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How 'Bout That Tesla S?


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#25 Andrewr05

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 07:05 PM

These got awful reviews - real world range of 50-odd miles imperial. Hydrogen based engines are touted as the future due to limited requirement of fossil fuels.

As did the Roadster.

They look awesome on paper but they do not stack up in real world conditions...

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#26 LoArmistead

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 07:39 PM

Neither did Benz's first gasoline automobile. ;)

Green technology is the next industrial revolution. We can either choose to pioneer it and be the home of things like this, or we can accept the fact that we aren't ready for them "yet," stay the current course, and wake up in two decades and wonder why we are sucking hind tit.

And you don't have to rip up parking lots to run 220v outlets into an apartment complex. In America we tend to run our power lines overhead. And no one is saying we are going to drop our gas cars and all buy electric cars by next Wednesday. This is a process that will take decades (coincidentally, the same amount of time it will take us to upgrade a power grid to handle it). Just think of how daunting a task it was to think about putting gas stations all over the US to run those new-fangled "gasoline automobiles."

What I am more concerned with is breakthroughs like this funded using private capital, that deliver positive results. People may not be into electric cars right now, but cap-and-trade and Obama-budget gas price increases are going to push people back toward more efficient vehicles, and the free market will adapt to it. I am not in favor of cap and trade, and I'm not in favor of Obama-budget, but they are going to happen no matter what. It WILL happen, so what the free market has to do is take advantage of this stupidity as best it can. As time goes on and people buy these things, their technology will advance, quality will improve, prices will come down, you know the drill. The thing with private capital is that people will not invest in a venture unless they know there is a good chance of them getting at least $1 back for every $1 they pay in. Which means they invest their money more wisely than government could ever possibly do - no one spends a man's money better than he spends his own. Even our Porkulus bill has billions of dollars in "green" money that will go towards these industries, and the Congressional Budget Office even said, at best, most of our stimulus package will only return .8 dollars for every $1 invested. This is waste. Inefficiency. And it's government setting precedents to expand programs funded by more of my tax dollars as I get older and more cynical. Anyone here, raise your hand if the government asked you to invest $1 Trillion dollars into something that will give you a gross return of $800 Billion... at best. Hands? Anyone? No? Huh.

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#27 94Camaro

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 09:36 PM

Did we have the infrastructure to support cars for every American when they made the first car? No.

Consider the fact that 1900 America was nothing like 2000 America. Most of the country's population was rural at the time. Most people didn't run their cars on gasoline, but on whatever petroleum or alcohol-based liquid was locally available. The infrastructure wasn't needed. Now, most of the country lives in urban settings, and the modern gasoline fueling system was able to grow along with that population shift. The current electric grid also grew along with that shift.

Does everyone in America live in an apartment like you? No.

Does everyone? No, but a significant portion of the population does.

I really don't see why you're being so condemning here. You say it will take decades to support us all on plug-ins. I say it will take decades to get us all into plug-ins. Works out pretty well.

I just don't see what you're trying to say. Should they stop making plug-ins?

I don't see what is so "condemning." In fact, I said I'd like to see an electric car. I just laid out the facts as they exist. Everyone treats the electric car idea like it is the answer to all the world's problems. They think electricity just happens at the outlet and don't consider how it got there. (Of course, the same people think that meat just appears at the grocery store.) The North American electric grid is generally considered to be the most complex man-made object. It's one big circuit and NOBODY really understands how it all works. And frankly, we don't really have as much control over it as we like to think.

I'm saying it can't be "time for an electric car yet" because the car technology is advancing too fast for our infrastructure. Yes, it will "take decades to get us all into plug-ins", but we don't ALL have to have plug-ins before, the capacity of our system will be exceeded. I'd be willing to wager that if even 10% of our cars (that's about 14 million cars, I'm ignoring SUVs and trucks) were electric, it would be too much. If our grid could grow at the same rate as acceptance of electric vehicles, then yes, everything would be just peachy. But that Tesla costs less that $60k right? That's already putting it well within the reach of many people. It costs less than a Corvette and those are everywhere. In a few years time, an electric car will cost even less. The price point is dropping faster than our grid is growing, and that price will make them SO desirable that they'll be adopted rather quickly. And that is assuming the gov't doesn't decide to "save us" and force all new cars to be electric, in which case the adoption will be even faster. (DTV transition anyone?) A large portion of this country leases a new vehicle every 3-4 years, and in the next several cycles, we could see those cars becoming electric. We're looking at a transition from gasoline to electric cars in the new car market that could occur in 10-15 years. That 14 million cars I mentioned before is about 2 years worth of auto sales in the US. That's right - in 2 years time we could see 10% of the US in electric cars once the price break is reached. The transition will happen quickly because the average person thinks that electricity comes from the outlet and that is all there is to it.

Meanwhile, our grid upgrades are moving much more slowly. Heck, it takes 3-5 years to design and build ONE large substation! And power plants can take 6-15 years! And permitting can add another 10. We don't have the people resources to design and build any faster. My company has projects on the horizon for the next 10 years even and even in this economy is still hiring. Our schools simply aren't graduating enough electrical engineers that want to join the power field. Everyone wants to go into a "high-tech" industry and sees power engineering as archaic (even though it is far from it). Last I knew there were fewer than 30 power engineering programs left in the US. Our people are working at capacity and can't keep up with the existing demand for utility upgrades. The additional demand that will be caused by even a few percent of the population adopting electric cars is going to put us underwater.

We have to be realistic here. Our electrical grid in 10-15 years really isn't going to look that much different, but our transportation means have that potential. Oh sure, the end user will think the grid is vastly different because we'll all have little monitoring devices in our homes telling us how much electricity we use, but the system outside the house won't really be that much different.

I don't really know what the solution is, and no, I'm not saying to stop producing electric cars. I'm just a bit cynical about how this will all play out.
We'll either see rapid adoption of electric cars and the ensuing disaster as our grid fails, or utilities will raise rates on purpose to slow adoption to a rate they can handle. Then people will just blame "Big Electric" for being in bed with "Big Oil" and force gov't intervention and a whole new slew of problems.


And you don't have to rip up parking lots to run 220v outlets into an apartment complex. In America we tend to run our power lines overhead.

Not really true anymore. A lot of newer construction of "urban developments" (ie, the kinds of places that have large parking lots) use underground feeders. You ever notice those green boxes with high voltage stickers on them in housing developments? They contain the transformers and switchgear that are pole mounted in older areas.

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#28 cjloki

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 09:49 PM

I'm really excited about this, because I am hoping the US will be the industrial leader in the "green revolution." More importantly, I hope the US will be the industrial leader of the free market green revolution.

Assuming Barry and his hoodlums will allow us to get out of it,

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#29 Turophiliac

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 09:51 PM

Hmm, I remember back about 8 years ago in school we had some fancy pants guys come to our school and show us a new electric car, and I didn't really fall in love with it back then. And working on classic cars for the last 4-6 years, I've come to dislike the idea of an all-electric car even more.
The environmental impact, i honestly couldn't care less about. Technology is going to advance, so be it. But these things will never have the feel that a 500hp V8 will give you coming off the line. For as long as I live, I'll never buy an electric car. I like my gasoline and it's going to stay that way.

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#30 cjloki

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:46 PM

Hmm, I remember back about 8 years ago in school we had some fancy pants guys come to our school and show us a new electric car, and I didn't really fall in love with it back then. And working on classic cars for the last 4-6 years, I've come to dislike the idea of an all-electric car even more.
The environmental impact, i honestly couldn't care less about. Technology is going to advance, so be it. But these things will never have the feel that a 500hp V8 will give you coming off the line. For as long as I live, I'll never buy an electric car. I like my gasoline and it's going to stay that way.

well you drive on den player 'til ya run outa gas..!!...as for me i tired of payin' an i been payin a long time...goin solar, gettin off da grid an not payin big oil for the priviledge of moving about the country appeals to me...!! :lol:
quik edit...btw turo i just saw yer ride in the other thread an it's a damn nice vehicle so enjoy the heck outa it as long as ya can....!!
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#31 Turophiliac

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 11:10 PM

quik edit...btw turo i just saw yer ride in the other thread an it's a damn nice vehicle so enjoy the heck outa it as long as ya can....!!

lol thanks, I plan to drive it for quite a while:)

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#32 Comp Dude2

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 12:59 AM

Hmm, I remember back about 8 years ago in school we had some fancy pants guys come to our school and show us a new electric car, and I didn't really fall in love with it back then. And working on classic cars for the last 4-6 years, I've come to dislike the idea of an all-electric car even more.
The environmental impact, i honestly couldn't care less about. Technology is going to advance, so be it. But these things will never have the feel that a 500hp V8 will give you coming off the line. For as long as I live, I'll never buy an electric car. I like my gasoline and it's going to stay that way.

Jay Leno commented on these on the british car show top gear. He suggested that of course they dont replace petrol cars, but they set them aside for recreation, just like the petrol cars replaced horses which are now used for recreation.

p.s nuclear power is obviously the future and we just need to get on with it now.

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#33 taowulf

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 02:02 AM

300 miles? That would almost get me through a real busy day at work. :|
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#34 Silverfox

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 03:43 AM

As I said already (but nobody noticed!) Honda have made a hydrogen cell cars that have zero emissions. It's felt that the electric car is more or less dead before it has arrived. 74 mpg equivalent and 280 mile genuine range in the US is not to be argued with either.

I don't think they will ever be mainstream (electric). They will be toys for enthusiasts who appreciate the way they work, i.e., full torque all the time etc!

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#35 Verran

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 07:18 AM

I'm just a bit cynical about how this will all play out.

A bit? :rolleyes:

We'll either see rapid adoption of electric cars and the ensuing disaster as our grid fails, or utilities will raise rates on purpose to slow adoption to a rate they can handle. Then people will just blame "Big Electric" for being in bed with "Big Oil" and force gov't intervention and a whole new slew of problems.

Or, we'll see the electric companies find a way to meet their customers' demands, just like in any other market. And if the market can't bear it, supply and demand will suffer and people will stop buying them. The markets can solve these problems, just like they have with every other new product ever made.

Comparing plug-in sales to Corvettes is a vast oversimplification. There's a LOT more to selling cars than prices points, and the only other thing I can say there is I think you're wrong and I don't think plug-ins will adopt nearly as fast as you're saying.

I just think your doom and gloom of "this will happen buy then" and "this can't happen by then" is a bit unfounded. If there's a way to make plug-in technology work, then companies will jump on it. And if there's not, they won't. I have no problem relying on free markets to solve this "problem". And short of stopping production, which you've already said you're against, what else can you do?

As for hydrogen, that may be the real answer. Well, until the next "real" answer, that is. Plug-in is probably just a stop-gap. This is all part of my point of how I really don't think electric cars will take off like some people are saying they will.
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#36 Crazy_Nate

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 07:26 AM

Hmm, I remember back about 8 years ago in school we had some fancy pants guys come to our school and show us a new electric car, and I didn't really fall in love with it back then. And working on classic cars for the last 4-6 years, I've come to dislike the idea of an all-electric car even more.
The environmental impact, i honestly couldn't care less about. Technology is going to advance, so be it. But these things will never have the feel that a 500hp V8 will give you coming off the line. For as long as I live, I'll never buy an electric car. I like my gasoline and it's going to stay that way.


Well, I can't argue with the fact that it "won't have the same feeling", but can you get instant torque out of your engine? How much does your engine weigh, compared to a comparable electric motor? What is the thermodynamic efficiency of your engine? The list goes on...

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the level of engineering that goes into a combustion engine, but, unless somebody creates a sustainable fuel source like algal bio-diesel, etc, and can maintain or decrease pollution levels in the combustion process, it will simply stay a finite resource.

As with any finite resource (oil, coal, nuclear fuel), they are not the answer for the future. They CAN'T be. Ask yourself, can humanity do what it's currently doing, indefinitely?

So, instead of being nay-sayers, and simply being against something, bring something to the table, propose a superior alternative.

I have no problem with fuel cell cars...it's simply an electric car with a different storage mechanism. The electric motor is a moderately mature technology, but, as I've said before, it's the storage technologies that need the innovation / research.

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