Now the issue is some times I need to drive for 8-10 hours. So I will need to fuel up mid way. The charge time for electric may still be an issue.

Re:Getting there. (1)

jschultz410 (583092) | about 1 month ago | (#47531185)

Absolutely. Until we have batteries that can recharge in less than a half hour (without shortening the battery's life) or go straight for 8-10 hours, long range driving with EVs will be a real hassle.

Re:Getting there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531371)

Absolutely. Until we have batteries that can recharge in less than a minute (without shortening the battery's life) or go straight for 16 hours, long range driving with EVs will be a real hassle.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Getting there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47533509)

Let me know when you can create, process, transport and fill a car in less time than it takes to charge a battery from electricity made on site. I'll see you in a few millennia asshat.

Tesla Model S already fits your criteria (1)

Brannon (221550) | about 1 month ago | (#47531675)

Done.

Re:Tesla Model S already fits your criteria (1)

jschultz410 (583092) | about 1 month ago | (#47531865)

That's great! Too bad they're so expensive ...

Re:Tesla Model S already fits your criteria (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 1 month ago | (#47533189)

Better, faster, cheaper.

Choose two.

Re:Tesla Model S already fits your criteria (1)

jschultz410 (583092) | about 1 month ago | (#47533239)

Why, when I can choose all three with something like a VW TDI?

Re:Getting there. (1)

KingBozo (137671) | about 1 month ago | (#47531189)

However my current 1 ton truck at 66mph will go over 700 miles on a tank easy, at 70+ mph it made the trip home from the dealer at 654 miles and still had some fuel left.

I suggest you get a better vehicle.

Re:Getting there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531367)

Yes, but a 36 galon tank vs 12 galon tank to get the same range is a pretty big difference.

Re:Getting there. (1)

multimediavt (965608) | about 1 month ago | (#47531975)

However with my current car I get about 450 miles per tank. at 66mph.

Now the issue is some times I need to drive for 8-10 hours. So I will need to fuel up mid way. The charge time for electric may still be an issue.

Remember this was kilometers, so you get 724km per tank. That's almost 50% more than the electric, one seater, made of tissue paper (euphemism, but not far off compared to a real road car) and riding on tires barely bigger than that for a children's bicycle.

As a comparison, the Tesla Model S weighs more than two tons (US or Metric) and gets 306 miles per charge (492 km). I am not impressed by this "record".

Re:Getting there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47532573)

Except the battery pack on this had roughly the equivalent of 1 gallon of gas. 60KG vs 550KG for the Model S. Apples and oranges.

Re:Getting there. (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 1 month ago | (#47532773)

Honestly, with most everyone having cell phones, kindles, books, magazine, the power of conversation.. is waiting 40 minutes to recharge that big of a deal?

The charging situation seems to take two forms.
1. commuting: recharge at home, over night, no waiting at all.
2. road-trip/extended drive (300-500 miles or more): pull into charging station, grab a coffee, a snack.. read/chat/whatever, then go on your way. you get a break from driving (a very, very good thing)

For Christ's sake, set up a coffee shop with a lounge at the charging station, and it actually sounds like a pleasant break :(

This doesn't seem very extreme. (2)

queazocotal (915608) | about 1 month ago | (#47531159)

While perhaps to be taken with a pinch of salt - http://www.teslamotors.com/en_... [teslamotors.com] - with the larger battery - at 65MPH claims to get 261 miles.
To get a Tesla to 350 miles needs an extra 30kWh of battery - about 120kg at the same performance as the existing battery.
This will easily fit in the trunk.

Re:This doesn't seem very extreme. (1)

multimediavt (965608) | about 1 month ago | (#47532013)

While perhaps to be taken with a pinch of salt - http://www.teslamotors.com/en_... [teslamotors.com] - with the larger battery - at 65MPH claims to get 261 miles. To get a Tesla to 350 miles needs an extra 30kWh of battery - about 120kg at the same performance as the existing battery. This will easily fit in the trunk.

Better yet, pull the seats and anything else you don't need out of the car and try. The big battery gets 306 miles (492km) out of a 4600+ lb vehicle so getting an extra 8km isn't going to be that hard, even if it was 80km I think it could be done without modifying the production car much at all. This "record" is laughable. The only reason Tesla doesn't have it is that they don't care about non-practical applications of electric vehicles, it would seem. Elon has a rocket company for going farther, faster.

Re:This doesn't seem very extreme. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47532289)

LOL Tesla care, they hire kids like this straight into the company. Stanford's solar car team is practically a feeder into Tesla, the chief technical officer there is a fomer solar car guy. Smart grads come in, better cars come out. Tesla probably could take the record if they wanted it, but with about 4 times the battery, if not more. This record is about efficiency. On the aussie news on Ten in Melbourne, one of them said the 500kms cost them 50c of electricity from the grid. 50 cents to drive for 5 hours sounds like a bargain.

Re:This doesn't seem very extreme. (1)

queazocotal (915608) | about 1 month ago | (#47533733)

Utter bullshit.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] - and several other sources I find say Australia is paying $(us).30/kWh or so.

That's one and a half kWh.

Or, 80 times more efficient than the Tesla. (which has an 80kWh battery pack, and doesn't quite make the range at 66mph)

If it's a skinny tyred wholly aerodynamic very small bicycle I might believe that - otherwise - LOL.

what's with the helmet and race car outfit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531165)

dude, 66 mph? I do that in my driveway...

Wow (2)

KingBozo (137671) | about 1 month ago | (#47531179)

Wow only 45 miles longer than a Tesla Model S that has been in production for a while now, that is truly a massive breakthrough

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531255)

I'm curious whether the Model S, equipped with the same ridiculously unsafe bicycle tires used in this record-setting attempt, and with a few interior luxuries removed, would achieve the same thing. That such a vehicle set a record does not say anything to me for the people who designed it, but rather increases my appreciation of what has been done at Tesla.

Re:Wow (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531477)

You'll be happy to know that many former solar car student engineers (let's remember, this is a team of students, doing something challenging and hands-on as part of their degree) work at Tesla, including a large number of the technical team. Tesla specifically recruits students like this, and many of the engineers behind the Model S cut their teeth on solar car projects at college. They will be happy to tell you - this is an outstanding achievement.

Re:Wow (2)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 1 month ago | (#47532435)

The big deal ain't the range, it's the range considering the battery. The highest range Model S has an 85 kWh battery, rated for 265 miles (426km). This eVe has a 16 kWh battery, yet manages 310 miles (500km). That's a massive difference, especially when you consider that battery charge time is one of the big downsides of electric cars right now. Obviously, the smaller the battery, the faster the charge. Alternatively, you can keep the same size battery but quadruple the range. Oh, and this doesn't even factor the solar panels.

The point of cars like this is to maximize efficiency. Then, you try to take what you've learned making it and apply that to production cars.

Re:Wow (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 1 month ago | (#47533251)

So, really, with a half-pack of bonus batteries in the trunk of a Model S Elon Musk could easily set a new world record?

I love the quote, "Five hundred kilometres is pretty much as far as a normal person would want to drive in a single day." Oh, man, I've driven further to see a live show, and driven back essentially the next day (It's ~750km to NYC from my house). I wouldn't want to drive that every day, but It's not unusual to top 500km for a long weekend/vacation trip which we do multiple times a year.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47534107)

So rent or borrow a car when you need to go on a long trip. Everyone needs to haul big loads once in a while, but most people don't drive a pickup truck all the time. Besides, you could easily make that 750 km trip in a Model S with only one or two half-hour stops at a supercharger along the way.

Re:Wow (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | about 1 month ago | (#47533665)

OK, that little tidbit of information makes all the difference. 16kWh battery, now I'm impressed. I knew there was something missing, the record was way too underwhelming and close to actual production cars on our roads right now.

Can I go anywhere useful yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531205)

Can I drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles without needing to recharge?

Will it get me from LA to San Francisco up US-1 without needing to recharge?

What about from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe or Yosemite and back?

Can I drive from LA to Vegas and back without needing to wait for it to recharge?

Driving an EV around town is all well and good, but until they can do big trips, they'll just be a curiosity.

Re:Can I go anywhere useful yet? (2)

Guspaz (556486) | about 1 month ago | (#47531261)

No, but I certainly wouldn't try to do those 6-7 hour drives in a gasoline car without a break either. If you're going to stop for a bite midway, why not charge up while you're at it? And then you're not increasing the length of your trip.

Battery swaps might make this even less of an issue (a two minute pit stop rather than a thirty minute pit stop), but I'm a bit more skeptical about the practicality of those.

With the charging networks coming along, saying that EVs can't do big trips is (or will shortly be) false. The question is how inconvenient a big trip will be, and I'd argue that as long as your EV can drive longer than you'd want to before taking a break, it's practical.

Re:Can I go anywhere useful yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531333)

If you're going to stop for a bite midway, why not charge up while you're at it?

Because your not going to stop for a bite.

Re:Can I go anywhere useful yet? (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 1 month ago | (#47531489)

That's a bit odd, no? If I leave my home in Montreal at 9AM to drive to Toronto, I'll stop at noon for lunch. I imagine most people don't drive 6-7 hours without a break.

Re:Can I go anywhere useful yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531721)

That's a bit odd, no? If I leave my home in Montreal at 9AM to drive to Toronto, I'll stop at noon for lunch. I imagine most people don't drive 6-7 hours without a break.

I wouldn't.

Re:Can I go anywhere useful yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47533551)

You sir are just an oil company shill troll. Stop polluting this thread by posting everywhere with your garbage.

Re:Can I go anywhere useful yet? (1)

darkNeko (1238104) | about 1 month ago | (#47531557)

There may be an exception or two to be made, but its always good to stop on long travels, just for health reasons, and to keep the brain alert for driving.

Re:Can I go anywhere useful yet? (1)

Cederic (9623) | about 1 month ago | (#47533501)

Fuck no. I just had my first meal since Monday, why do I need to break a mere car journey?

Re:Can I go anywhere useful yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47533847)

Fuck no. I just had my first meal since Monday, why do I need to break a mere car journey?

People typically eat lunch at noon and dinner at 6:00 or 7:00. So there is nothing unusual with driving 6-7 hours without needing to stop to eat.

Re:Can I go anywhere useful yet? (1)

multimediavt (965608) | about 1 month ago | (#47532045)

Battery swaps might make this even less of an issue (a two minute pit stop rather than a thirty minute pit stop), but I'm a bit more skeptical about the practicality of those.

Why?! We do it with propane tanks now and doing it with EV batteries makes MUCH more sense. Only problem is getting everyone to agree on a standard size/configuration to make the stations just like gas stations, minus the pumps.

Re:Can I go anywhere useful yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47533953)

I am fine with the idea of being able to just stop for a bit and charge up. But I can tell you, having driven a vehicle with a different alternative energy, it takes a type-A personality to make it work. The planning for any road trip is extensive.

I had a propane car and decided to make a trip from Toronto to Myrtle Beach on nothing but propane. I had to first check altfuelprices and call all the stations on the way (Usually 1 or 2 per hour traveled, including only stations within a 15 minute drive from the highway). Most refused to fill cars (slightly different fill connector--although identical to RV fill connectors, or they're just way too unfamiliar with them and scared), those that did had weird rules (you already had to be a customer of theirs, or you had to have converted a car with them, or you had to buy a membership), and most had hours that made it VERY difficult to perform a long road trip (worst I found was 10 am - 2 pm). One station, which I REALLY needed to fill at refused to do so as they were not staffed properly (you cannot fill propane yourself without a license in most places). That was the straw that broke the camels back, causing me to run on gasoline, which stuffed the catalytic converters... ugh... that was fun. Most fills were accomplished at U-Haul, whose employees are about as educated about Alternative fuels as a rock (I lost count of how many times I'd been asked to remove the tank and place it on the ground... have any gas fitting equipment and large wrenches I could borrow, sir?)

The distance between stations could be over 500 kms when travelling on those highways that cut through a lot of barely inhabited countryside. I could, of course, drive 30+ minutes out of my way and fill the vehicle (which I did when I travelled Toronto -> Boston--an even more difficult trip on propane!)

And that's using propane, a fuel that most people would consider relatively easy to get your hands on.

I hear with electric cars it's so bad Tesla just installed their first supercharger EVER in Canada. I only have to drive about 2000 kms to get to it. FML. Hope no Americans with those cars expect to leave the country with them.

I want electric cars to succeed, but if the charging stations are even more difficult to plan out for than propane stations, I'm afraid it's a non-starter unless you intend to put together a minute-by-minute itinerary of your road trip (why yes, I do do that, it's the only reason I've been successful navigating a propane car around Boston without going to jail--fucking tunnels seem to explode if you bring propane into them, but gasoline is somehow less explosive... sigh).

Re:Can I go anywhere useful yet? (2)

bobbied (2522392) | about 1 month ago | (#47531541)

Driving an EV around town is all well and good, but until they can do big trips, they'll just be a curiosity.

Oh come on.. I'm no EV advocate, but they have their place and driving around town is that place. You just plug it in when you get home each time. For commuters, which is actually the BULK of the miles I put on my cars, and EV that can reliably do 200 miles on a charge in real world conditions and recharge over night would work for me just fine. I own two (soon to be three) vehicles, so why not have an EV in the stable if it was actually cost effective? I wouldn't mind. When hitting the long road, the EV would stay parked at home. I'd just use it as a commuter car.

The problem with EV's is only partially range and recharge times, their real problem is cost. They are REALLY expensive to buy and operate. So much so that a standard gasoline powered car works out to be cheaper for most of us overall.

Re:Can I go anywhere useful yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47532053)

Will it get me from LA to San Francisco up US-1 without needing to recharge?

No, but neither will a conventional car considering that US-1 is on the east coast [wikipedia.org]

Before you get too excited (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531279)

That's NOT a real car. When they can get a four-door vehicle in the 2500-3500 lb (1000 - 1600 kg) range, with normal street tires and a nominal load of driver and maybe a single passenger, then I'll get excited. Until then I don't see this as that big a deal. It's an extensively customized design of a one passenger vehicle for research purposes and has little to no bearing on real-world electric vehicle range. Tesla is still king in my book. Highway speeds in a REAL CAR with a range of 200-300 miles (382-483 km).

Re:Before you get too excited (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531511)

A Dutch team of students built a 4 person solar/electric car that crossed Australia last year, with plenty of room in the trunk for dead bodies too.

Re:Before you get too excited (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 1 month ago | (#47533269)

A Tesla with an extra 1/2 battery pack would bust that record.

wow... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531381)

I can't wait to roll into work on this piece of shit.

Good fron grins and giggles, but little more (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531549)

This kind of thing has been done for decades now. It has always been just a gimmick/publicity stunt with no impact whatsoever on actual new technology. Nothing to see here.

Guys please (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531565)

Can we please start testing concept cars against real life scenarios?

Would this car even make it from Penrith to the CBD at 8am? It's cool what you can do with bicycle tyres and carbon fibre, but nobody gives a shit unless it is better/cheaper than a combustion engine.

Get your shit together.

Imagine what they could do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531575)

Imagine what they could do if they added dimples.

Why the fire suit and helmet? (1)

Assmasher (456699) | about 1 month ago | (#47531603)

I drive faster than 66 mph every day going to work and don't notice anyone but motorcyclists wearing helmets and nobody wearing fire suits... Lol.

Re:Why the fire suit and helmet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47531689)

Your car has an extra 1000 pounds of safety features. This car does not, because they weigh far too much.

Re:Why the fire suit and helmet? (1)

NekSnappa (803141) | about 1 month ago | (#47532755)

A) Because it it's and experimental vehicle that's made as light as possible and if shit goes wrong you can get hurt. B) It's an FIA sanctioned event and proper safety gear is required.

Range is not the issue. Cost is. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 1 month ago | (#47531789)

Almost everyone focuses on the limited range and the longer recharge times as the main reason why electric cars have not taken off.

I think that is not really the case. The initial extra cost of the battery is so high, even after subsidies the break even period for an electric car compared to gas car is very long. If this issue is addressed, some people will be interested in buying these cars, with 80 to 100 mile range.

Once people start buying electric cars purely on economic grounds, a whole array of secondary services will come up to alleviate the range problem. Charging stations would expand the commute distance from 30 mile max one way to 60 mile max one way. Gas car rental companies will come up with subscription plans to give access to a gas car a few times a year. Even car makers might offer such deals. BMW already offers gas car loaner for a few times a year for the buyers of BMW i3. Towed range extender batteries might show up. Towed range extender diesel packs might show up. Franchises offering charged battery swaps can happen.

Free market is a bitch. It is thwarting electric cars right now despite many great things about electric cars. No timing belt replacement, no oil changes, clean and simple cars, without any serious tranmission issues. Motor replacement is an order of magnitude simpler than IC-engine-transmission replacement. But battery cost is too high and the free market is emphatically saying thumbs down. Once the battery cost problem is fixed, the very same free market will turn around in a dime and nothing can stop electric cars from peeling of a significant market share. But it will happen only if the cost issue is addressed. It will not happen before that time.

Re:Range is not the issue. Cost is. (1)

jschultz410 (583092) | about 1 month ago | (#47532405)

I wholeheartedly agree. We are still at least one major breakthrough in battery technology away from EVs being mainstream competitors with ICEs. They need to either get the energy density way up and/or the cost way down somehow.

Tesla charges $10K to upgrade from the 60 Kwh to 85 Kwh battery. That means the 60 Kwh battery pack likely costs somewhere in the $20-25K range all by itself. The 85 Kwh battery pack is likely somewhere in the $30-35K range all by itself.

Tesla claims their next gen superchargers can already give a 50% charge in 20 minutes, so I think the recharge time argument is largely headed out the window already.

Re:Range is not the issue. Cost is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47532967)

Or we could try to fix the other side of that equation... Improve the economy and people will be able to afford luxury goods. But then who am I kidding? It will be easier to solve battery cost issues using slave labour in third world countries then to replace the corrupt oligarchy that is siphoning off billions to line their own pockets.

Re:Range is not the issue. Cost is. (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 1 month ago | (#47533187)

Surely you have heard of the Tesla Gigafactory? It is a $5BN investment that does nothing but address your exact concern. It doesn't address range. It doesn't address recharge time. It addresses COST.

Re:Range is not the issue. Cost is. (1)

jschultz410 (583092) | about 1 month ago | (#47533561)

Yes, but Musk only claims that this can shave 30% off the costs of the batteries and 3rd party analysts are skeptical of Tesla's claimed and projected costs ...

Re:Range is not the issue. Cost is. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 1 month ago | (#47533797)

I know about Musk and the giga factory. The giga factory for batteries are not exclusively focused on automobile batteries. They are going after residential solar energy storage. Those batteries do not have weigth, volume or crash worthiness requirements of auto batteries. So that problem is likely to be solved first. Musk is also promoting distributed solar utilities, companies that would own and operate solar panels in residences and sell the homeowner metered electricity just like a utility. Thus homeowner does not do any up front investment, nor has to do any break even point calculations. Solar PV is just coming around to a price point to make this viable. Giga factory is likely to benefit them first.

Re:Range is not the issue. Cost is. (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 1 month ago | (#47534089)

From the Tesla Motors website: [teslamotors.com] "As we at Tesla reach for our goal of producing a mass market electric car in approximately three years, we have an opportunity to leverage our projected demand for lithium ion batteries to reduce their cost faster than previously thought possible.... By the end of the first year of volume production of our mass market vehicle, we expect the Gigafactory will have driven down the per kWh cost of our battery pack by more than 30 percent."

huh? How is this a thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47533735)

Can you just do the same thing with a tesla and remove all the trun and rear seats and replace it all with extra capacity batteries?
I could imagine you could get enough kva batteries in a tesla S to go 400miles easily

Why all the anti-electric rhetoric? (2)

GreatDrok (684119) | about 1 month ago | (#47534127)

I've been reading through the comments and there seems to be so much vitriol aimed at electric vehicles. Sure, this isn't a practical car, but electric vehicles in general can be very practical. We have a petrol powered car at the moment but when it eventually dies (which won't be for some time given how reliable it is, go Mazda!) I would seriously consider an all electric simply because we rarely if ever do trips in our car that are longer than the range of the Nissan Leaf for instance. One tank of fuel lasts us about three weeks so we're averaging around 100 miles a week. We have a garage so we can keep an electric topped up (from roof mounted solar panels) and for the once or twice a year where we need the range of a petrol car I have no issue with nipping over to the nearest car rental place and grabbing whatever I fancy for the trip. The cost savings of switching to an electric will be substantial and we would never have to waste five minutes filling the car up every few weeks so that's a plus.

It only makes sense to make the switch when we're shopping for a new car but electrics have become easily practical for an every day car when you live in a city and the cost is dropping down to the affordable range. If we were in the country then I would more likely look to a hybrid but for our needs, lugging around a petrol motor just for the rare times we would have to travel more than 100 miles round trip makes no sense.

If none of the above applies to you and you tow your boat everywhere just in case, and you won't even start your vehicle unless you intend to do an 800 mile round trip, well then, buy a huge 4x4 and be happy with your choice.

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