back to article Robo-supercar hype biz Faraday Future has invented something – a new word for 'disrupt'

While the crowds at CES in Las Vegas are all agog at the Faraday Future FF91 supercar, you can stop saving your pennies. Half Life 3 will be released before these allegedly self-driving vehicles roll out in volume. Faraday Future, based in Gardena, California, claims the FF91 is the fastest accelerating car in the world, with …

  1. Herby Silver badge

    Will it.....

    Disrupt what my current vehicle does: Go over 350 miles on a single tank of gas (petrol). I can drive nonstop for over 5 hours (at speed!) in my big ugly SUV, going from the Pasadena, CA area to the San Francisco bay area (look on a map, ZIP code 91017 to 94040) with a single tank of fuel.

    No current electric vehicle even comes close. So, don't bother to DISRUPT me as I don't really care. If you want to disrupt, feel free to build another lane each way on I-5 from Bakersfield to Stockton, and I might listen.

    Yawn. More hype and hot air!

    1. Sway

      Re: Will it.....

      Technically planes are a form of vehicle, last year an electric plane circumnavigated the world, try that in your yank tank.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Will it.....

        Given that journey took almost 18 months, I think it would be pretty easy to do something similar in a car. A few mods to help with the ocean crossings and you're all set.

      2. Kernel Silver badge

        Re: Will it.....

        "Technically planes are a form of vehicle, last year an electric plane circumnavigated the world, try that in your yank tank."

        Not really a valid comparison is it?

        Since we're talking about ground vehicles, let's consider which of an electric car or standard SUV might be best for that same trip - personally I'd be choosing the SUV (or even better, a proper 4WD) - ideally one with a turbo-charged engine for those higher parts of the trip and diesel for better availability of fuel.

        Current electric vehicles seem to be a fairly practical solution for commuter trips, but once you get beyond the range of a single battery charge the time to recharge becomes an important part of the viability equation - will your customers be happy to be billed for having your staff sitting around, even for an hour, waiting for a battery to recharge, or will they prefer you to use quick-fill dead dinosaur type fuels?

        A practical non-commuter EV needs to have the battery capacity to see it through a full working (or family travel) day so that recharging can take place during non-billable or resting hours.

        'Yes dear, I know the kids are tired and sun-burnt and want to be in bed, and yes, I know that you're tired too and that everything's full of sand from our day at the beach, but it's ok, we should get our turn at the charging station in about 6 hours and a couple of hours after that we should just about have enough juice in the battery be able to make it home, so long as I don't exceed 40km/h.'

        Sorry, but much as I like the idea of an electric vehicle that's not a conversation I want to have anytime soon - and owning two vehicles to do the work of one is not a concept that's going to fly with me either.

    2. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: Will it.....

      Disrupt what my current vehicle does: Go over 350 miles on a single tank of gas (petrol). I can drive nonstop for over 5 hours (at speed!) in my big ugly SUV, going from the Pasadena, CA area to the San Francisco bay area (look on a map, ZIP code 91017 to 94040) with a single tank of fuel.

      While those are good points, there are several electric vehicles on the market today that come close on each of those - or at least, "close enough".

      Many people won't care if the range is "only" 200 miles rather than 350.

      They won't care if they can't drive at 70mph for 5 hours non-stop - 3 hours (or less) would be "good enough", and anyway, how often on today's congested roads do you get the chance to drive at full chat for long periods?

      The kicker that you omitted: refuel / recharge time. Your SUV can do all of the above, and then when its fuel tank is empty, it's maybe 5-10 minutes at most to fully refuel it. At any one of tens of thousands of gas stations nationwide.

      In contrast, the most advanced EV charging system that I'm aware of right now is Tesla's Supercharger network. They take approx. 75 minutes to deliver a full charge; even an 80% "usable" charge takes 40 minutes. And there's only about 750 Supercharger locations world-wide. (h/t Wikipedia)

      I suggest that every other aspect of EVs - range, appearance, cost, performance - is now a solved problem, or at least (that phrase again...) "close enough" for mass appeal. It's the speed of charging that is the issue now. There's some pretty fundamental physics problems that limit how quickly you can dump energy into a chemical power cell.

      On the positive side, before everyone thinks I'm anti-EV... speed of recharging is only a concern if you're doing long-distance road trips. For Joe Average who commutes 50-100 miles a day, it's not a problem; plug in overnight.

      While writing this I found myself taking a step back and realizing how far we've come in just a handful of years - it really wasn't long ago that electric cars were a laughing stock... "milk floats", "golf buggies", and so on. And now we're arguing about recharge time. Progress!

      1. theModge

        Plug in overnight.

        For Joe Average who commutes 50-100 miles a day, it's not a problem; plug in overnight.

        I wish! Many people in English cities, my self included have only onstreet parking, unless I get home early, no where near my house. I foresee difficulty charging overnight. My employer (a university) provides 2 charging spaces for a campus with 30,000 souls - the competition for them is a bit of a problem already and most employers are not even that generous. I'm not anti EV (far from it) but there are outstanding problems. Beyond that I regularly do trips (not easily possible by rail) at the out end of an EVs range and a 75 minute stop in the middle whilst possible with proper planning would be no upgrade.

      2. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

        Re: Will it.....

        While writing this I found myself taking a step back and realizing how far we've come in just a handful of years - it really wasn't long ago that electric cars were a laughing stock... "milk floats", "golf buggies", and so on. And now we're arguing about recharge time. Progress!

        It's mind boggling, isn't it. I'm amazed at how far they've come on.

        Let's think about this, though. How often does the "average" person do a 300+ mile trip? I would expect 2-3 times a year, tops. Given that, with the savings on fuel, it would probably work out close to cost effective to hire a car for those times you need the range*. In fact, it's something I've wondered about for car manufacturers: Nissan, for instance, could probably afford to include free or discounted car hire to Leaf owners for their long trips.

        * Assuming a commuter doing 30mi/day (about 8000mi/yr), and comparing to 50mpg in a fossil fuel powered car, you'd save around £650/yr in fuel costs. This could get you about 3 weeks car hire of a decent sized car. For someone doing a single long distance 2-week trip, plus a couple of 2-3 day hires, you'd be at around break even. If you did more "normal" miles a year the saving, hence the amount of time you could hire a car, increases.

      3. Tom_

        Re: Will it.....

        Couldn't they speed up charging by having two connectors - one to charge half the batteries and one to charge the other half? Is there any reason they couldn't halve charging time by doing that?

      4. Potemkine Silver badge

        Re: Will it.....

        One of the biggest problem with EV is that eletrical grids will collapse if everyone swaps to electrical cars. Also, there's no point to switch to EV if electricity is produced from oil or coal.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Will it.....

          No, electrical grids will not collapse. For example, my Volt charges at 3.3kW. That's less than our cooker. Plenty of spare night-time capacity.

          USA, 2015:

          https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=427&t=3

          Coal 33%

          Petroleum 1%

          USA, 2016 Jan-Oct (data not in for Nov or Dec):

          Coal 30.10%

          Petroleum 0.58%.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Will it.....

            "No, electrical grids will not collapse. For example, my Volt charges at 3.3kW. That's less than our cooker. Plenty of spare night-time capacity."

            There's only plenty of spare night time capacity at the moment because very few people use electricity at those times. If EV vehicles become commonplace, night time usage would ramp up considerably, and the spare capacity would cease to exist. This would probably be a good thing for the companies that do power generation, though it might see the end of cheap overnight tariffs.

            However, night time trickle charging is emphatically not what most of us are talking about. We're talking about being able to turn an electric car around quickly, and that means special installations which allow much higher power transfer than current domestic connections will usually handle, and the ability to use them as and when they are needed (i.e. any time of the day). Put a fast charge socket and a matching EV vehicle on every driveway and the electrical grids really would collapse. The current grid will only support fast charging EV vehicles for the lucky few.

            However, bonus points for picking a plug in hybrid rather than a pure electric. You've clearly got a clue about having backup plans, unlike most of humanity.

      5. Bob Wheeler

        Re: Will it.....

        @ David 132

        Your spot on in all your points, it is only the "refuel/recharge time" that is last element to be resolved, and that is only an issue for long distance journeys.

        Most days I only average about 30 miles distance, so recharging over night is no issue. However I love long driving touring holidays, the last one was just over 4,000 miles in 6 six weeks around Europe. But is exceptional for many people, and I could always hire a car for such trips.

        At the moment, the other biggest factor is the cost for the cars. In time this will come down when production volumes go up

        1. Ogi

          Re: Will it.....

          > Your spot on in all your points, it is only the "refuel/recharge time" that is last element to be resolved, and that is only an issue for long distance journeys.

          There is at least one other element. Battery wear. An IC cars fuel tank will hold 60 litres, whether it is brand new, or 30 years old. With proper maintenance, an IC engine will provide more or less the same power output throughout its life. Meaning that a cars range is pretty fixed. If it can do 500 miles today, chances are in 10 years it can do 450-500 miles still.

          An electric cars range is reported when new, however the battery packs wear out with every charge cycle. How long will a battery last before you can't do more than 30 miles on a charge? How much would it cost to replace the pack? Would it be more than the car is worth after 10 years?

          The battery technology is the same as used in my phone. When it was new, it would last about 3 days on a charge. After a year and a half, it only lasts about 4-5 hours. This is a fully managed battery, with all kinds of energy saving and smart charging firmware.

          If an electric car is similar in battery wear, then after 3-5 years the car becomes pretty useless unless a brand new battery pack is installed. Batteries are pretty expensive (I seem to remember somewhere that the Tesla battery is around £16,000 after government discounts and other green subsidies), so the car may well drop in value like a brick after buying new.

          The energy cost in mining, refining, and building the lithium, then collecting it, reprocessing/recycling it will probably end up using more energy and causing more pollution than just sticking to some sort of chemical fuel (doesn't have to be fossil based).

          Alternatively you just start treating cars as a consumable item than a long term investment, but scrapping and building new cars ever few years in a refresh cycle sounds like it would consume even more energy (and generate more pollution) than just doing it once and keeping the car for longer periods.

          Another issue is that batteries don't do well with hot-cold cycles. Batteries self discharge faster in cold weather, so you will find your range is reduced based on the outside temperature. Also running heating will reduce your range, or running air-con. in an IC car heating will not reduce your range (it is essentially "free") and while aircon will reduce your range, it doesn't do it by much. An IC car will also not self discharge when unused.

      6. hellsatan

        Re: Will it.....

        The speed of charging issue has a potentially simple fix.

        If all electric cars are produced with a 'standard' battery of equal size/shape, and internally mounted in a quick release mechanism then it will be possible to refit petrol (gas) stations with underground charging racks packed with pre-charged batteries that will take a matter of seconds to swap out.

        Futhermore since batteries are the most expensive part of an electric vehicle (for now), recharging and rental of battery units could be supplied as a service through petrol filling stations.

        Just a thought ofc

        1. Kernel Silver badge

          Re: Will it.....

          "If all electric cars are produced with a 'standard' battery of equal size/shape, and internally mounted in a quick release mechanism then it will be possible to refit petrol (gas) stations with underground charging racks packed with pre-charged batteries that will take a matter of seconds to swap out."

          A great idea in concept and one that I suspect has occurred to many of us before - but, if you've ever owned a cordless electric drill the two problems with this become immediately obvious:

          i) Every manufacturer needs to use identical battery packs - yes, this can be forced by legislation, once some large and cumbersome committee has held enough international conferences in luxurious locations, but it does still depend on too many companies/countries being in total agreement.

          "What did you do during the Battery Wars, Grandad?"

          ii) The real biggy - next year's model has to accept the same battery as last year's model and the year before that, etc, etc., - as soon as a new, improved, battery pack comes along the charging/swapout infrastructure has to be replicated for the new design and the older infrastructure retained for the life of the vehicles that use it. Planned obsolesence is annoying enough in a cordless drill, do we really want it in a car?

          "Yes dear, I know I promised that this new car with swap out battery pack would solve the problem, but the man says they've run out of the JA3527/K packs at the moment - all they've got left are JA3527/Ls - it fits in the hole but the terminals are slightly wider and 60mm to the left, so we can't use it. They're going to put our old battery on charge as soon as they get a chance, and a couple of hours after that ......"

    3. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Will it.....

      350 Miles on a tank of petrol in an SUV?

      Well this will disrupt you: I can do 550 miles on a tank of petrol in my Peugeot 107. Plus I can park it easily in town, because it's small and dinky and drives like a go-kart.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Will it.....

        Indeed.

        Most petrol and diesel cars will do 500-600 miles on a single 50-60 litre tank (at low altitude, mountains are different). Even people carriers.

        Driven carefully, 700 miles is doable for many diesels.

        Rather shows up the SUV class, but not really surprising when they have the aerodynamics of a brick.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Will it.....

          Rather shows up the SUV class, but not really surprising when they have the aerodynamics of a brick.

          A decent SUV designed for the European market will get 500-600 miles out of a tank, and the difference in economy between the better performing cars of different classes is surprisingly small, particularly in real world conditions. I used to get a 550 per tank out of my old Nissan X Trail (although the reasonable economy was more than offset by Nissan's total rip-off spare parts pricing).

          If he's only getting 350, I suspect the OP is driving a US market monster with a petrol engine that has far more cylinders than are required, and undoubtedly an old style sludgematic transmission.

          1. boltar

            Re: Will it.....

            "If he's only getting 350, I suspect the OP is driving a US market monster with a petrol engine that has far more cylinders than are required, and undoubtedly an old style sludgematic transmission."

            Those sorts of SUVs and pickups it seems to me are marketed at insecure men who are living a macho fantasy wanting to pretend they're truckers driving a 40 tonner but can't be bothered (or don't have the ability) to actually pass the test for a truck license. As someone who does have a fully fledged EU HGV license (C+E) I can state that driving a large truck is fun for the first 10 minutes then quickly becomes boring. Give me a normal car any day.

          2. smartypants

            Not all tanks are the same...

            An SUV might match the little Pug for range, but it'll probably chew through up to twice as much money/fuel in the process. If you care about sea level rise (and I do, sad little me) then it also adds to that problem much more quickly too. Not just in the fuel burned, but in the overall energy expended in the production of a Much-Larger-Than-Needed car... from mine to showroom floor.

            On the plus side, the SUV is the car maker's gift that won't stop giving. In the old days, the only way to get people to spend an extra 20-30% on a car was to give it a performance engine - which had limited appeal. In 2017, there's an SUV for everyone in every market segment at any stage in life*.

            (Except hearses? Haven't seen one yet. Can't be long...)

        2. anothercynic Silver badge

          Re: Will it.....

          Case in point, @Richard 12:

          Car: VW Passat BlueMotion 2.0L Diesel

          Route: Oxford - Galashiels - Duns - Galashiels - Duns - Warwick Services (M42) = 731mi.

          I could've chanced the extra 36 miles to Oxford, but I decided not to (given how Diesels don't like running out of fuel). The trip bar the Galashiels - Duns segments was driven primarily on cruise control (and not at Sunday-drive toddle speeds either).

          I couldn't believe my eyes when I still had 38-odd miles in the tank by the time I hit the services... :-)

    4. boltar

      Re: Will it.....

      "Go over 350 miles on a single tank of gas (petrol). I can drive nonstop for over 5 hours (at speed!) in my big ugly SUV"

      If you drove something a bit smaller that doesn't make people wonder if you're trying to compensate for having a small penis you might be surprised to find that 350 miles on a tank is pretty below par for most cars these days.

    5. Potemkine Silver badge

      Re: Will it.....

      : Go over 350 miles on a single tank of gas

      563 km with a the content of a gas tank? That seems really inefficient to me, unless your tank capacity is below 40 liters....

      1. Patched Out

        Re: Will it.....

        I would agree with that statement. My Subaru Outback easily does 500 miles on 18 U.S. gallons (fuel tank capacity), averaging 31 MPG (U.S.) when traveling 75 MPH. Commuting on back roads and city streets, it averages at about 28 MPH.

    6. handle

      Re: Will it.....

      This is the disrupt that your current vehicle does.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Look at the GM EV1

      General Motors did a lot of work on the EV1 back in the ‘90’s, leaving aside all the politics and controversy, they started by researching the average US commute. As a result they based the car on having a 70 to 100 mile range, as that covered (I think from memory) about 80% of commutes. Yes there will be exceptions but many of us would be fine with that range as a day to day car.

      Unfortunately until the charging process for electric cars is as fast and convenient as the “charging” process for our petrol / diesel cars the range argument will keep popping up. Nissan have a nice solution, buy a Leaf and for the first three years you get up to 14 days free loan of conventionally fuelled car for the times you need to make long trips.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will it.....

      Not impressed. My car has a lean burn diesel engine that can comfortably get over 700 miles from a single tank at motorway speeds, and it's not even that big a tank (50L, IIRC). Just don't ask about the NOx emissions...

      I'd agree that most aspects of an electric car are a solved problem, though the range on even the best ones is still a little iffy for my taste. Recharge time, and the infrastructure needed to support it, are the really big problems.

      There's not much that can be done about recharge time of chemical cells other than having replaceable battery modules that you rent and swap out when you need a quick recharge - though of course that solution brings major logistics problems with it.

      The back end infrastructure to feed an all electric consumer transport future is nothing more than a pipe dream at present. Neither the grids nor the power generation capacity are ready for it in any country, and it takes quite a while to roll out additional generating capacity (as the UK gov is becoming increasingly aware of), let alone upgrading the grid all the way down to individual homes. However, in the (very) long term I am cautiously optimistic that this will eventually happen.

      In the meantime I'd suggest plug in hybrids to be the optimal solution. The engineer in me baulks at the idea of complex transmission systems that allow power from a conventional engine to be merged with the electrics, but they do at least allow for the fallback option of running on fossil fuels when recharge time/range requirements force the issue. I feel far more attracted to the idea of a backup generator that kicks in to trickle charge the main battery of an EV car when it runs below a certain point, but is otherwise completely disconnected from the powertrain - not sure if that's commercially available at the moment though? In any case, I'd bet that anyone coming up with a more efficient small format generator for turning liquid fuel to electricity (whether it's a methane power cell or small combustion plant) should be able to make some money out of it.

      Coat please - it's the one with the stirling engine in the pocket.

  2. ecofeco Silver badge

    The perfect word already exists

    Vaporware.

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: The perfect word already exists

      Actually, I think that a better word in the context of electric vehicles would be "degauss".

      "We're going to totally degauss the market!"

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: The perfect word already exists

        degauss

        Oh I like that. Have an up vote.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The perfect word already exists - "We're going to totally degauss the market!"

        Degaussting cynicism there. Upvoted.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: The perfect word already exists

      There is a refinement on that: Valleyware.

  3. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    a new word for 'disrupt'

    When something has been reformatted, it's empty...devoid of meaningful content. That term may be appropriate in ways other than were intended.

    (Oops; did I just disrupt Faraday's disruption of disruption?)

    1. Unep Eurobats
      Boffin

      Re: a new word for 'disrupt'

      Disrupt gives us the noun disruption; the equivalent for reformat is ... reformation? Except we had that hundreds of years ago.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: a new word for 'disrupt'

        Disrupt gives us the noun disruption; the equivalent for reformat is ... reformation? Except we had that hundreds of years ago.

        So, based on what happened at the Reformation, they're going to start a competing vehicle religion, indulge in bloody wars with anyone who disagrees with them, conquer American and wipe out most of the indigenous population, and eventually try to stop teaching kids evolution and the Big Bang.

        Faradists versus Teslists...

  4. Ken Y-N

    Why did they get a member of the White Man Group to do the presentation?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is truly disrupting...

    What is truly disrupting it the appearance of the vehicle. It looks like it came out a bad 1990's sci-fi. I am thinking Knight Rider 2000, Time Cop or Demolition Man. To each their own, but I think this is a seriously Fugly car. I wonder if they hired the same guy that designed the Pontiac Aztec... I know that guy had to have lost his job at GM over that mess. I also seriously doubt the specs they are touting. 1050HP?? not even the mighty Tesla P100D with it ludicrous mode has that kind of power and even then it can only do two quarter mile passes before de-rating to keep from overheating the battery. With a Dodge Challenger Hellcat (707HP) you can just rinse and repeat until you run out of gas or burn the rubber off the tires, it also cost 25-40% less than the Tesla depending on options. I think I will keep my good old fashioned Yank Tank, or if I had the kind of cash to afford a new tesla, I would get that 1970 Old 442 W30 from Demolition Man instead.

    1. fnj

      Re: What is truly disrupting...

      It carries the tiresome and stupid trend toward rolling pillboxes with gun slits instead of windows to an extreme. Give me a BMW 2002 or an Audi 5000 any day.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: What is truly disrupting...

        The Lada Riva is a more appealing looking car than that turd of a thing.

        And I mean turd. If I was ever that way inclined I'm sure I could shape my turd to look like that car.

    2. Alister Silver badge

      Re: What is truly disrupting...

      Well to my European eyes, it doesn't look particularly bad, it's pretty much a stretched clone of the current Honda Civic. Not quite sure I understand the vitriol being poured in its direction regarding its looks.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: What is truly disrupting...

        "Well to my European eyes, it doesn't look particularly bad, it's pretty much a stretched clone of the current Honda Civic. Not quite sure I understand the vitriol being poured in its direction regarding its looks."

        I'm looking at it with the same European eyes you have, and I can't see a Honda Civic there. A Renault Avantime maybe, but it's definately no Honda Civic.

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: What is truly disrupting...

          @wolfetone

          Not even this?:

          http://automobiles.honda.com/images/2016/civic-sedan/exterior-gallery-new/2016-honda-civic-sedan-side2.jpg

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: What is truly disrupting...

        Not quite sure I understand the vitriol being poured in its direction regarding its looks.

        It's because many people believe that their personal subjective opinion applies universally.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: What is truly disrupting...

          A mate of mine used a Honda Civic hire car on holiday... He reported that he was shocked not to be able to see the four corners of the car through the windows / mirrors. I guess reversing cameras and image stitching can mitigate this issue in more modern vehicles.

          Personally, I quite like the look of Civics.

          1. wolfetone Silver badge

            Re: What is truly disrupting...

            "A mate of mine used a Honda Civic hire car on holiday... He reported that he was shocked not to be able to see the four corners of the car through the windows / mirrors. I guess reversing cameras and image stitching can mitigate this issue in more modern vehicles."

            We're in a strange world of car design being dictated by crash tests and air tunnels. If you put a new Civic against one from 1999, and then another from from 1989, you'll notice how large the drivers window is in height (for an example). The bottom of the window will roughly be just above your elbow if you sat down normally without resting it on the window sill. The new Civic's (and new cars in general), this line will be much higher up, towards the shoulder. It's for side impact protection.

            Another point would be the A pillars, older cars have thinner pillars while newer cars are much thicker. This is for rollover protection.

            The thing is though, with all these things being built in to the car to help protect you from a crash, they're hampering the view of the driver. I don't understand how that's safer? I have so much better visibility in my 1998 Toyota Corolla than I do in my 2010 Peugeot 107. It's madness.

    3. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: What is truly disrupting...

      The styling won't be to all tastes but issuing bizarre publicity pictures isn't going to help.

      In the pic that El Reg have used, the wheels appear to be roughly half as tall as the woman standing looking at it. So unless she is particularly small, the thing appears to be fitted with truck sized wheels.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What is truly disrupting...

        So unless she is particularly small, the thing appears to be fitted with truck sized wheels.

        We are heading in the US direction - roads don't get maintained because that comes out of taxes and the people who vote for the taxes can afford trucks. Or to fly everywhere.

        Even on small cars wheels are getting bigger, and I suspect this is part of the cause. The original Mini had 10 inch wheels. The Toyota IQ - which is the same length - has 16 inch wheels and I saw a Smart the other day with 17 inch rear wheels.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Smart Dragster

          "I saw a Smart the other day with 17 inch rear wheels"

          Wow. Did it also have a parachute at the back to slow it down?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What is truly disrupting...

      "With a Dodge Challenger Hellcat (707HP) you can just rinse and repeat until you run out of gas or burn the rubber off the tires"

      So still just two quarter mile passes then? :-P

  6. Tom 64
    Windows

    Reformat??

    They probably came up with this when they noticed on their presentation that 'disrupting user value' has unpleasant negative connotations. However judging by the reported misbehaviour of the features, that's probably exactly what this thing will do.

    Still, time to break out the popcorn.

  7. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

    Yeah...

    These guys will be out of business in two years.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Yeah...

      Neah, they will be bought by someone as the part of jolly Californication merry-go-round for their "talent".

  8. Androgynous Cow Herd

    A fool and his money

    Are some party.

  9. Andrew Moore Silver badge
    Coat

    Remember...

    Disrupt is better than datrupt...

  10. annodomini2
    FAIL

    Yeah right...

    Faraday Future, based in Gardena, California, claims the FF91 is the fastest accelerating car in the world, with 1,050HP available.

    Vs a Top fuel dragster I very much doubt it.

    Or even an F1 Car.

    Other sites list the 0-60 time around 2.4sec, which is quick, but no where near the fastest.

    1. handle

      Re: Yeah right...

      They're talking about electric cars. This has been through a journalist's filter.

    2. fnj

      Re: Yeah right...

      F1 cars are not geared for 0-60. This thing is right in the same range as a typical F1 car (2.1-2.7 seconds).

      1. annodomini2

        Re: Yeah right...

        2.1 < 2.4

        Yes it will depend on the car setup, track etc.

  11. Potemkine Silver badge

    'Disruption' is sooooo 2016

    I'm confident Marketing will find another magnificent term to sold us the usual snake oil.

  12. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

    Auto-parking not working is a bad sign...

    Automatic parking is not a new thing. It's about 15 years since it was first provided in a mass-production car. The technology is mature, well proven and can be bought off the shelf from the likes of Bosch, Delphi or Denso. Nothing about these current systems requires an internal combustion engine.

    Bosch is already offering an autonomous parking controller - you can get out of the car, and it'll park itself. Other suppliers have similar systems.

    So, this crowd is not just engaged in vapourware, but also attempting to reinvent an existing wheel in the process.

    Personally, I wouldn't be investing in an Electric supercar project until batteries get a lot lighter. Performance is not just about getting up to speed, it's also being able to turn at speed, and adding 600kg to 1000kg of batteries to a car gives you a lot of momentum to overcome on a tight bend.

    1. FlossyThePig

      Re: Auto-parking not working is a bad sign...

      "adding 600kg to 1000kg of batteries to a car"

      A Tesla model S is only about 100kg heavier than a BMW M5. Where do you get you your figures from? How heavy is the ICE, transmission and related items?

      1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

        Re: Auto-parking not working is a bad sign...

        Obviously, this company haven't put out any figures yet, so I worked from what's already known.

        Incidentally, BMW M5 weighs 1945 kg (EC). To match the performance of the M5 you need a dual-motor AWD Tesla, and those are 2200 kg upwards. I never mentioned Tesla, or BMW, though, just that there'd be over half a tonne of battery weight in this vehicle.

        Other figures you asked for, as best as I can find: An aluminium block twin-turbo 6-cylinder engine plus ancillaries is around 200 kg, the ZF 8-speed automatic transmission used in the M5 is 92 kg including fluids. Total 292 kg. Call it 300kg to cover engine oil and coolant.

        Weight of the motor-generator and reduction-gear in the Tesla is about 150 kg, so overall the electric car's motive parts are 150kg lighter.

        Now, fuel: The tank assembly, plus 300 miles worth of fuel for the petrol car is 40kg. Fill the tank, and it's 60kg.

        Tesla's 85 kW battery pack, including anti-fire and housing is a little over 500 kg based on teardowns of crashed cars. That capacity is good for 270 miles of travel according to the manufacturer.

        This new company is claiming 380 miles of range for their car. Longer range requires more stored power (or lower weight, but storing power requires more weight...). Tesla uses a battery system that weighs approximately 500kg for 270 mile. Add 40% more battery, you get the "600 to 1000kg" range.

        1. commonsense

          Re: Auto-parking not working is a bad sign...

          The M5 doesn't use a ZF 8-speed auto, it uses BMW's M-DCT double-clutch gearbox, which is a Getrag transmission I believe

    2. Steve Todd

      Re: Auto-parking not working is a bad sign...

      When it comes to cornering, centre of gravity is important. The battery pack of the Tesla is under the floor, and CofG is low because of this. It corners like it's on rails.

    3. David 164

      Re: Auto-parking not working is a bad sign...

      you save a tonne of weight by not having a big engine in the front/middle/rear of the car.

      Electric engines themselves weigh almost nothing himself.

      1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

        Re: Auto-parking not working is a bad sign...

        As I posted above, Tesla's Model S motor and final gearing weighs approximately 150 kg. That's lighter than a performance petrol car, but it's not "nothing".

        There isn't a free lunch on offer here, just a cheaper one: An electric powertrain is about 50-70% of the weight of an equivalent internal combustion engine plus transmission. Diesel engines are heavier, manual transmissions are lighter than autos. Rear-drive is heavier than front; all-wheel drive is heavier than rear.

        Against that weight saving, you've got the weight penalty of the batteries. We'd need batteries that are 5x more energy dense for a typical electric car to have no weight penalty over its petrol equivalent.

  13. Simone

    Are we nearly there yet...?

    The chicken and egg problem for electric cars is the money for investment; in car design, battery performance and national infrastructure. They are not selling in large volumes so the return of investment takes a long time.

    There is now an electric racing car Grand Prix; Formula E. Several big companies are sponsors. As this gains popularity, there will be more incentive to sponsor, and more money for the research and design of the cars - this happened in the F1 Grand Prix many years ago, with a lot of the developments being fed back into public cars. Their biggest problem is the battery, and they have two cars per driver with a swap half way through the race.

    There is a development in electric cars where the battery is leased; when it is nearly run out you drive into a recharge station and they just swap the battery. I think this is something the Tesla and Renault have / are trying. This is quick, and the battery owners get to remove the worn out batteries from circulation to keep the technology current.

    Several local authorities, and increasing numbers of employers, in the UK are installing charge points, so the problem of getting recharged is being addressed.

    There are a lot of problems with electric car operation, but there are a lot of people and companies experimenting. We can't be far from the tipping point where they become worthwhile, it is just a question of how quickly we get there.

    1. Geoff Campbell
      Go

      Re: Are we nearly there yet...?

      Formula E will be changing to one car for the whole race for the 2018 season, with McLaren supplying a new design of battery pack.

      Tesla do have a fully automated battery-swap station designed and ready to go, I think there's only one currently installed, in California somewhere. There's a video from a few years back showing two battery swaps in the time it took to fill up the tank on a 4x4. Ultimately, I don't think that will really work in the mass market, though. It seems current owners are happy with the Supercharger network, and they are going to get faster shortly too, as I understand it.

      GJC

    2. Justicesays

      Re: Are we nearly there yet...?

      Battery swaps are not going to solve the key issues.

      They would only act to even out the recharge delay, as the replaced battery is going to have to be charged for the requisite period before someone else can use it...

      You have the problems of having enough storage capacity at your "recharge stations" to hold all these charged/charging batteries, and the power transmission/conversion equipment required to charge all the batteries simultaneously.

      Say a petrol station has 12 pumps, takes 5 mins for a driver to fill up, and say a battery takes 80 mins to charge.

      16 batteries per "pump" on charge to keep up with demand, assuming petrol stations are sized appropriately, at peak hours.

      =192 batteries.

      Telsa S has 85 kWh battery.

      That's 85*192KWh to be supplied in 80 mins

      ~12MW draw if my math is correct.

      That's 24000 homes worth of electricity being funneled in there.

      Obviously if you has more batteries you could stretch out the demand over a longer period, but to get it so you could charge overnight and then use those to meet high daytime demand you would be looking at several multiples of 192 batteries.

      Assuming peak usage of all "pumps" as it were.

  14. Mage Silver badge
    Windows

    De Lorean

    I was around then.

    Same delusions.

    I asked the NIDA why they were getting money for something that was a pretty turkey.

  15. earl grey Silver badge
    Flame

    batteries have a long way to go

    It isn't just the pollution of making them and then having to charge (and re-charge) them...

    Charging stations are an invitation to vandalism.

    Changing batteries? When you're on a long trip and batteries run down and you pull into a swap station and have to unload the vehicle so they can get to the batteries (if they're in the back or under the vehicle/seats). Is the battery swap station responsible for hooking up everything and for any damage?

    1. David 164

      Re: batteries have a long way to go

      The batteries in most cars are under the floor, there little stopping engineers from having the batteries on a tray like system, slide the old battery out, slide the new one in, not much harder than changing batteries in a phone.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: batteries have a long way to go

        Changing batteries in a phone? Now that would be disruptive.

  16. EveryTime Silver badge

    The EV battle is over

    One thing that many people don't "get" about EV range is that most users start out with a full charge every day.

    The most valuable aspect of the new EV for my SO is that she doesn't have to go to the gas station. The 10-15 minute weekly diversion was apparently the most tortuous part of her existence. Previous I ended up with the vehicle that needed fuel, often with the Range-To-Empty already flashing "--" when I started out. When our work changed so that I wasn't able to always fill the tanks, she pretty much insisted that we get her an EV.

    Certainly EVs won't fit everyone's needs. But I see the availability of chargers as the big obstacle, not their capabilities. The majority of cars could be replaced by EVs with very minor impact on trip planning and usage. But people with on-street or apartment parking don't have a cheap and convenient way to recharge. Without the ability to always have a full charge each morning, range anxiety is a much bigger concern.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its more than just range anxiety

    There are lots of problems with the current crop of EVs. By far the Tesla Model S P100D is king of the hill with a claimed 315mile range per charge. its a very beautiful car. but it does not solve the problems that still plague EVs. the first problem is the lack of charging stations. the second problem is it still takes roughly almost an hour and a half to recharge even at a 120Kw supercharger station or all night on household mains. Which is fine if I just use it as a weekly grocery getter or a daily commuter to get back and forth to work. But if I need to take it on a road trip, it limits distance you can travel or places you can go due to the lack of recharging stations, not to mention wasting time while it recharges. the 3rd problem is battery life. no one knows how long they will last yet. I live in the desert southwest of the united states, its very hot here in the summer around 115F. Even the very best lead acid batteries only last 2 years in this heat. Both Extreme heat or extreme Cold are hell on batteries. So I don't see them lasting 5 years, but only time will tell. lastly cost is still a problem. I looked a P100D for my wife. it was $145,000 dollars. That is more half the cost of a median income home here in the US. For half that cost I can by a very well equipped Mercedes-Bens AGM E43 sedan and still have 75k left over. and that buys a hell of a lot of fuel, maintenance, and insurance. I am waiting to Tesla Model 3 will be like and how the price compares to other EV's.

    What I would truly like is a diesel electric hybrid. I am thinking a sedan like the Tesla model S, but with a very 500cc turbo diesel that is optimized to run an alternator/generator. it would only have to run when the battery level drops below certain level and like commercial generators it could run at a constant rpm to optimize fuel economy similar to how large diesel electric freight trains operate. it could extend the range greatly and it could be driven in areas where there are no charging stations.

    1. annodomini2

      Re: Its more than just range anxiety

      The problem with the range extender idea are the corner cases, this is why the chevvy volt has such a large engine.

      The prototypes had a small efficient petrol engine to begin with, unfortunately when the battery is very low, it is having to power the car and charge the battery at the same time.

      Show it a hill and it has to stop until there is enough charge in the battery to get you up the hill.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tucker

    Has anyone ever watched the older movie? Thier debut was similar!!

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