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?
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!
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.
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).
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?
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.
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.
All the renewable sources of energy technology have the same story. There are peaks and dips which can be correlated to the elections/oil prices/conflicts etc. I hear about new innovations in solar but hardly any about the fuel cells.
Electric vehicles will never truly be successful until someone can come up with a cheap power source that can go 200km/125 miles between charges with the heat on at -30C/-22F, -18C/0F or even at 0 degrees C/32F. Electric vehicles are nice in California but what about the rest of us that need to have the heater on and do 200km of driving a day and not 30km/18 miles in the cold.
Well, the country with the most electric cars per capita is... Norway. And Tesla model S was the best-selling new car there in September 2013.
Regarding needing to drive 200 km/day, I'll quote Ed Begley Jr. from Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006): "Electric cars aren't for everyone: they can only satisfy the driving needs of 90% of Americans."
But you didn't mention that less than 1% of the population drives an electric vehicle and the tax incentives in Norway for buying anelectric car are among the richest in the world. As far as meeting the needs I think that 90% is closer to 49% of the population. Lithium-ion and lead acid batteries don't like cold temperatures and loose their power and reserves quickly as the temperature goes below freezing. You see a lot of hybrids here in Winnipeg but very, very few all electric.
Norway is a very bad example for anything...very rich, most things are government sponsored who has a headache deciding how to spend their trillon dollar oil fund across 4 million people...GDP per capita in the highest in Europe, the next country is 40% below them...try Canada instead, no electric cars in the cold north as far as I can tell (I live here albeit in relatively warm Vancouver)
That could be due to the price of electric vehicle in Canada even with incentives and the large distances of course.
I would have seriously considered a Volt but the only "discount" models in Canada were top of the line models and the ROI was not there.
I have looked at importing a slightly used one from the U.S. where I can get one in the very low 20's. I figure I can save $7500 over the life pretty easily in fuel and it does have the "neat" factor though cool would be pushing it.
krisi wrote: Norway is a very bad example for anything...
Gee, from what you say it sounds like Norway is setting a good example of how to use natural wealth to help their citizens. So many other countries in the same position transfer their wealth into as few pockets as possible.
That is true @betajet...if they spoke English (as a native language) I would had moved there in a hearbeat, great society to live in, democtratic, honest and caring...when I was recently in Oslo I heard stories about negative unemployment in engeering...they do not have enough people to do what they want to do!