back to article Tesla's Elon Musk shows the world his D ... and it's a monster

Tesla Motors has revealed twin-engined, 691 HP, all-wheel-drive beast versions of its model S electric car. The new Model S 85D and 60D were launched at an evening event in Los Angeles on Thursday by CEO Elon Musk, who explained that the rumoured "D" stands for "dual" as the cars has two electric motors: one at the front and …

  1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    Tesla Motors has revealed its newest model: the 691 HP, all-wheel-drive, twin-engined Model D.

    Somehow to me engine always meant some sort of heat engine whether it be steam, Stirling, turbine, etc. The electric, pneumatic and hydraulic varieties of potential to kinetic energy conversion devices have always been motors. Twin engines I associate with boats and planes, twin motors can be in anything.

    1. DropBear Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Oh dear...

      I tried to imagine what a search engine might look like based on those assumptions and now I can't stop giggling (still trying to get rid of the mental image of a petrol-powered Big Dog sniffing around all over the place)...

  2. Kharkov
    Angel

    What? No KITT?

    Listen, if I can't paint it black and have it drive me to the shops, then I for one won't be buying it!

    More seriously, while autonomous driving is cool, the legislatosaurus will probably spend ten or more years wibbling about making it legal. As usual, the science is way, way, way ahead of the politics.

    Could we set a donations group to get politicians moving faster? Money always seems to get politicians moving faster... for some completely unknown reason of course.

    1. et tu, brute?
      Alert

      Re: Donations for politicians

      Could we set a donations group to get politicians moving faster? Money always seems to get politicians moving faster... for some completely unknown reason of course

      No, no and no again! They already get enough of my money with all the taxes I have to pay!

      Better option: Let's start an El-Reg party, and get some normal, intelligent, forward-thinking, incorruptible (I hope) people in power!

      1. chr0m4t1c

        Re: Donations for politicians

        >Better option: Let's start an El-Reg party, and get some normal, intelligent, forward-thinking, incorruptible (I hope) people in power!

        You're new here, aren't you?

    2. Crisp Silver badge

      Re: What? No KITT?

      And the red light going back and forth. How could you forget that bit?

      1. DropBear Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: What? No KITT?

        Those folks cheated. That car obviously had a built-in Cylon driver.

    3. Ben Rose
      Megaphone

      Re: What? No KITT?

      We can't even do driverless high speed trains yet, and they run on rails.

      1. MrXavia

        Re: What? No KITT?

        Oh they CAN do driverless trains, but the unions won't allow it...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What? No KITT?

          Vancouveer has been running driverless trains for over 25 years,, though I understand in other places the same system is used with train drivers or train captains onboard due to unions

    4. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Re: What? No KITT?

      Politicians moving faster - take them to Beachy Head and show them the easy way down.

    5. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: What? No KITT?

      As usual, the science is way, way, way ahead of the politics.

      Amazingly enough, this is not quite the case. For example, Washington, D.C. recently enacted legislation to account for self-driving vehicles.

    6. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: What? No KITT?

      > Could we set a donations group to get politicians moving faster?

      I thought those were called "lobbyists"?

  3. ocratato

    Only 2 motors

    Interesting that they went with two motors. It means they still have to mess about with differentials, whereas a four motor design can do all the power distribution electronically as well as use smaller motors which would be easier to cool.

    I am still not interested in an all electric vehicle - their max range is not much more than where the low fuel warning light comes on in a regular car.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Nigel 11

      Re: Only 2 motors

      Interesting that they went with two motors. It means they still have to mess about with differentials, whereas a four motor design can do all the power distribution electronically as well as use smaller motors which would be easier to cool.

      A safety issue? If something went wrong with the control of four independant motors the car would suffer an enormous turning torque and would become completely uncontrollable. In contrast if the distribution of power between front and rear motors went haywire, there's a decent chance the driver could deal with the problem (at least if he's not going round a corner at high speed when it happens).

      Similar to the way civilian aeroplanes waste fuel when cornering and generally can't turn sharp corners, because they are built to be highly stable and self-correcting onto straight-line flight. In contrast, military aircraft these days are designed completely unstable, and can't be flown without the avionics. That's because for military use, failure to dodge incoming fire is a much more likely failure mode, than avionics failure sending the plane tumbling out of control.

      On a racetrack we may get to see four independant electric motors in action. On the public roads, I doubt it.

      1. MrXavia

        Re: Only 2 motors

        Don't think that is the reason, volvo has all wheel drive in its ReCharge car, ford has one too using the same tech IIRC.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Only 2 motors

      > I am still not interested in an all electric vehicle - their max range is not much more than where the low fuel warning light comes on in a regular car.

      For Teslas, yes. Something which was unimaginable only a few years ago.

      With that said, how often do you do trips of over 500 km? Mind, I do cross Europe by car every two/three months (that's 1000 to 2000 km depending where I'm going) and the only thing I'm waiting for is for Teslas to get all the safety and comfort kit that I have in my current car. Even if I don't use it on cross-European trips, it can actually do all my other driving.

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Only 2 motors

      4 motors would still need driveshafts and CV joints and be much heavier than a lockable/limited slop differential

      The alternative (wheel motors) means too much unsprung weight, which is why those are currently only practical for low power use and HGVs.

    5. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Only 2 motors

      I might buy a Tesla as a lark if I was rich as Larry Ellison. I am not a car guy though.

      However, I *am* seriously considering a Zero SR-1 motorcycle. It's expensive as hell, but it's got good range, and is far more drivable than a stumbling, lurching, over-lean internal combustion engine hobbled by EPA regulations. I have to add Power Commanders to all my bikes to get around the crap fueling caused by the EPA.

      I test drove one (and a Brammo Empulse) and expected them to be complete shite, and they surprised me.

    6. Rick Brasche

      Re: Only 2 motors

      thing is, the standard Model S is already two motors, they sit end to end and power a common shaft that goes to the differential from there. It's how Saleen "tuned" the Model S and making more accelleration by dropping the single gear ration.

      So this new one, probably has 4 motors, replicating the rear drive unit and moving it forward. At the very least, three.

      http://hooniverse.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/tesla-drivetrain-small.jpg

    7. kraut

      Re: Only 2 motors

      <blockquote> am still not interested in an all electric vehicle - their max range is not much more than where the low fuel warning light comes on in a regular car.</blockquote>

      Your low fuel warning light comes on with 400 miles to go?

  4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Differentials yes. Gearbox no.

    Attempts to "Emulate a Maclaren F1."

    Probably including the price?

  5. tony2heads

    three modes: "normal, sport and insane".

    Hmm, maybe it's just me, but I am don't feel any need for an 'insane' level.

    Oh wait - it's for the USA market - my bad

    1. frank ly

      Re: three modes: "normal, sport and insane".

      Also, "... It is like having your own personal roller coaster ..."

      The thing about a roller coaster is that you're not in control of it and you do it for the thrills/terror. He seems to be talking in 'careless' mode.

      1. Dale 3

        Re: three modes: "normal, sport and insane".

        I didn't get the roller coaster thing at first, then realised Tesla headquarters is in Palo Alto, just south of San Fransisco. The hills out there are insane enough (think any 1980s movie with a cop car chase flying over the tops of hills) that roller coaster would be entirely apt.

    2. Steve Knox
      Happy

      Re: three modes: "normal, sport and insane".

      Hey, the more progress we make towards reaching ludicrous speed, the better, as far as I'm concerned.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: three modes: "normal, sport and insane".

      > I am don't feel any need for an 'insane' level.

      Neither did I until five minutes ago. >:-)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: three modes: "normal, sport and insane".

      they'll sell more to snobby European, Arabian energy barons and to their kids in Canadian schools.

  6. jake Silver badge

    Charging issues? Range?

    National Grid meltdown if everybody has one?

    These things clearly don't scale, and never will.

    1. GettinSadda

      Re: Charging issues? Range?

      Interestingly the guy responsible for managing the National Grid disagrees - I wonder who is right?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIxSaUXfbyM

      1. CCCP

        Re: Charging issues? Range?

        And Jake can't think beyond his nose, and never will.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Charging issues? Range?

        "I wonder who is right?"

        Oh, Jake is always right, even when he is wrong (which is most of the time)

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Charging issues? Range?

        if you believe the political appointees are never wrong, well....

    2. itzman

      Re: Charging issues? Range?

      Maths is clearly not your strong point then.

      Whilst road fuel does represent a large fraction of our energy consumption it is not the overwhelming majority of it.

      The electricity grid currently(sic!) transfers about 30% of our total energy usage through it, one way or another.

      A steady trebling in size implemented over the next 25 years is not far fetched. Not as far fetched as a light safe affordable 200KWh battery.

      1. nijam

        Re: Charging issues? Range?

        > A steady trebling in size implemented over the next 25 years is not far fetched.

        A trebling of generating capacity, though...

    3. Nigel 11

      Re: Charging issues? Range?

      You're assuming high (peak) power output equals inefficient non-peak use of energy.

      That was very true for old carburetted internal combustion engines. It's a lot less true with the new breed of one-liter 160BHp units with computerized fuel injection and high boost turbo/superchargers. And it's almost completely untrue for electric motors and control systems.

      Likewise, aggressive driving in a conventional car means wastefully dumping kinetic energy into heating up the brakes. Far less so with regenerative electrical braking. And in any case, responsible owners of high-power cars don't drive aggressively for more than a tiny fraction of the time. The efficiency penalty with a six-liter "muscle car" is mostly fuel wasted while cruising, with the engine running at a tiny fraction of its peak power output, using fuel very inefficiently.

      The bottom line? These days you *can* have your cake and eat (most of) it.

      1. kraut

        Re: Charging issues? Range?

        responsible owners of high-power cars don't drive aggressively for more than a tiny fraction of the time.

        I'm sure both the responsible owners of high powered cars do that.

        All the irresponsible twats I see on British roads every day don't....

    4. Montreal Sean

      Re: Charging issues? Range?

      This isn't a problem for everyone.

      Here in Quebec the head of Hydro-Quebec (our sole electricity provider) told us our grid could support a million electric cars, with no upgrades to the grid.

      That was almost a decade ago, and improvements have been made since both in EV tech and our grid.

      Maybe we're a special case though, we have plenty of renewable electricity from our hydro dams.

    5. David Pollard

      Re: Charging issues? Range?

      Petroleum products account for about 36% of UK energy consumption, which comes to something like 54 mtoe (million tons oil equivalent) per year. Electricity consumption at 27 mtoe/yr is about half this.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/337452/ecuk_chapter_1_overall_factsheet.pdf

      Off-peak and surplus capacity for electricity looks to be somewhat less than half of total capacity.

      http://gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

      So it looks as though at best the UK's presently available electricity generating capacity would provide for less than a quarter of our transport needs.

      Hinkley Point will not be enough.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Charging issues? Range?

        "Hinkley Point will not be enough."

        Hinkley Point shouldn't be built at all. That's not from being anti-nuclear, but because boiling/pressurised water reactors are a bomb waiting to go off, quite apart fro the inherent inefficiency of the low heat level generated. There _are_ safer ways of building nuclear power stations and the best part is that they don't require the station be right next to a large body of water.

      2. Weapon

        Re: Charging issues? Range?

        Are you measuring energy consumption by weight?

        I'll make it easy. About 300 billion miles are driven every year. A Tesla Model S goes about 3 miles per kwh. So about 100 billion kwh or 100 million mwh or 100,000 gwh or 100twh. Compared to almost 400twh of electricity production per year.

        So if we were to convert every vehicle to EV, it would be only a 1/4th increase in electricity use.

        And don't forget, gasoline takes a lot of electricity to refine even 1 gallon.

  7. John H Woods

    Cabriolet?

    Hurry and and make one! --- But probably a version of the S rather than the D :-)

  8. Psyx

    Nice. Good to see the technology really appealing to performance motorists on a serious level, now.

    I'd still love a Roadster, but that's because I view practicality as a downside! :)

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "I'd still love a Roadster, but that's because I view practicality as a downside! :)"

      Something that heavy, landing upside down. How strong is the windshield frame?

  9. Rob 44

    I dont get it.

    I don't get electric cars.

    If we all start driving electric, aren't we then placing more stress on power plants, therefore creating more pollution, which is kind of what the electric car is supposed to be reducing?

    Or did I miss something?

    1. Piro

      Re: I dont get it.

      Totally depends where you live. In Norway, where Model S is a top seller, most of the power is Hydro.

      So, maybe stop spouting the same old rubbish.

      Also, a 691 hp model S? Sign me up.

      1. Harry Kiri

        Re: I dont get it.

        Yes, there is displacement of pollution. Electric cars arent 'free'. Looking at the Tesla page (I presume thats 'spouting the same old rubbish', eh Piro?) and they recommend a 22kW charging link. Thats pretty much 88 Amps. Most domestic houses are rated at 100A input, so charging your Tesla stresses your input supply quite nicely. Or pay to get multi-phase supply in, if you can get it (not easy for a lot of people).

        Oh did you want a second electric car? Or a third one? Then you'll have to get up in the middle of the night to swap the plugs over.

        So whilst it would potentially reduce pollution by using up surplus nighttime electric power (but not from those solar panels folks!) we wouldnt be able to support mass changeover to electric.

        As for Norway - there aint that many people there - population 5million, density 15.5 per sq/km.

        Have you heard of somewhere called London? 8.5m, density 5300 per sq/km. There's another 56 million here too. You'll need grown-up power for this so yes there is an issue with pollution displacement and the need for beefed-up infrastructure.

        1. JBowler

          Re: I dont get it.

          Yes, but this is a US company and *in the US* the minimum modern day permitted residential electricity supply is 200A at 220V; notice that this is twice the Tesla required VA.

          As we say in these benighted lands, "Go figure."

          John Bowler

        2. Weapon

          Re: I dont get it.

          Tesla offers an 80A twin charger, that is the fastest in-home charger. But you are under no obligation to use it. Lets put it this way, the average commute in the UK is 16.7 miles.

          If you were to plug the car into a standard 240V @ 13A outlet. Your car would be topped off in less than 2 hours. So even if you have 3 cars you are only talking about using 39A at night. Aka no big deal.

          Even if you drain your car to 0, you can still get over 100 miles overnight on a standard outlet. A 240V @ 40A can charge you to full over night from 0.

          The twin charger is meant for people who need it, most don't really need it.

    2. Matthew 17

      Re: I dont get it.

      To an extent but you remove all the pollution from urban areas so the air quality would be significantly improved, also the ambient noise from traffic would be reduced also. There are a lot of gains to be had with electric cars. The downsides are the short range (reduced further when driving in Winter and you don't have an engine to heat the car, so reliant on AC all the time), long refuelling times and maintenance costs particularly for battery replacement.

      Still the technology is moving in the right direction and when it starts becoming a viable option for most people we'll see a lot more of them.

    3. itzman
      Unhappy

      Re: I dont get it.

      did I miss something?

      Most of it.

      First of all the generator to wheel efficiency is good - 80-90% .

      The power station thermal efficiency is better than the car engine, so burning gas in a CCGT etc will net you better overall fuel efficiency.

      You could instead burn uranium/thorium

      Sadly its all for nothing as no material or technology currently offers a battery that can come close to competing with 70 litres of diesel or petrol.

      What we need is a quantum level method of energy storage - like atomic nuclei - that releases photons into wires directly. And is reversible.

    4. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: I dont get it.

      Yes you missed the bit where the power generation and transmission network is generally more efficient and less polluting than the Petroleum generation and transmission one.

      Also there are all sorts of practical and cost effective power generation choices - there are far fewer for the generation of petrol and hydrocarbon fuel sources.

      But I suspect you knew that and were just trolling.

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I dont get it.

      Why would you create *more* pollution?

      At the very worst you would expect to create the same pollution but not directly in the streets and residential areas. However a power station is much more efficient so there will be less pollution.

      The real benefit comes with the upgrade though. Try to get 1/5th of cars to be more environmentally friendly using a new power source (new cars, closing of existing fuel station, new delivery network) and you are talking decades with major opposition.

      If a large amount of people are using electric cars with it's national power grid sent all over the country already (you can even build you own fuel station directly in your back garden) and any upgrade to a power station immediately upgrades every car to a less polluting power source.

      Build another few nuclear power stations and the day it is switched on and a coal fired one is turned off then you immediately have a massively less polluting (without getting into waste issues) power source. Crack the fusion power station problem or get in reliability in the delivery of renewables and every car also benefits (along with every house, factory etc).

      Electric cars give the option for changing the power source after the fact and getting them into peoples hands before building the new fuel stations.

      1. Harry Kiri

        Re: I dont get it.

        No-one said it would create more pollution. It displaces pollution. So the cities (generally) get cleaner but the areas around power generation facilities get more polluted. For the UK this could increase pollution on the continent.

        The whole-life cost (such as upgrading the power grid, new power generation facilities, lithium cell construction and renovation, rare earth metal extraction and processing) is a lot more complex than 'Ooo, electric cars that run on magic!'.

        I do like your comment 'Crack the fusion power station problem or get reliability in the delivery of renewables'. Renewables will never be reliable and if all we need to do is sort fusion then we're nearly there!!!

        Anyway, back to reality.

        PS For all the posters going Solar! Solar! Yeah, that works during the _day_ - most people charge their cars at _night_.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I dont get it.

          "I do like your comment 'Crack the fusion power station problem or get reliability in the delivery of renewables'. Renewables will never be reliable and if all we need to do is sort fusion then we're nearly there!!!"

          They are already building the first large scale fusion power station in the south of France so it's not exactly a pipe-dream, although they have run into some delays.

          As for renewables never being reliable - the tides are pretty reliable and predictable (look up a tide table and you'll see how predictable they are). However renewables can be reliable, if you have enough of them and can store the energy via, for instance, hydro storage. In the same way that you have capacitors to smooth current, ways can be found to allow renewables to be used large scales. There are a number of options and reprocessed nuclear plants is an attractive option.

          It seems very short sighted to just say other energy sources are impossible therefore electric cars won't take off as we could never provide the energy.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I dont get it.

            "They are already building the first large scale fusion power station in the south of France so it's not exactly a pipe-dream"

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

            "but there is no plan to begin full deuterium-tritium fusion until 2027—if the ITER team can solve the technical challenges involved"

            "The first commercial demonstration fusion power plant, named DEMO, is proposed to follow on from the ITER project.[9]"

        2. Nigel 11

          Re: I dont get it.

          Solar! Yeah, that works during the _day_ - most people charge their cars at _night_.

          Solution 1. Most folks cars are parked during the working day, between commutes. So equip all car parking facilities used by commuters with e-car charging facilities. Likewise all supermarket / shopping centre car parks. Folks will rapidly get out of the habit of charging at night once it becomes true and well-known that daytime charging is cheaper.

          Solution 2: store the solar power. That may actually end up using the same battery tech that e-cars are causing to be rapidly developed. But there are many other approaches. The simplest is delayed solar-thermal. Use the sun to melt a salt and store large amounts of the melt in insulated tanks during the day. At night run conventional steam turbines off the stored heat.

          1. Nigel 11

            Re: I dont get it.

            I'll just give another plug to a "forgotten" battery technology: NiFe

            On the minus side it has a low energy/weight ratio (worse than lead-acid). It also has a high self-discharge rate, so it's not useful for storing energy for more than a few days. Pretty useless even as a starter battery for a conventional auto.

            On the plus side this battery is made of Iron, Nickel, and Potassium Hydroxide. Things that you can go out and purchase by the megatonne, that aren't in any sense hard to obtain or in danger of running out of. The battery also has a longer service life, and a greater tolerance of abuse, than any other battery technology I've ever read about. They are virtually indestructible. I read about somebody finding one made in the 1930s that had been sitting in a scrapyard for decades, and putting it back into service.

            Ideal for storing solar energy, once solar becomes cheap and plentiful enough that there's an economic justification to store electricity by day and sell it (at a higher price) by night.

        3. Weapon

          Re: I dont get it.

          Wrong! Yes it displaces some pollution, but overall you would decrease pollution due to efficiency of the drivetrain. There is no need to do upgrades to the grid nor would you need to add power generation facilities, the current grid can handle it with minor changes.

          Lithium ion cell construction is not an issue, especially since Tesla plans to make them 100% using renewable energy. There is no rare earth used in batteries or motors of BEVs. Actually you would REDUCE rare earth use vs an ICE car.

    7. Nigel 11

      Re: I dont get it.

      Or did I miss something?

      Solar power. It's already at parity with fossil-fuelled generation in hot sunny parts of the world, such as California and Arizona. Soon, it'll be a no-brainer anywhere less cloudy and Northerly than the UK.

      These cars are rich men's toys today. As were internal-combustion automobiles in the first decades of the 20th Century. They'll be everyone's cars a few decades hence. Just as most of us drive automobiles with internal-combustion engines today.

      (You also missed wind power, wave power, and even nuclear fission power)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I dont get it.

        Each vehicle requires a 22kW charging link. An average solar panel measuring about 1.5 square metres and generates 120W on a very sunny day. That means you need 183 solar panels per car minimum. There are 35 million vehicles in the UK. So you need 6.4 billion solar panels to do them all which would cover an area of nearly 10000 square kilometers. (approximately of yorkshire).

        In reality, solar panels are not really a suitable power source for vehicles.

        One nuclear power station can produce upwards of 500MW, enough to charge over 22500 vehicles simultaneously. Even with nuclear we will need hundreds of power stations before we can replace every vehicle with an electric one.

        As it stands, we are on the brink of an energy shortage. Our existing power stations are scheduled for decommissioning and thanks to the eco policies of successive governments, there is nothing to replace them, so we will have to import electricity from Europe at huge cost.

        There is very little chance that we will have the infrastructure in place for widescale adoption of electric vehicles any time soon.

    8. MrXavia
      Mushroom

      Re: I dont get it.

      Nuclear, that is what you missing....

      We need new nuclear power stations, with reprocessing plants to make the most efficient use of the fuel, no dumping the 'waste' like the US does, if its radioactive enough to be dangerous its radioactive enough to be useful!

      1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
        Boffin

        reprocessing plants?

        http://transatomicpower.com/products.php

        A reprocessing plant like this one would be sensible- straight from high level waste to electricity.

        I seem to have lost my badge so can't post in HTML anymore :(

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I dont get it.

      > Or did I miss something?

      Yes, all 691 HP of it.

      And no engine noise. :)

      1. nijam

        Re: I dont get it.

        > And no engine noise. :)

        In my experience, the engine noise for most vehicles is not the issue; in normal driving road/tyre noise produces more sound pollution, except for occupants. There are electric buses on trial near where I live and they are no quieter than diesels, though the engines make a more whiny noise which is often more irritating in character.

    10. Elmer Phud

      Re: I dont get it.

      "Or did I miss something?"

      You could start by considering all the electricity used at a filling station - the brightly lit oasis of the motorway.

    11. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: I dont get it.

      "If we all start driving electric, aren't we then placing more stress on power plants, therefore creating more pollution, which is kind of what the electric car is supposed to be reducing?"

      You did miss something.

      The overall efficiency of the average internal combustion engine on the road today is more like 3-5% than the 35% theoretical maximum (which is only obtainable at wide open throttle, full load) of an internal combustion engine.

      The overall efficiency (fuel to wheels) of an electric car is about 20% and load/speed doesn't really enter into it.

      On top of that, it's much easier to filter a power station smokestack than a car exhaust (or use nontraditional sources) and any increase in generation efficiency is immediately reflected across the fleet instead of only phasing in as newer cars replace older ones.

    12. Javapapa

      Re: I dont get it.

      Some real world stats from 5 weeks of driving an all electric Nissan Leaf in Houston during September:

      Battery can hold 24 kilowatt/hours of potential energy. Motor peak output is 80 kW/hr (107 hp). Overall curb (kerb?) weight is 3,200 pounds.

      Houston Texas is mostly flat, most "hills" are the Interstate overpasses. Averaging 4.5 miles per kW./hr, at rate of $0.104 equates to about $0.024 per mile, gasoline would be between 5 to 7 times higher. Leasing for 3 years to mitigate risk of battery problems. My shortest round trip commute is 30 miles, I trickle charge overnight. Max range for me is around 95 miles, but I never intend to go below 20% on battery. Limited to Houston area, cannot drive the 180 miles to Austin, so wife's VW Tiguan is my range extender.

      I'm not a tree hugging environmentalist, I work with engineers who design systems to extract oil & gas from Gulf of Mexico. But I am very, very tired of multi hundred dollar repairs for failing O2 sensors, timing chains, fuel injector fouling, etc.

      Downside of electric cars is the low energy density of the battery. A US gallon of gasoline equates to 37 kW/hr and weighs 8 lbs. My battery weighs about 600 lbs. Do the math, lithium ion batteries have very low energy density. Everything will get better over time, but limit is an atom can give off only 1 or 2 electrons, whereas a molecule of fuel, combined with ambient O2 releases far more energy.

      Optimal where daily usage is less than half of max range. Not for everyone, and pretty expensive. But quiet, vibration free, and good low end torque. Every Leaf driver would love to be a Tesla driver.

      Apologies for my use of non-Imperial, non-metric units of measures, cousins.

  10. Number6

    Myth Busted

    No one seems to have picked up on the autonomous driving feature yet. Perhaps we are getting closer to the point where the guy can safely engage cruise control in his Winnebago and go into the back to make some coffee.

    1. John 62

      Re: Myth Busted

      The problem with going into the back of your winnebago to make coffee is that in the event of an accident*, you are no longer strapped to your seat (and there is hot liquid going everywhere, though that may be the least of your worries)

      * Granted, with autonomous vehicles, the accident rate may well plunge to negligible

  11. GrumpyWorld
    FAIL

    useless valet parking mode

    OK, so this car can get itself in and out of the garage; but, can it plug itself in or does it need to summon the butler to do that?

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