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wilber_xbox
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Manager
Re: Fuel Cell
wilber_xbox   2/28/2014 7:19:51 AM
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I did not understand why consolidating all the assembly and production at one location will help in producting cheaper batteries. Won't innovation bring the price down or the supply chain costs are so much that are driving the price, which i highly doubt.

Wilco1
User Rank
CEO
Re: Fuel Cell
Wilco1   2/28/2014 6:32:53 AM
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We've had this conversation several times. The conclusion was that existing fuel cells are inefficient (40-60%), costly, and require purified fuels - typically hydrogen. Hydrogen is the worst possible choice of fuel. Typically one uses natural gas to generate hydrogen using steam reforming (70% efficient). You require expensive new infrastructure to generate, store and distribute all that hydrogen (inefficient as well as either compressing or cryogenic cooling wastes a lot of energy). It would be far simpler and cheaper to make cars run directly on natural gas instead - but that can't reach the efficiency of an EV.

When you consider that in the future the majority of electricity will come from renewable sources (eg. solar panels on your roof), the efficiency of EV goes up even further.

chanj0
User Rank
CEO
Re: Fuel Cell
chanj0   2/28/2014 3:28:13 AM
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A couple months back, Toyota has announced a fuel cell vehicle. It comes with enough attention although I remember Honda has one for years. I wonder what is keeping fuel cell from moving forward. Why Musk is not considering it?

y_sasaki
User Rank
CEO
Fuel Cell
y_sasaki   2/27/2014 8:47:15 PM
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Several years ago Fuel Cell was "next big thing to come" everybody talking about,  but I haven't heard about Fuel Cell lately. It should be lighter than battery(doesn't require heavy metal electrode), quick refueling (it runs on liquid fuel - usually methanol, not electric recharging) and environment friendly (only emit H2O in theory). Perhaps because still too expensive to manufacture? (it require platinum as catalyster).

Bert22306
User Rank
CEO
Re: Letter to Elon Musk
Bert22306   2/27/2014 7:32:18 PM
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H2 a fuel that is fast & explosive !

Heh heh. Two responses to that: 1. Have you seen video of burning Teslas? 2. Have you lit a match to a fuel tank?

A pinhole in a hydrogen tank would not cause an explosion. If you light a match to it, it will simply give you a flame, just like in your gas kitchen stove (obviously size dependent on pressure). To me the biggest problems of storing hydrogen are that it has to be in a high pressure vessel, multiple thousands of PSI, and that even then, it tends to deplete itself like a battery, when sitting unused.

Which is why there's always the hydrogen reformer option. Use gasoline, diesel, or a biofuel, and create hydrogen on board as you need it. This new Tesla facility could spend some research dollars on these schemes.

But we've been over this already in other threads. The nice thing about H2 as a fuel, the opposite argument goes, is that it can be manufactured locally, in facilities far cheaper than gasoline refineries. I'll buy that.

chipmonk0
User Rank
CEO
Re: Letter to Elon Musk
chipmonk0   2/27/2014 6:09:02 PM
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H2 a fuel that is fast & explosive !

Bert22306
User Rank
CEO
Letter to Elon Musk
Bert22306   2/27/2014 5:28:16 PM
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Dear Mr. Musk,

This design change is offered to Tesla free of charge.

1. Retain the all-electric power train.

2. Remove 95+ percent of the battery. Retain battery capacity equivalent to that of a mild hybrid.

3. In part of the vacated space, install a hydrogen tank and fuel cell. (Or a regular hydrocarbon fuel tank and H2 reformer, plus fuel cell.)

4. Replace these unlikely "supercharger stations" with H2 refueling stations (or forget the whole idea if you're using an on-board H2 reformer).

5. You will end up with a truly interesting vehicle, much lighter than your current one, with longer range and incredibly faster "refueling" times. Imagine being able to actually drive a car for more consecutive hours than it takes to refuel it! What a great concept!

LarryM99
User Rank
CEO
Any more coincidences between Elon and Tony?
LarryM99   2/27/2014 5:11:32 PM
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I have been waiting for Elon to show up one day with a glowing power cell in his chest. Maybe this factory will build it...

One interesting aspect of this press release was the announcement that the factory would be "...somewhere in the SouthWest". There were four states listed, including Texas. Texas has a state law prohibiting direct car sales, thanks to the political influence of traditional dealerships. Tesla sells directly. How much do you want to bet that Texas changes that law?

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