Meanwhile, Straubel said, Tesla has continued to refine and improve its technology for use in its own vehicles and has begun development of a vehicle that it envisions will cost substantially less than the more than $100,000 price tag on its original Roadster EV.
Later this year, Tesla expects to bring to market its Model S, which features multiple configurations, including a base model priced at less than $50,000. The various configurations of the Model S, which was designed and built from the ground up, include different battery packs that offer different driving ranges, Straubel said.
"Some people don't need a 300 mile range," said Straubel. "If you commute to work 50 miles, you don't need that much range."
Model S also includes Tesla's first attempt to address what Straubel called the "road trip question." While people generally don't drive 300 miles per day, he said, there has always been the question of how an EV can offer a greater range for those occasional long trips.
Model S includes a direct current fast-charge capability that can re-charge the vehicle to about half of its maxim range in 30 minutes, Straubel said. Thus, drivers could conceivably drive very long distances, stopping every 150 miles or so for 30 minutes to re-charge, he said.
Straubel said Tesla has already taken more than 10,000 reservations for Model S vehicles and is already sold out for 2012.
Next year, Tesla plans to introduce its first electric SUV, the Model X, Straubel said.
Straubel said Tesla has begun development of what it's currently referring to as its third-generation vehicle. The company envisions that this vehicle could be priced in the $30,000 range, Straubel said.
Tesla, which is often knocked for the price tag on its original Roadster, continues to refine its technology and drive down the cost of the batteries, Straubel said. He also said the company estimates that customers can save as much as $2,000 per year in fuel and maintenance costs compared to traditional gas-powered vehicles. He acknowledged that the savings per year presents an interesting business model challenge considering that EVs have a higher up front sticker price.
"People aren't used to paying for fuel costs up front, when they buy the car," Straubel said.
My house uses 80 kWh/day in the summer. Adding another 32 kWh/day for cars (two cars @ 50 miles/day @ 16 kWh/50 miles) isn't a huge increase, and it happens during off-peak time. So my neighborhood infrastructure can handle it. Or they are charged by solar panels in the parking lot during the day.
Yes, that is PRECISELY the artithmetic that the battery electrics people like to ignore.
And it's not just a matter of how the electricity is generated for the grid. It is also a matter of how much more grid capacity would be required, even if we assume that everyone will dutifully only charge their EVs between the hours of 11 PM and 6 AM.
Nuclear, hydro, solar, geothermal and wind is all in the "carbon-free" mix of CA. Of course that does ignore carbon emissions from manufacturing and construction. Consider it like "fat-free" on a label... if it's less than half a gram, they get to round down to zero.
As for nuclear, I would certainly not agree with the notion that no one has yet figured out how to dispose of the waste. Reprocessing reduces the amount significantly, and what little would remain can be put underground and monitored. If you want to worry about nuclear, worry about the real problems of mismanagement within the industry such as led to Chernobyl and Fukishima rather than the outlandishly small risk that society falls apart and our waste repositories cannot be properly maintained. As with many issues, dealing with the waste is a political problem, not a technical one.
I'm an engineer, so I disregard sloganeering and spin whether from a politician or elsewhere.
So true! With the closure of the San Onofre nuclear plant, there are once again concerns about rolling blackouts this summer in southern California.
The grid can barely sustain our existing electric power usage, and today there are a negligible number of EVs being plugged into it for recharging.
As you said, we need lots more power plants, otherwise rolling blackouts and much higher electricity rates will become routine as EVs reach the "tipping point" of mass market adoption.
If people want to drive more eco-friendly vehicles, they should buy hybrids, not EVs.
I think people should be wary of sloganeering from politicians. What is this "carbon-free" source of power in California? Is it the carbon-free that instead creates nuclear waste that no one has yet figured out how to dispose of?
We have to manage this problem, no use politically-minded slogans to wish it away.
My bet is on "hybrids" run by fuel cells. They can create H2 from any number of hydrocarbon fuels, and they should create about half of the CO2 that ICEs create, for a given amount of power.
Yes. In my state, Tennessee, 53% of electrical power comes from coal, 3% from natural gas, 33% from nuclear, and 11% from "renewables". Since for all practical purposes nuclear can be considered a zero emission renewable, driving an EV here has a 44% advantage over an ICE vehicle in terms of fossil fuel usage.
That said, it is also mountainous in my area. We get no where near the advertised mileage, with any vehicle, but the resulting reduction in range of EVs here is unacceptable. Until the battery technology is greatly improved, an EV here is really just not practical.
I think we should be very thankful that EV adoption is so slow. We have no-where near the capacity in our electricity generation or grid to handle any sort of mass switchover from fossil fuels to electric. Currently, the total electic consumption of our energy profile amounts to only 3% of our total energy consumption (North America). The majority of the remaining 97% is fossil fuel consumption for passenger cars. Our grid would collapse if there was a major switchover. Certainly it will lead to much higher electricity rates in the future and that will compete with domestic and industral use.
So go slow, we need to build up the infrastructure... lots more power plants.
The “environmental” justification for the EV is reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Yet, carbon dioxide emissions from a natural gas hybrid (CNG-hybrid) are less than that of an EV. Of course, we are talking about a hypothetical CNG-hybrid, since we know of none on the market. We assume such a hybrid would have the same fuel efficiency as the average hybrid (31%), and 50% of the electricity for an equivalent EV is generated from coal-fired plants, and 20% from natural gas. In which case, carbon dioxide emissions for an EV are 124% that of an equivalent CNG-hybrid. The cost premium for a hybrid is considerably less than that of an EV. For example, the Toyota Prius (MSRP of $24,000 and fuel efficiency of 37%) sells for about $4,000 more than an equivalent gasoline vehicle. In addition, this vehicle already meets the 2025 CAFE standards. Compare this to the Volt with an MSRP of $39,000. We assume a CNG-hybrid, where the gasoline engine is replaced with a CNG internal combustion engine, would sell for roughly the same as the gasoline equivalent. In any case, we would bet on the auto industry’s ability to reduce the cost of a CNG-hybrid over reducing the cost of an electric vehicle. With the abundance of natural gas in the U.S., it seems that the auto industry is going in the wrong direction. If the industry moved to natural gas vehicles, they could kill two birds with one stone—get off of oil, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, even below that of an EV.
For Evs to cross the tipping point the focus should be to put them in all kind public transportation where the daily routes , mileage between stops , etc is predictable and the recharging patterns can match exactly the usage pattern and maximum mileage can be retrieved during the lifespan of the bateeries.
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