TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Efficiency comparison - Model S v. Roadster

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by ckessel, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,266
    I'd think it'd be higher due to the larger mass of the car.
     
  2. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,532
    Location:
    Vermont
    It's about 20% higher for the Model S.
     
  3. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Messages:
    4,282
    Location:
    Sarasota, Florida
    Thanks for the information. Can you tell us the source of your information?

    Larry
     
  4. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,532
    Location:
    Vermont
    It's a simple calculation but I've also seen it somewhere... can't find it now. On Tesla's web site they recommend sizing your solar panel array for 300 wh per mile for the Model S. If you take the battery size compared to the range you get between 250 and 283 wh/mi depending on which pack you choose. For the Roadster the same calculation reveals 216 wh/mi. If you pick the mid sized 60kwh battery it represents a 20.6% increase over the Roadster. Tesla has stated the new charger is very slightly more efficient than the Roadster's so you can conclude the Model S consumes about 20% more power than the Roadster per mile.

    In reality the difference will probably depend on driving patterns and apparently pack size. Since the S has a lower coefficient of drag, it will conceivably perform closer to Roadster numbers at highway speeds like 70 mph (115 km/hr). When you're driving in stop-and-go traffic, the light weight of the Roadster will help it perform much better than the S.
     
  5. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Messages:
    4,282
    Location:
    Sarasota, Florida
    Thanks for the response.

    So I gather the power draw expressed in wh/mi depends on the speed of the vehicle as well as the characteristics of the battery pack.

    Here's the Roadster data that Tesla published, I was thinking we would need something similar for the Model S to make a reasonable comparison.

    [​IMG]


    In addition to the better aeodynamics, the larger battery on the Model S also has a slightly more advanced chemistry than the Roadster that might mitigate the added weight. Regardless, I agree that it is likely the power draw of the Model S will be higher than the Roadster.

    Larry
     
  6. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,848
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I think it would be more due to the larger aerodynamic cross-section. Even if the car is slipperier, it's' still BIGGER.
     
  7. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Messages:
    4,282
    Location:
    Sarasota, Florida
    Hi Doug,

    It seems even considering the larger cross-section the Model S is still measureably more aerodynamic than the Roadster.

    Again I'm not claiming that the power drain of the Model S would be less than a Roadster, just that it might not be significantly greater when considering aerodynamics and improved battery chemistry, particularly at high speeds.

    Larry
     
  8. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,266
    Battery chemistry isn't going to help energy consumption. Well, maybe a little bit indirectly by not needing as heavy a set of batteries, but that's going to be fairly small relative to total vehicle weight.
     
  9. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,848
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Curious... if that's really true, there might be less of a penalty for going above 55 mph...?
     
  10. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Messages:
    4,282
    Location:
    Sarasota, Florida
    Hi Doug,

    I suppose we're steering off topic since presummably the study wasn't considering high speeds, but yes my thinking is that at high speeds the power drain would of course increase exponentially in both cases, but the Model S's better aerodynamics would start to narrow the power drain in comparison with the Roadster whose power drain would increase even faster than the Model S.

    Larry
     
  11. bolosky

    bolosky Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    422
    Mass makes a difference when you're changing speed or elevation, because both kinetic and gravitational potential energy are linear in speed. At a steady speed on a flat road, it just doesn't matter, so you'd expect that the car with the better CdA would have lower energy use per mile (assuming no differences in the rest of the system like the efficiency of the power train, the tires, etc.) The higher the speed, the more energy/mile is used to overcome drag so the greater advantage the lower CdA car would have. (BTW, drag energy per mile increases quadratically in speed, not exponentially.)

    That is, I'd expect that if you were crusising through the flat desert at 80 mph that the S would use less energy for the same distance than the Roadster, possibly by a pretty large margin. Getting to speed and climing hills would be worse, though, and real driving nearly always involves that.
     
  12. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,743
    Location:
    Texas
    That's certainly true. The rule of thumb is that each 500 lbs weight removed on a standard full-sized car (like a Ford 500) provides an increase of one mpg in EPA testing. So you have to remove quite a bit of weight for the difference to be really noticeable (full sized cars in the 1950s were often 6000+ lbs. so the 3000 lbs of today's cars provides a noticeable difference). Motor efficiency, drive train efficiency, tire rolling resistance, and CdA have a larger effect than weight under most conditions. This is why an electric car can have a ton of batteries and still be very efficient.
     
  13. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Messages:
    4,282
    Location:
    Sarasota, Florida
    Thanks for the detailed explanation.

    Larry
     
  14. EVNow

    EVNow Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,383
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Friction on the tire depends on the mass. So 2 cars with same CdA, but different masses will spend different amount of energy cruising at a steady speed on a flat road.
     
  15. daniel

    daniel Active Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,131
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    I'm surprised that the Roadster, which is so low to the ground, has a higher CdA than the much larger Model S. Oh, well, I believe you folks. I'm just surprised.

    Now when we talk about efficiency, are we talking about the same driving profile for both cars? Or are we talking about driving each car as each was intended to be driven? A sporty sedan vs a high-performance sports car! I know someone over on Prius Chat who is an early Model S reservation holder and is a high-mpg Prius driver. I expect him to drive his Model S in such a way as to maximize range and efficiency. I like to feel the thrust, and I drive my Roadster pretty hard. Comparing his Model S to my Roadster is a real apples-to-oranges comparison.
     
  16. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    4,585
    Location:
    Nixa, Missouri, United States
    If you're talking about me,Daniel, I have a feeling I'll be driving the Tesla significantly more aggressively than the Prius. With electricity cost so small compared to gas, the range more than enough for me to "play" with, and the available torque I forsee taking the highway more often and probably exceeding the speed limit a bit more as well. May employ some hypermiling techniques from time to time just for fun, but one advantage is using zero gas and not having to think about technique.
     
  17. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Messages:
    4,282
    Location:
    Sarasota, Florida
    #17 Larry Chanin, Apr 15, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
    Hi Daniel,

    To put this in context perhaps it would be useful to see where the discussion started. Initially I was commenting in the Carbon footprint clarification thread stating that Roadsters would produce better results than the Leaf that was used in the subject study. The moderators started this new thread when the discussion veered to discuss efficiency comparisons between the Model S and Roadster.

    Anyway, to answer your question I was discussing efficiency as quantified by the watt-hr/mi characteristics of the respective vehicles. The subject U.C.S. study used 340 watt-hr/mi for the Leaf. From Tesla's published watt-hr/mile vs. speed graph for the Roadster I was able to estimate that at 55 mph the Roadster would draw about 230 watt-hr/mile.

    A similar chart for the Model S would be helpful in addressing our comparisons because it would incorporate all of the factors, weight, rolling resistance, aerodynamics, etc., in one aggregate efficiency number at various speeds.

    Perhaps one of the more knowledgeable forum members can confirm this, but I would imagine that when measuring or calculating efficiency of vehicles, pains are taken to reduce differences induced due to driving style, inclined driving conditions, wind, etc.

    Larry
     
  18. daniel

    daniel Active Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,131
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Coming over to the dark side, eh, Evan? :)

    Thanks. Larry.

    Is that figure for the Roadster Wh from the battery, or from the wall? From the wall, I think I burn a lot more Wh, but then I've never measured at 55 mph. On the freeway I drive the limit (70 mph outside of town here) and in town I accelerate hard up to the speed limit for the road I'm on unless there's a car in front of me. My point was that this is a high-performance sports car, and even though it can be driven 55 for range, it was built to do so much more.

    I never drive the Prius 70 mph. For one thing, it doesn't feel safe. The Roadster feels really solid. And for another, like Evan, I'm more concerned about fuel when I'm burning foreign gasoline than when I'm burning locally-made water-derived electrons. (Washington state = water power.) And the Prius is a car that says "I'm efficient," whereas the Roadster is a car that says "I'm a hot-rod."
     
  19. rabar10

    rabar10 FFE until Model 3

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,333
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Thanks Larry for the link-back to the original thread. Agree that it helps with context here.

    I've created a rough-guess Model S chart in Excel, by using the Roadster data (TM's Excel data files for the Roadster are available from JB's blog post on Roadster Efficiency and Range), and applying multipliers for each of these different metrics to translate from Roadster to Model S. (Chart referenced on this site earlier: Model S (Performance edition) 1/4 mile time)

    I used the following Model S multipliers from Roadster data-points:
    • Aerodynamic losses, 0.98. This came largely from trying to get the end results to line up with the spec-ed ranges of the 60- and 85-kWh Model S at 55 mph, after the factors below were estimated. Note that this result infers an ever-so-slightly lower CdA for the Model S.
    • Drivetrain losses, 1.02. Same drivetrain layout (single induction motor with digital inverter/controller, rear axle differential, etc.) so no reason to assume any big differences here.
    • Tire losses, 1.57. Estimated from weight difference only, Roadster at 2690 lbs and Model S estimate of 4225 lbs.
    • Ancillary, 1.6. That big touch-screen has to take more energy to run. But big-picture, it's a small and roughly constant power draw regardless of speed, so doesn't have a measurable impact on range @>20mph.
    Criticisms of the above welcome.
     
  20. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Messages:
    4,282
    Location:
    Sarasota, Florida
    Hi Daniel,

    I'm not sure I follow you. Again this efficiency is in the context of a study in which I imagine that pains are taken to try to eliminate differences induced by driving style, terain, wind, etc.

    Larry
     

Share This Page