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.
Let's assume that the combustion engine has just been invented and that all the vehicles on the road were electric. Re-charging batteries at charge points for a number of hours, we're even used to having trailing connecting cables. Along comes the combustion engine and a network of petrol stations is suggested to allow you to fill your fuel tank in a matter of minutes, sending you quickly on your way. The life of the car is dependent on how you you treat it - maybe even 20 years. I think we'd all take that.
@@d_kmuller: right on! A major percentage of the automobile usage is some one commuting to work, more than 90% of the time alone! That use case fits what you propose perfectly. And that use case is also a major contributor to the pollution.
Exactly - today the subcompacts cost as much as the big cars (and their mpg isn't all that great either). How cheaply could a single model car be built that complied with USA regulations (safety, pollution)? An Indian Nano made in the US for the US market perhaps. The French 2CV was a great hit in France for years.
That depends a lot on where one lives. Many in Southern Cal have SCE as their utility. SCE currently has 44% zero carbon sources and 37% from natural gas. The zero carbon is increasing rapidly. Some is listed as "unknown" so it is not assured that the rest is all coal, but I'll assume worst case it is. With that mix, an electric car would have FAR lower carbon footprint than ICE.
EV's make a lot of sense here where we have carbon friendly power and a density/geography problem that causes smog. We are also a big market for hybrids/EV's because of those reasons and that the state gives stickers that allow people to use the carpool lanes as single drivers.
Multiphasic energy scavenging is the only viable solution to reducing fossil fuel consumption. The problem was described by another poster...."where does the 'E' come from"? Unless it's hydroelectric, most likely it's either from burning fossil fuels or far worse - nuclear fission. Harvesting energy and converting it to E and ME from all conceivable aspects, i.e light, kinetic, wind (the turbulent eddies behind the vehicle), vibration, heat, etc. is necessary. One might have to drive a little slower or lighten the load at night though...
A gas-fired car will always have a bad emissions profile. An EVs' indirect emissions will get better as the power sector gets better. With EVs, therefore, you automatically amplify the benefits of adding clean generation. Moreover, even on today's first-world grids, EVs result in far fewer emissions--you can add advanced pollution control devices to power plants, but not to 300 million cars.
25%/year is far, far higher than Tesla Roadster drivers have experienced. Automotive-grade Li batteries, in the highly pampered environment that the cars enforce, are seeing annual degradation rates of about 25% cumulatively over six years of regular use.
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