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A handful of questions....

Discussion in 'Technical' started by SeminoleFSU, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. SeminoleFSU

    SeminoleFSU Member

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    #1 SeminoleFSU, Apr 5, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
    Forgive me if these have been covered- I'm sure some have been covered at great length, particularly the first two...

    1. What's the battery degradation rate? Is there any sort of guide out there that tells us how much "charge" we could expect to lose per year, per mile driven, or per recharge?
    A: I spoke to lolachampcar on the phone and he said you could definitely expect to lose effectiveness over the years, but there didn't seem to be a firm number on this. There's a ton of data to work with on the Roadster battery degradation, but since those use different batteries and are most likely driven differently, have different weights, etc it is hard to pin down an exact number for the Model S.

    2. What's the ease of battery replacement? Is this a very difficult and expensive process? If you plan to keep the car for a long time, or buy a used one, this would be good to know...
    A: Again, I don't have a definitive answer here, but it does seem from what I'm reading that the battery pack was meant to be able to be replaced.. how easily I'm not sure. I have read reports of customers receiving Model S's that had a bad batch of batteries, and they had theirs replaced by Tesla, so obviously it can be done and isn't a huge ordeal... At least not if done professionally by Tesla techs.. More research is needed if later there will be "generic" or "aftermarket" battery packs customers can purchase to extend the life of their car once they start seeing drastic battery performance degradation.

    3. Can you tow the Model S and Model X behind an RV, for example? If so, is there a guide out there explaining best practices regarding this?
    A: Still haven't found a good answer around this yet...

    4. Experimental: Would it be possible to use the regenerative braking to charge the Tesla while towing behind RV? Even if it kicked in as a "brake assist" like most "brake buddy" systems do, that would be SWEET.
    A: My guess is no... but wouldn't that be cool?

    4a. What about charging via on-board generator from the RV while rolling down the road? Would that be possible?

    5. Will Tesla offer a trade-in program for regular cars? (I doubt it)
    A: My assumption is no, but haven't found definitive yes or no anywhere

    6. Will there be a trade-in program for other/newer Tesla models (example: Trade the Model S in for a Model X when it comes out)?
    A: It is looking like Tesla is going to offer a "buy back program" at depreciation rate similar to the Mercedes models it is supposed to compare closest to... I've read numbers like 45% loss, but I can't remember if that was after 3, 5, or 7 years...

    7. I see the Model S and Model X have a cellular systems in them for connectivity to the cloud, what will be the cost for that service?
    A: Still haven't found an answer for this... really would like to know

    8. Can you disable cellular connection if you wish?
    A: Haven't found an answer for this yet either, and I sure hope you could, especially if there's a cost associated with the 3G data connection.

    8a. What type of modem is used on the car, is it really limited for 3G, or is there a 4G or LTE chip in there, just not being used?
    A: Not sure on this one

    9. If yes on #8, Could I use Wi-fi, bluetooth, or USB tether my smartphone for data connection instead of paying for data connectivity in the car?
    A: Haven't found an answer to this yet, still searching...

    9a. Does the car have Wi-Fi at all? If it does, would it be possible to share out the internal 3G connection to make it a mobile hot spot?

    10. What's the turning radius like in the Model S and Model X? When parking and driving in the city or tight spaces turning radius is critical.
    A: Haven't found exact numbers on this yet, but I talked to lolachampcar and he said it wasn't noticeably bad or good one way or the other, so my guess is it is comparable to other cars in this class.

    11. What's the turn-around time for folks when they plunk down their $5000 reserve on a Model S? From order to delivery, for example?
    A: Much to my surprise, I got word from lolachampcar that this has been reduced considerably from what it once was... His estimate was 6-8 weeks after confirmation of ORDER, that's order, not deposit.

    12. What is the extent of the "black box" found on these cars? what type of data is collected?
    A: I've read several posts on some of the "wreck" threads where forum users are discussing the benefit of being able to "read the logs" from the car to demystify or deconstruct accidents. Personally, this gives me the creeps. I don't like the idea of being able to incriminate myself for speeding, or causing an accident... even if it wasn't intentionally.

    13. Center console options and number of cupholders?
    A: It appears the car has two cupholders on the center arm rest, and that's it.. My research in this area has produced somewhat disappointing results. A lot of owners are complaining about the lack of cupholders, sunglasses holder/storage, door pockets, back of front seat pockets, and concealed or lockable storage in general. From what I can tell, you have the glovebox and the center armrest in the interior.. that's it! I did see that Tesla is working on something they call a center console insert which looks like it will come in different various configurations to suit your needs. I'm also seeing what appears to be aftermarket manufacturers producing some products to bridge this gap (ex. http://www.teslaccessories.com/Teslaccessories.com/Home.html). At this time, I do NOT see an option to add anything like this on the "design/build your own Model S" area of Teslamotors.com

    14. What sort of details do the car's logs capture? Is there a black box that records my every move and could be my own worst enemy in an accident investigation?
    A: I have no idea, but I would like to turn this off if possible.

    15. Is there an ability to rip a video to a thumb drive and play it on the 17" screen, even while driving? If so, what file formats are supported for video and audio?
    A: No information here either. However, it does appear the the web browser does NOT support flash or HTML 5 embedded video... so this probably means no youtube, vimeo, hulu, netflix, etc, etc. Very disappointing.

    16. Are there any dangers of the charging port allowing water inside the port area during a heavy rain? What about the possibility of vandalism during charge? How strong is this port, what if somebody intentionally tried to rip the charging cable/adapter out while charging? Or kick it or put a lot of weight on it?
    A: I do see the charging port has a "lock" mechanism of some sort that engages once charging begins to keep the cable/adapter from being removed mid charge by accident or vandalism, however, this port still looks like it wouldn't hold up to much force if somebody wanted to yank it out using brute force.


    Thanks everyone!! Sorry if some of these have been discussed, or answered. I'm new to the forums, just signed up today... I'll edit and remove any questions I find answers to as I continue to research on this site... :wink:
     
  2. NEWDL

    NEWDL R#350 R#1323 Sig23 8136

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    I am confident you will find the answers to all of your questions on the forum or on the TM site itself.

    All of these items have detailed threads that have been discussed ad-nauseum.

    The search for the forum is a wonderful tool!

    Sounds like you have quite a bit of reading to do, have fun catching up!

    Enjoy! & Welcome!
     
  3. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

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    Actually I've found the search tool (advanced) fairly useless. Try looking for word experimental, for example in OP text. Comes up blank.
     
  4. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    PM me.... A twenty minute chat will get you most of the answers you are looking for.
    Bill

     
  5. SeminoleFSU

    SeminoleFSU Member

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    Thanks Bill! I sent you a PM a little while ago.
     
  6. SeminoleFSU

    SeminoleFSU Member

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    Hey guys I think I'm going to fix up this thread where after I get my answers, I put them in here kinda as a FAQ for other folks. I'm still exploring these forums, and to be honest a lot of these are still unanswered.. So if you know the answer to any of these, feel free to chime in... :cool:
     
  7. dbfish

    dbfish Member

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    #7 dbfish, Apr 8, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
    I'll give it a shot, off my head from reading these forums for years (but with no actual research!)

    1. What's the battery degradation rate? Is there any sort of guide out there that tells us how much "charge" we could expect to lose per year, per mile driven, or per recharge?

    Short answer, No, no easy guide. There is a chart somewhere of the battery cell degradation rate, but since they put several thousand cells into the pack and apply a LOT of electronic logic to the pack, it's safe to say they have worried a LOT about this problem.

    From an earnings call, I believe Q2 2012, Elon said this:
    For the battery warranty, it essentially merges language that Nissan was using, and I think maybe the Volt is also using similar language. Which is to say that the battery is warrantied for eight years, and the amount of miles you can really put on it. Actually, depending on which version - it’s unlimited for the 300-mile range version. Unless you torture yourself, you won’t be able to put enough miles on that to matter. So for the 160-mile version, you’d really have to be doing a lot of traveling within the city to do 100,000 miles in eight years. In terms of where the pack energy level will be at that point, it’s going to vary depending on what sort environment the pack is experiencing and what sort of driver the person has been, in much the same way as an engine, after eight years, is going to depend on whether someone was driving it hard or not, and what sort of environment it saw. It will still be a very usable pack. And we’re expecting the packs actually have a useful life that’s somewhere around double the warranty level.
    People will probably want to replace it sooner than that, but these really last for a long time. Even our first generation pack on the Roadster, one customer in Europe just passed the 200,000 km mark, and he’s not someone who drives the car slowly. In fact, he passed the 200,000 km mark in a race.

    Battery warranty replacement prices were announced on the blog, near the end:
    2013 Model S Price Increase | Blog | Tesla Motors

    2. What's the ease of battery replacement? Is this a very difficult and expensive process? If you plan to keep the car for a long time, or buy a used one, this would be good to know...

    Model S battery packs are designed to be removed/replaced quickly, in literally minutes, to leave the door open for quick-swap stations in the future (Nothing announced on this yet).

    3. Can you tow the Model S and Model X behind an RV, for example? If so, is there a guide out there explaining best practices regarding this?

    Yes, ON A FLATBED TRAILER. Model S has no tow-bolt in the front bumper and wheels are locked when it's off. Trying to tow it on it's wheels could void your warranty (if anyone found out, and see black-box answers below for more on that...)

    4. Experimental: Would it be possible to use the regenerative braking to charge the Tesla while towing behind RV?

    If someone figures out how to tow it physically by the front axel, sure, put a heavy box in the driver's seat to keep the car "On", turn regen from Standard to Low (otherwise you are applying a LOT of braking force to the towing gear), and creep to OFF, put it in Drive and tow away. This will absolutely DESTROY your gas milage of the RV, since you are now literally dragging the S down the road while it tries to slow down. See this video of someone doing this in a Nissan Leaf:
    The fastest way to charge your Nissan Leaf without power supply - YouTube

    I would keep the warranty and tow it on a flatbed trailer. You can also put a Honda generator on the same trailer and charge the Model S while you tow it that way, but you get (according to the video) 13.5 miles charge per gallon of gas. A much more economical option would be to just plug the Model S into the 50amp outlet when you park your RV at an RV park.
    Charging a Tesla Model S with a Honda EU-2000i 2 KW portable generator - YouTube


    5. Will Tesla offer a trade-in program for regular cars? (I doubt it)

    Maybe thru a partner in the future like Carmax, but you'll always get a better value selling it yourself than any dealer will pay you, even Tesla, since they have to account for their time to sell the car in addition to it's value, etc.

    6. Will there be a trade-in program for other/newer Tesla models (example: Trade the Model S in for a Model X when it comes out)?

    They will take your Roadster for a Model S, so I don't see why they wouldn't.

    7. I see the Model S and Model X have a cellular systems in them for connectivity to the cloud, what will be the cost for that?

    Not announced officially yet, but up to $30/month. Hopefully a lot less.

    8. Can you disable cellular connection if you wish?

    When they announce pricing, you can not pay for it, which means your web browser and Google Maps stop working, but you cannot disable it completely, since it is required for Tesla to diagnose the car and provide software updates as part of your service contract.

    9. If yes on #8, Could I use Wi-fi tether to my smartphone for data connection instead of paying for data connectivity in the car?

    Elon has announced joining the car to a wifi network will be a software update in June.

    10. What's the turning radius like in the Model S and Model X? When parking and driving in the city or tight spaces turning radius is critical.

    Model S: 37 ft. Specs have not been announced for X.

    11. What's the turn-around time for folks when they plunk down their $5000 reserve on a Model S? From order to delivery, for example?

    Current estimated delivery time is given when you go to the Design page, currently a Performance is about 1 month, and a standard is about 3 months.

    12. What is the extent of the "black box" found on these cars? what type of data is collected?

    All data you can imagine is recorded.

    13. Center console options and number of cupholders?

    No factory options.

    Model S Features | Tesla Motors
    2 cupholders

    Optional center drop-in:
    Shop Tesla Gear Drop-In Center Console


    14. What sort of details do the car's logs capture? Is there a black box that records my every move and could be my own worst enemy in an accident investigation?

    Yes, all details you can imagine. Same as almost every other car on the market. My 2007 Camry has black box only Toyota can access that records GPS, speed, heading, if I'm pressing brake or accelerator, etc etc.


    15. Is there an ability to rip a video to a thumb drive and play it on the 17" screen, even while driving? If so, what file formats are supported for video and audio?

    Audio only. No video. You can't play video from the web, either.
    Audio formats are discussed here:
    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/9149-Audio-Testing-audio-formats/

    I just thought about this, if you spliced into the video feed from the rear camera, you could inject video into the rear camera display. You would have to split the audio feed into a bluetooth adapter, since the stereo only has bluetooth for audio input. This is assuming the rear camera uses a RCA video feed, but it may not, given the high quality of the image.
     
  8. SeminoleFSU

    SeminoleFSU Member

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    dbfish, thanks so much for your reply man! This really helps!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yea, I'm still at a loss as to what good the upgraded "surround sound studio" package would do you if you can't feed it a 5.1 or 7.1 format like a home theater... Most of those audio formats are only supported by video & audio equipment.. I'm pretty skeptical the Tesla does anything but emulate/simulate "surround sound" from 2 channel (left and right) audio formats.. I'm checking out that thread you posted, but it looks pretty long... I have some reading ahead of me... :tongue::tongue:

    Really curious about what extent A2DP is supported
     
  9. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    You've inserted the word "surround" in the description of the package. Tesla doesn't use that word. To the contrary, the Sound Studio package is very good at creating a front sound-stage, as though you were in the audience at a concert hall. It doesn't try to put you in the middle of the brass section. I'm very happy with it from the front seat, but it's less than great for second-row passengers.
     
  10. SeminoleFSU

    SeminoleFSU Member

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    Good point.. Thanks Robert!
     

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