Tesla to launch electric sedan in US on June 22

May 22, 2012
Tesla Model S

Tesla Motors said Tuesday it would begin deliveries of "the world's first premium electric sedan" on June 22, slightly ahead of schedule.

Several customers will receive their cars that day at an invitation-only event at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California, said the company created in 2003 by Elon Musk, a co-founder of and SpaceX.

The company, which already markets a sports car at more than $100,000, will be launching the Model S, starting at $49,900, which is described as "the first premium sedan designed from the ground up to take full advantage of electric vehicle architecture."

"In 2006 our plan was to build an electric sports car followed by an affordable electric sedan, and reduce our dependence on oil," said Musk, Tesla's chief executive and chief product architect.

"Delivering Model S is a key part of that plan and represents Tesla's transition to a mass-production automaker and the most compelling car company of the 21st century."

Without an or transmission tunnel, Model S has more cargo space than any other sedan and includes a second trunk under the hood.

It accelerates from 0 to 60 miles (100 kilometers) per hour in as little as 4.4 seconds and includes an in-dash touchscreen with , allowing for streaming radio, Web browsing and navigation.

Shares in Palo Alto, California-based Tesla rose 6.5 percent to $30.64 in early trade.

Tesla conducted an in 2011, raising $226 million.

The Tesla Roadster costs more than $100,000 and can go nearly 250 miles (400 kilometers) on a single charge.

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not rated yet May 22, 2012
I'd rather get a sailboat for that amount of cheddar, but this is pretty damn sweet!
1 / 5 (2) May 22, 2012
Looks good, technical details interest me, especially the acceptable depth of discharge, charge speed vs long term number of recharge cycles, re-generative braking with super capacitors, battery thermal layout etc ?

I'm still of the opinion however, that the best mix will be a hybrid partly because we already have a large liquid fuel infrastructure and lack of sufficient electricity capacity to have all those vehicles plug into the grid at peak times.

An electric only is good but a cheaper alternative with current battery technology will be to include a small high efficiency diesel or gas engine...

Though, if I do buy this car and want to go cross country, I'll put a 5KVA diesel genset in the boot and troll the country shops for waste cooking oil :-)
1 / 5 (1) May 22, 2012
Car looks sexy, but obvious copy of Aston Martin DB9/Jaguar XK.

Also, for electric car, its funny which specs they list - cargo space, acceleration, touch screen with internet connection, web browsing & streaming.

But no mention of range and recharge time. These things is what is keeping EV back, not luxury items.
5 / 5 (1) May 23, 2012
Last sentence, simplicio...
5 / 5 (2) May 23, 2012
Actually the last sentence is for the Roadster. Available Model S ranges are: 160 miles/$49K, 230 miles/$59K, 300 miles/$69K. There are many options for charging, from 110V basic to 240V 'Supercharger'. The middle of the road 'twin' charger is 62 miles range per hour of charge time. Supercharger does 50% full in 30 minutes. Batt's are all warrantied for 8 years, and from 100K miles to unlimited miles depending on option selected. All info clearly listed on the Tesla website.
5 / 5 (1) May 23, 2012
Though, if I do buy this car and want to go cross country, I'll put a 5KVA diesel genset in the boot and troll the country shops for waste cooking oil :-)

You need at least 25 kVA to keep the car moving along the interstate though. With the smaller generator you can take some load off the battery and get 20% more range, but you eventually have to stop for a top-up.

That said, a 10 kW motorbike engine could double the distance you can go on a charge by sharing about half the load. Such engines can be very cheap and efficient to run when optimized, and you can theoretically "limp" home on the engine power alone when you run out of battery.
5 / 5 (1) May 23, 2012
Batt's are all warrantied for 8 years, and from 100K miles to unlimited miles depending on option selected. All info clearly listed on the Tesla website.

It doesn't list exactly what they are guaranteed for. The basic option of a 40 kWh battery that is supposed to get you 160 miles comes out at 250 Wh/mi which is about the correct energy consumption for the car. The problem is, that a 40 kWh battery won't hold 40 kWh after a number of years and charge cycles.

So, is the battery guaranteed to deliver 40 kWh for 100k miles or 8 years, or is it guaranteed only to wear out less than some percentage in that time? Or is it just guaranteed not to break completely?

It's a big difference, because if there is no provisions for battery aging, then by the time the warranty is out, your battery may only deliver 100 miles, and because battery aging is a cumulative and accelerating process, it'll soon be completely dead.
5 / 5 (2) May 23, 2012
There's also more shenanigans going on, because the estimated range is reported at 55 mph, and not 65-70 mph.

Why not? Because wind resistance increases at the square of speed, so going from 65 to 55 mph means energy savings of 28% in the ideal case. Factor in rolling resistance, and you save about 20% by driving slower.

So, if you take the car onto a highway, your actual results may vary. I'd rather wait for the EPA to test drive it than trust anything an electric car manufacturer says.
1 / 5 (2) May 23, 2012
Eikka made a mere uninformed casual guess about vehicle power requirements
You need at least 25 kVA to keep the car moving along the interstate though..
Last opportunity I had to go cross country at a median 90-95Km/Hr, I managed an average of 6KW on 3L EFI Turbo rwd sedan - engine power not wheel power. Tyre pressure up 15% on city & with twin tyres. Allowing 20-25% transmission losses & ~1KW re engine systems gives average less than 5KW. Power went up from 6KW to 8KW for 100-110Km/Hr highway speed limit, (compare EV transmission loss < ~10-15%).

In context with my post re 5KVA genset, it's battery charging when at country stop for overnight rest/charge, this makes for a nice relaxed trip.

btw: ICE power is best stated in KW, genset output in KVA. Electric (vehicle) motors (DC) operate at near unity power factor, therefore KW is most appropriate.

Curious where you got your figure from Eikka & how it's authoritative ?

Lets ensure Quality thinking (QT) not ST or even BT ;-)
5 / 5 (2) May 23, 2012
Eikka made a mere uninformed casual guess about vehicle power requirements

The stated energy consumption of the Tesla Model S is 24 kW·h/100 mi. You can find it on their press releases, or on Wikipedia, or you can also calculate it trivially from the battery size 40 kWh, and the stated range 160 mi at 55 mph.

For 55 mph it makes 13.2 kW continuous and for 65mph it will need 18.4 kW.

Please do your own fact checking before insulting others.

90-95Km/Hr, I managed an average of 6KW

Implausible, see above.

Besides, your generator needs to be more powerful than what you require in order to get good efficiency, because the maximum efficiency point of its engine doesn't coincide with its maximum power. Most small generators aren't even designed to be used at their maximum rating continously. It's just meant as a headroom for power fluctuations and starting loads. If you're running yours near the rated power, you're doing it wrong.
5 / 5 (2) May 23, 2012
Lets ensure Quality thinking (QT) not ST or even BT ;-)

Let's ensure analytical thinking instead of your condescending drivel.

it's battery charging when at country stop for overnight rest/charge, this makes for a nice relaxed trip.

With a diesel generator running all night long? Besides, if you're not out in the middle of nowhere, why would you run your own generator instead of buying electricity from the grid?

Having to stop for eight hours for every 160 miles you drive is not exactly a leisure trip. It's just painfully slow.
5 / 5 (2) May 23, 2012
To disseminate this claim further:

90-95Km/Hr, I managed an average of 6KW

The claim translates to 63-66 Wh/km or 100-105 Wh/mi. Diesel fuel contains approximately 40 kWh/US-gal, and assuming 40% engine efficiency, that energy consumption would translate to 160 miles per gallon. The world record for the longest distance driven in an ordinary diesel sedan with a tank of fuel got 84.1 MPG.

I think Mike Massen just demonstrated a serious case of Bad Thinking.
1 / 5 (2) May 23, 2012
Eikka seems confused, first stated
You need at least 25 kVA to keep the car moving along the interstate though.
Then later stated
For 55 mph it makes 13.2 kW continuous and for 65mph it will need 18.4 kW.
Eikka seemed to have almost halved the figures in a very short space of time for 'moving along the interstate' at 55mph ie. ~88Km/Hr.

What possible thinking process allows Eikka to first claim it takes 25KVA then change this shortly thereafter to 13.2KW, how does Eikka reconcile these disparate claims ?

In my travels, not only was the vehicle prepared with a great deal of attention to factors affecting economy including driving style but, it was fitted with instrumentation. I can concede it might have been out by as much as 20% but still not as significant as Eikka 'thinks'.

More thinking seems to be necessary, especially in reference to Eikka (arbitrarily) switching his stance from 25KVA to 13.2KW...

The plot thickens :-)
5 / 5 (2) May 23, 2012
Eikka seems confused

No. You are confused, and deliberately spinning what Tesla claims, and what I say, and what the facts are.

13.2 kW is the amount of power the Model S requires at 55 mph according to Tesla. 18.3 kW is an extrapolation from that to 65 mph. Interstate speed limits go up to 80mph, but most people will see 65 or 70 mph. (at 70 mph, the extrapolated power would be roughly 21 kW)

25 kVA or kW whichever you want to use is a good intuitive estimate from experience for the size of a car engine you need to get along at 65 mph. I made that estimate before I had ran the numbers on the Model S, and it turns out it is roughly 30% more than what is absolutely needed, which is approximately the size of an engine you'd use for the purpose for efficiency reasons. Turns out the initial assumption was justified.

I never retracted the original claim.

I can concede it might have been out by as much as 20%

Your numbers aren't even from the same planet.
5 / 5 (2) May 23, 2012
The power requirement of a car on a level road with no wind can be approximated by the sum of the rolling friction and the air drag. For sufficiently high speeds this is dominated by the air drag. That's why, for highway/interstate speeds we may assume that the power required is proportional only to the velocity squared. This estimate will be less than the real figure.

Hence, if the speed goes from 55 mph to 65 mph, the relative speed is 65/55=1.1818 times faster and the power required is the same number squared or 1.396 times more.

We know the Model S goes 160 miles with 40 kWh at 55mph. Therefore we can calculate it uses up 40 kWh in 2.9 hours, which is 13.79 kW and from that we can extrapolate that it needs 19.25 kW to go 65 mph. It seems I had a rounding error earlier. No matter - the real figure may be one or two kW more.

To supply 19.25 kW, we need an engine that is bigger than that or we have to run it flat out and ruin it very quickly. How much bigger? At least 25 kW
5 / 5 (2) May 23, 2012
And what goes for Mike Massen's "instrumented" diesel car:


The world record attempt averaged 84.1 MPG at 60 mph. The energy of diesel is 37.85 kWh/gal (Wiki), so they were consuming diesel at a rate of 53 kW. Now, we can estimate the net output at the wheel at different vehicle efficiencies:

35% : 19 kW
30% : 16 kW
25% : 13 kW <-(this is typical efficiency for a gasoline car)
20% : 11 kW

Note that the engine power must be higher than above due to transmission losses.

Mike Massen here claims that he got around in a 3 liter diesel car at the same speeds with 6 kW of engine power, or 7.2 kW if we add the 20% "concession of error". If that is indeed true, why haven't you applied for the Guinness Book of World Records?
5 / 5 (2) May 23, 2012
Actually, I reviewed my basic physics, and got:
P = W/t
W = Fs
F = Cv^2 <-this is our drag equation
t = s/v
P = Fs/(s/v) = Fsv/s = Fv = Cv^3

Which means that Power is proportional to the third power of speed and not to the second power - but energy per distance is proportional to the square of v because W/s = (Pt)/s = Cv^2, which is approximately true once you have enough speed.

It still makes the same point though: Lowering the speed at which you test your electric car makes a dramatic difference in the range you can quote, so EV manufacturers always try to pick a test that has lower average speed.

For example, the Japanese 10-15 testing cycle initially used to market the car over-estimates the range for the Nissan Leaf up to 200% and now Tesla is assuming that people will take the Model S to a freeway and be happy driving 55 mph with the trucks.

It's a bit of a credibility issue for cars that are already too expensive for what they are claimed to do.
1 / 5 (1) May 23, 2012
As long as the thing does not crawl, I could care less about how fast it accelerates. At that rate, it is faster than virtually every car on the market, and what is the practical use of that - to get speeding tickets?

Nor do I care about the fact that this car has a built-in internet connection. I will live if I don't have an internet connection.

In my opinion, I don't think the focus should be on acceleration or on bling that adds nothing to the overall value of this car.

As I see it, the focus should be on efficiency and how far this thing can go before it needs recharging. The article does not even mention the range of this model. So is Musk going to sell this model by stating that the Roadster's range is 250 miles?

I think the point is being missed with cars like this. While this car may be marginally innovative, it is not revolutionary. Give it a 500 or 1000 mile range, then it becomes revolutionary, and not just a way to make a buck on a fad.
not rated yet May 28, 2012
Say what you like, in my opinion Tesla motors are the only one who really want to bring the public a powerful, long range electric car! The other car companies are just pretending to offer electric vehicles that arent half as good as Teslas. Why? Because there are some challenges, but basically electric vehicles have far fewer moving parts and can be made to last much longer than ICE vehicles. So car companies, who are hevily influenced by the oil companies, will make less money on electric cars that last forever. Sooo, here we are, the people that control everything continue to make money, and we all walk around thinking we have an option, but we really dont.

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