California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger - famed for his uncanny resemblance to an electric machine clad in an unrealistic fleshy cloak - has managed to ensure that noted electrical car company Tesla will base future manufacturing in areas under his rule. Tesla Motors, maker of the well-known but troubled $100k Roadster battery …
RE maxing out at a very ordinary 125 mph
so, still fast enough to turn yourself into a fleshy pancake if you hit a wall then?
Built in the UK, but not available?
Earlier this week I was looking into buying an electric vehicle. My daily commute is around 30 miles and my car usually sits on my driveway when I'm not at work, so there shouldn't be a problem charging it up.
Everyone is talking electric now, so where should I get one from?
Erm. I've heard of GWizz, so I take a look....inside M25 only !! As I live about 150 miles outside London, I can't take a test drive.
Ford had an electric Ka 8 YEARS AGO. Can't buy that.
So, will these Tesla cars be available TO BUY in the UK, or do we just export them?
Maybe for now...
"the tremendous user economy of electric cars - in the UK, currently equivalent to slashing your petrol bill by 90 per cent - is looking more and more impressive."
But you can bet that if the motoring masses switched over to electric vehicles (and let's face it, it's not really likely to happen, is it), then our dear beloved leaders would soon hike up the taxes all round, and no-one would be better off, nor would the environment (unless we can source cleaner electricity. <cough>nuclear! </cough>)
If the current model is the "White Star"
White Star is a jolly good vehicle in its class, but I would rather wait for the "Drala Fi" (Black Star), thank you. Something with more "poke" that can carry more stuff around.
Nothing personal, just business. Regardless of how consumer-middle-class-MPV driverish it may sound, I actually like to have a car where I can fit a few bags with some food from the supermarket, the "management" (AKA wife) and the unruly 6 year old. In an Elise you have to make a choice which one you are going to tie to the front bumper and neither one of them seem to like it.
By the way, Babylon 5 jokes aside, I have actually put in a 10mm^2 ring to the car port when refurbishing the house. Let's see when it will finally get to be used. Knowing the chancellor the 90% disparity between electric and petrol will not stay forever. He will find a way to exercise his daylight robbery rights.
Me coat. The one with the White Star printed on the back.
Neil, check out LiFeBatt's 330BHP equivalent all-electric MEV R2. It's fast, relatively cheap for an electric car (£17k IIRC), their test car had a range appropriate for you, great accelleration, probably a great ability to tow a trailer thanks to its electric-motor gifted low-down torque, shortish charging times, and batteries estimated to last for bloody ages.
I was busily enquiring about them at the Stoneleigh Kit Car show this year until I saw its range was limited to about 40 miles- perfect for around-town driving but not really suitable for longer range stuff or going down to see the family. Might get one in a year or two when the battery prices have fallen further or when eestor finally get round to releasing their ultracapacitors on us (the plan then being to get two, charge them up with cheap night-time electric and have one of them discharge into the other. ooh er missus!)
Electric cars on general rock, it's just their batteries that stop it. And they're pretty green- it's just making and disposing of them that's the problem. Oh, and charging them unless you use Nuclear.
There's a link from here to professional electric conversions, which is basically what the tesla is..
You might save on fuel, but you'll have to get the battery pack overhauled every couple of years, so don't expect any savings overall.
where's the "i'll be back" line?
he always get's one in somewhere....come on arn...
@ Neil - Another 'London Special'...
There's this one too
At least it's not a quadricycle POS like the GWizz. They also produce scooters and delivery vehicles, which sounds much more useful than a pram with wipers.
Still not enough range for you, but with choice comes competition so the development can only improve that situation.
Avoid the GWizz, it doesn't come up to crash safety standards and is only allowed on UK roads as they somehow managed to get it classifed differently to other cars. I think it might be in the same class as quad bikes!
A death trap is one way of lowering one's carbon footprint though I guess!
There is an all Electric Smart car on the way which looks like good fun for the commute, but I don't think it's going to hit the UK market this year.
This is all so Arnie can deflect the media attention away from the fact that he's been pictured driving a 13MPG 6.2l Dodge Charger around recently...
<not the same Neil as the one who wants an Electric Car>
Absolutely spot on.
If you found a way of running a car on bird-droppings, it would only be a very short time until Smiling Jock introduced a crap tax.
That would actually be quite fitting; it would go with his:-
crap political party
I could continue, but I might be accused of just going through the motions...
@ 'crap tax'
There's lots of those already my friend (IR35, Income Shifting, VAT on fuel duty, VED etc, etc, etc...)
Bring back the EV1
Or at least it's modern equivalent.
Electric cars were around before petrol, and will bearound after petrol, we're just in the difficult phase where manufacturers can't work out how they are going to keep stuffing us for service charges...
@dervheid; electric car taxation
They're already trying to put the tax onto car use itself rather than fuel, look up 'road pricing'...
If that's not the backup motoring mega-tax plan in case of electric cars I don't know what is.
Stuck in the middle of nowhere
This is the main problem with electric cars. It's bad enough running out of fuel and having to walk with a can to a station, what do you do with electric?
You would need a tow somewhere and then wait a few hours for it to charge.
Rumour has it that tesla have been secretely working on advanced AI and weapons manufacturing....
On another note a young lady named Sarah has been abducted by someone resembling the Governer.
I would really like to see an independent, non-biased report about these claims of "zero emissions" and the true total emissions for battery-powered cars versus fuel-powered cars. All of the pro-electric people seem to overlook the fact that the electricity needs to be generated somewhere, then distributed to the "refilling" location. Then there's the issue of battery life and having to replace the batteries, what the emission and environmental (toxicity, chemicals, etc) "costs" to produce the batteries, distribute them to the service stations, etc. I'd also like to see a report on the effects of weather and temperature on battery-powered cars (since most batteries don't hold a charge well in cold temperatures).
I'm not pro-electric or anti-electric, but if we're going to even think about basing our future on something, it would be nice to have all available information before we make a decision.
what to do
With these cars when they are no longer on the road. The batteries are hazmat , cant just be dumped any were.
To Chris : making the batteries for these cars are more toxic then making a standard car.. So the cost of pollution is simple shoved some were else. Like a coal burning power plant.
It's a mystery to me
where the "electric cars are the answer" folks think the electric is going to come from, especially here in power strapped California.
How much do one of them costs? With the rising cost of petrol I think I'd rather regress back to using horses.
available in UK
The car is on sale in the UK now for delivery beginning in May 2009 - you can get more info at www.teslamotors.com/eu. Regarding the transmission, the intermediate solution is only going to affect the first 38 cars built out of more than 1000 that are on order, so I don't think it will be of concern to anyone purchasing the car in Europe (or even the vast majority in the US)
Darryl (from Tesla)
Gee, Lewis, there you go again - trumpeting all the negatives of electric cars and ignoring the positives ... and you still miss the main point - efficiency.
Battery-electric vehicles are the most efficient and are improving year-by-year. With the latest technology, battery life is not dissimilar to the life of mechanical components in existing vehicles. And recharge times are improving, plus there's the promise of a couple of imminent technological developments (lab-demonstrated but not yet prototyped) to significantly improve that parameter. Given we already have efficient electricity trading markets and distribution infrastructure, and the ability to 'plug in' any renewable energy-generating source we like to the electricity grid, electric vehicles are an obvious solution. An electric-based transport energy sector provides not only zero emissions at the tailpipe, but also all of the incentives for renewable energy development and energy-generating source competition with no 'lock in' to any particular energy source type - i.e. the problems are decoupled.
But that's not the whole story. Let's look at the case without renewables. Even if the electricity grid is powered 100% from fossil fuel, the efficiency of industrial-scale power generation and delivery combined with the high-efficiency of the vehicle itself makes battery-electric vehicle effiiency far superior to petrol or diesel driven cars and even hybrids like the Prius.
I need to explain a term: Well-to-Wheel Efficiency - the distance driven per Megajoule of fossil-fuel energy taken out of the ground (e.g. at the oil well). This measure shows the efficiency of each type of car propulsion. It also gives a reasonable indication of CO2 emissions per km driven (notwithstanding that manufacturing and recycling/disposal components are not included, but they are significantly smaller than the driving component).
Here are summary figures for different car propulsion types: Well-to-Wheel Efficiency in km per MJ - I've also included potential future developments in *Hydrogen Fuel Cell and *'Frugal' Diesel Hybrid cars operating at maximum theoretical efficiency for comparison - real-world efficiency for those two would be lower:
Typical Petrol ICE - 0.28 km/MJ
CNG ICE - 0.32 km/MJ
CNG Fuel Cell - 0.35 km/MJ
Diesel ICE - 0.48 km/MJ
'Frugal' Petrol ICE - 0.52 km/MJ
Petrol Hybrid - 0.56 km/MJ
Diesel Hybrid - 0.62 km/MJ
Hydrogen Fuel Cell* - 0.85 km/MJ
'Frugal' Diesel Hybrid* - 0.96 km/MJ
Battery-Electric - 1.14 km/MJ
The battery-electric figures are from 2007. At the rate the technology is advancing you can expect that figure to improve significantly in coming years.
Keep in mind that any propulsion power source that releases CO2 at the tailpipe means more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere since those emissions cannot be sequestered or avoided by using alternative power generation. Even if a majority of electricity is generated from fossil-fuel sources, CO2 emissions are still lowest with battery-electric vehicles. But, the point never to lose sight of is that battery-electric vehicles permit a broad mix of alternative energy-generating sources to be used at industrial scales of efficiency.
The "electric cars are the answer" crowd
probably harbour some fantasy about covering their house roofs with solar panels and plugging the car into those. Then when they figure out it requires about two full days of clear sunlight to charge it up, they'll throw the load back onto the grid, all the while still demanding windmills and solar farms (as long as these aren't in their own backyards, or in any area inhabited by any species less common than the sparrow) to make up the difference!
The dead bird because that's what all the sparrows will look like after their nesting sites have been covered with windmills and solar farms...
Forget cars you pansies
Go get yourself one of these http://www.vectrix.co.uk
I've ordered one up for my 25-mile each way commute after taking one out for a couple of days on a trial. Okay, its not the Tesla, but it is a ZEV at the point of use, charges to 80% in two hours (100% in 3) and is likely to be exempt from everything seeing as its petrol burning relatives generally are too. Its great to see the Road Tax disk with £0.00 printed on it.
Expect to see more electric PTWs with much greater ranges and speeds arrive within the next 24 months. But not from the traditional manufacturers, yet. They haven't quite seen the light.
Go icon chosen for very obvious reasons. Gotta go, there's a tree needs hugging.
There seems to be a lot of it about here.
As a previous poster showed, I suggest people go and read up on "well-to-wheel" efficiency, cradle-to-grave manufacturing costs, and all the other relevant bits a pieces before jumping on the anti-electric bandwagon.
AFAIK battery packs are not going to have to be replaced every 2 years - but will last much longer. I think Tesla belive they will last for the average lifetime of the car without too much loss of capacity, although they may need replacing once. There is a pickup in the US that seems to be advertising 80% charge in 10 minutes (with the right equipment, not out of your 13A socket). Ultracapacitor and chemical battery tech can only improve - it is such an under-researched area up until the last few years.
Also, factor in the reduction of complexity and servicing requirements vs. ICE.
I too would like to see a "total environmental cost" for electric cars. One thing, while a battery may need handling for disposal, at least this could be done in a special factory which takes care of the correct treatment for noxious wastes - not like with exhaust fumes which just blast up into the atmosphere.
The Met Police are supposedly trialling the Smart EVs...
Say what you like about Arnie...
...but from what I've heard, Cali is a very happy state. It's privicy laws certainly leave the other states in the dust, and it's doctors hand out lethal skunk like it's Paracetamol.
When you run a car up to 35 MPH or so, you have not used up the energy in your fuel, you have converted it into the forward motion.
Its not till you step on the brakes that this energy gets converted into waste heat.
Thats the big deal with electric vehicles, recovery of the energy as we slow down and stop.
Hooray for the governator! California may be full of crazies, but they are at least well intentioned warm and fuzzy crazies.
Paris because I'm the Disco Legend.
Erm, electric cars...
How about the ones in the Super Mario Bros movie from the dinosaur's underworld? Every time I hear "electric cars", I think of those double-trolley-poled things.
Flame? Well, mention of the dreadful SMB movie is flameworthy.
Is anyone proposing a network of "Battery Stations" a la regular gas stations? You pull up when your battery is empty and zip-zap they pull the empty battery out and pop in a fully charged one! None of the gibberish about battery recharge times, etc. You could go a loooong way with existing technology...
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