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Is Tesla A Game Changer?

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  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,936
    500 mile range won't work either until you get the two minute battery swap working. Then you'll have something.
  • Would you really buy a gasoline powered car where you had to swap the engine every 500 miles? Really?

    Whose batteries am I getting in return for mine? What if they don't work correctly? Who tows me home? What if there is a long battery-swap line? What if I'm not near to a swap station?

    Can I do this at home? How much do a set of backup batteries cost me?

    You know what would be great? A charging platform that you drive onto!

    Or a third rail type device built into a guard rail on the freeway?
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,936
    Well, I have to pull into a service station now and hope someone isn't smoking while I cram an explosive fluid into my car.

    Go check out a big warehouse sometime and look at the forklifts. Chances are they have a parking station for the lifts, and they drive them in when the low charge light goes on, push a couple of buttons and get a fresh battery automagically installed and go back to moving pallets.

    Who cares if you get a battery in the last year of its useful life? You'll be swapping it out in another 500 miles anyway.
  • Exactly my point...what are you gaining over a gasoline car by driving a Tesla?
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,936
    Same reason I mow my yard with an electric mower. No fumes (where I'm using the equipment), no mess on my hands, and it's quiet and efficient, and there's less maintenance. And I use fewer "gallons" per mile.
  • Bah! Not provable claims!

    Okay, it is quiet, I'll give you that one. :)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,902
    edited August 2013
    If your car emits fumes and you're spilling gas on your hands when refueling, you have more problems than an electric car can solve : P

    It is quiet and efficient (once you install the infrastructure), but the loaded sport model is also touching 7er/S-class/A8/LS territory, not exactly attainable by most.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,059
    edited August 2013
    No more range anxiety as this video demonstrates. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_XEv2f_Uhw

    NINETY SECONDS to swap a battery, that is truly remarkable. That innovation should silence the critics and transform the BEV from fringe to mainstream transportation. The next critical steps are to bring down the cost of the battery and to expand replacement/charging stations to reach critical mass.

    I just watched a video elsewhere that pegs the cost of a battery swap at $60 - $85. However, it will cost about $500,000 to build and equip a station with the requisite robots. Expensive yes, but that is a price some will be willing to pay for time and convenience.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,118
    edited August 2013
    "Expensive yes, but that is a price some will be willing to pay for time and convenience."

    Even assuming this is true, EVs will still have to compete on utility and price with continuously improving ICE and hybrid vehicles. Each propulsion system has pluses and minuses, as well as supporters and detractors.

    I believe that it's far to early to predict which system will ultimately prevail because the outcome will depend largely on technological, production and application breakthroughs, plus environmental issues. Who can predict breakthroughs?

    Chances are that each of the current systems, plus fuel cells and things we haven't even thought of, will have a niche in the transportation systems of the future.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,936
    People don't like change and the gas station infrastructure is well entrenched. But the fix is trivial - it's just the expense to switch that isn't.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,637
    edited August 2013
    "That innovation should silence the critics "

    It doesn't silence anyone if you think about it. This is all "future-geek". A current (no pun intended) Tesla owner can't find a battery swapping station right now.

    Furthermore he pays for the battery swap, and then pays again when he has to return the battery to the station he got it from. If he chooses to keep the new battery, he pays a differential on the age of the battery he swapped.

    Don't use a chain saw to cut a butter. This battery swapping, to me, is an extremely clunky solution to a real problem.

    Reminds me of what TUCKER did--they did demos on 30 minute engine swaps.

    Supercharging stations make more sense.

    And "supercharging" is not "free" as the video says. You need to install the supercharging option when you buy the car, for I think some $2000 bucks extra.

    What is really going on here is that the swap stations are a profit generator for the company, essentially a hidden service fee on your car.

    Once again, you aren't saving a dime by driving a Tesla.

    I think this is all great and I hope the company succeeds, but this hype about it replacing the gasoline car, or being more "efficient" than one, is simply hyperbole.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,936
    Musk is going to be shuttling us all around on pneumatic tubes soon enough anyway.
  • NOW you're talking!! Tube-travel strikes me as far more rational than busing people to an airport, putting them in a large, fuel-filled cylinder, lighting the fuse and hurtling the cylinder through space.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    A Tesla has fairly good range right now, considering their intended target audience and purpose. I really don't think that too many purchasers buy a Tesla with the intent to tour with it.

    That said, it does make sense for Tesla's attempt to keep a flow of positive type news about the car and downplay that it's entirely reliant on batteries and/or a recharge, and to not be perceived as a deal-breaker for those who are tempted by the car but may talk themselves out of it because of the complications incurred if they wanted to tour. Tesla is simply wanting to keep stock prices increasing progressively and one way to do that is to attempt to stifle any negative perceptions of its 2nd greatest weakness. No harm in trying to nip things in the bud by throwing the extended-range-by-progressive-infrastructure card out there.
  • right you are! There's no percentage in marketing the Tesla for what it really is right now---a 2nd car for occasional use....drive to the tennis club, dress up and go out for a local dinner, and most definitely impress your friends.

    One downside of marketing a very high tech product for its status appeal is that "there is no tech as old as old tech", and so in a few years when the Tesla (should it still exist) is improved further, your old Tesla S model might be a bit of crate on the used car market.

    I think Tesla biggest problem is going to be plug-in hybrids. You can buy a Ford right now with a combined range of 620 miles on one "fill-up" for 1/2 the price of a Tesla, and while it's not a luxury car, it's not some cheap piece of work either. It has lots of oohs and aahs on the dashboard, too.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,059
    edited August 2013
    I think Tesla biggest problem is going to be plug-in hybrids. You can buy a Ford right now with a combined range of 620 miles on one "fill-up"

    I think it is the other way around. The biggest problem with hybrids is Tesla. The whole idea behind electrics is to wean ourselves of synthetic oil, especially imported oil from the Middle East and the Americas.

    There is a finite source of dino oil and with China and India becoming such voracious users of petrol it won't be long before we are brought to our knees with another oil shortage problem. In terms of range, 300 miles is plenty for everyday work commute. And even for the occasional long trip, it is only 200 miles from Boston to New York. Anything farther to Washington D.C. for example would require a free 20-minute charge or a NINETY second battery swap.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,637
    edited August 2013
    Powerplants still need fuels to generate electricity--if not oil, then natural gas, and Russia and Iran are sitting on the largest reserves of that.

    There's no "oil shortage" in America. Fuel oils are our largest export at the moment.

    If the point of Tesla is to conserve fuel, then it is answering a question that nobody is currently asking.

    Now, if you mean lowering emissions and noise in URBAN areas, that is very well addressed by EVs--which suggests to me that the best use of EVs is urban, short-distance use.

    I think the idea of developing EVs for long distance use of no discernible advantage.

    PS: Tesla re-charges are not "free"---you have to equip the car at purchase for "supercharging", so you can add $2000 immediately to your annual fuel costs.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,159
    edited August 2013
    Less reliance on the Middle East and the wars that are the product of Oil...

    Something about never having to visit a gas station again is intriguing. Call me a Geek, but I love ingenuity the futuristic stuff like that. Heck, the Nissan Leaf has caught my attention as just a cheap little back and forth commuter for me over the past year or so, same with my wife. 70 miles on a charge is plenty and my company is contemplating adding a "Juice Bar" to the front parking lot to encourage green motoring. Clears up some of the "range anxiety" for a few of us.

    The Tesla just happens to come in a sexy wrapper...
  • Well in that respect we have a lot in common. I'd love an affordable electric car for much of my business---I just don't want to pay $80,000 to look sexy.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,059
    70 miles on a charge is plenty and my company is contemplating adding a "Juice Bar" to the front parking lot to encourage green motoring. Clears up some of the "range anxiety" for a few of us.

    Could Outmoded Phone Booths Become E.V. Charging Stations?
    Well the NY Times has looked into the possibility.
    "New York City is full of dormant, albeit still electrified phone booths. Some say the unused infrastructure could be repurposed for electric vehicle charging."
    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/14/could-outmoded-phone-booths-become-e-- v-charging-stations/?ref=automobiles
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