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Is Tesla winter testing in North Dakota?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Raven, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Raven

    Raven Member

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    Apparently there was a convoy of 3 on I-29 between Fargo and Grand Forks, ND today. All with Cali plates. I didn't take this pic but these were the conditions today. I can only figure they're doing more winter testing???

    image.jpg
     
  2. Jeeps17

    Jeeps17 Cath Jockey in a P85

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    Hope so!

    More cold weather data (not in a weak winter like last year) can't hurt.
     
  3. Dragonfly

    Dragonfly Member

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    #3 Dragonfly, Feb 19, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
    The big three all have winter testing facilities in northern MN. Ford and Chrysler both have had facilites near Bemidji, MN since the late 80's. I think GM has a test site near Grand Rapids. The Fargo/Grand Forks area would make a good year round testing center for Tesla. We have temperature extremes from -20F to 100F during the year. If they need test drivers, I'm looking for new career opportunities. ;-)

    I like seeing the Tesla in scenery that doesn't always include swaying palm trees. THAT photo is most definetly from North Dakota. :p
     
  4. Vexar

    Vexar Member

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    Would it kill you to plant some trees? Still, it is satisfying to see road salt smeared across a California license plate! That's a five digit special plate. California is up to seven for a standard plate, so that is not a consumer's vehicle. I think you're on to something. It is unlikely that anyone took a route through North Dakota for another Model S road trip story. I mean no offense, but charge stations are pretty bleak. Unless they worked out a deal to use the Nissan dealership chargers, I doubt there's a good route on 94 until you get to Minneapolis and don't mind level 2 chargers.

    I'm going to use your photo for my desktop theme, if you don't mind.
     
  5. jerry33

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

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    That's the special 1000 mile battery that they are experimenting with. It also charges in under five seconds during any thunder storm.
     
  6. CapitalistOppressor

    CapitalistOppressor Active Member

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    I agree. Here is the relevant Wikipedia entry -

    Vehicle registration plates of California - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    There isn't a photo sample, but note that for "Manufacturer" plates there is a constant number prefaced by a stacked "MFG" and followed by another stack of codes. The photo you show looks like it might well be prefaced by an "MFG" stacked vertically before the 63277 and followed by another stack of 3 digits. If you saw cars like this they would all have Cali plates, and the 5 digit number appears like it should be the same on all of the cars, with just the trailing stack of digits being different.
     
  7. Vexar

    Vexar Member

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    mfrscript.gif
    That's an example Manufacturer plate. For someone who doesn't live there anymore, I spend an inordinate amount of time on the California DMV website. Capitalist O. knows more about the numbering than I could find. This is so exciting. Regarding my comment about I-94, I think that is more well-traveled than I-29 in the area and more likely to be used for cross-country driving. I do wonder how they got there, though. Did they drive straight there? Freight carrier and then what you was was a test on I-29?
     
  8. Dragonfly

    Dragonfly Member

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    I'm willing to bet that a car carrier and crew are stationed at a local hotel in either Fargo or Grand Forks. I have seen other manufacturers do the same thing, especially in Colorado to test mountain and high altitude driving characteristics of vehicles. I suspect the very flat nature of our terrain up here would help with battery range testing. With no terrain to mess with range, they can better isolate the effects of the cold weather on the battery.
     
  9. CapitalistOppressor

    CapitalistOppressor Active Member

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    I'm curious as to what they might be able to do about overnight range loss via software.
     
  10. Dragonfly

    Dragonfly Member

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    #10 Dragonfly, Feb 20, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
    At 7am, it is -18F (-28C) in Fargo. That will test your cold weather range loss.
    If that was Tesla winter testing in ND, I hope they are still here, that should give them some real-world cold weather data - and possibly a good case of frostbite.
     
  11. patp

    patp Member

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    For someone who lives in a very cold climate, this is really encouraging to see that Tesla is doing more than driving on an iced lake ;)
     
  12. Dragonfly

    Dragonfly Member

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    No evidence, just a hunch, but perhaps Tesla has cars testing with MDE International out of Bemidji, MN.
    Bemidji to Grand Forks via US 2 then Grand Forks to Fargo via I-29 is only 192 miles one way. With an overnight in Fargo to recharge then back to Bemidji for evaluation.
    MDE says they have EV testing capability on their website.

    http://www.mdeintl.com
     
  13. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    In 4.1, the "sleep mode" sharply cut overnight losses. But, like me, it didn't fully wake up until it had its second cup of coffee. So it's clear there's a lot that can be done about true energy consumption. There's also the matter of the "missing kWhs" that reemerge once the battery is warmed up enough; here, too, a software change could do better at guessing the actual energy stored in the battery by factoring in the battery's temperature.
     
  14. Mark Petersen

    Mark Petersen Model S EU P71

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    maybe they are testing the 40Kwh battery
    the heating for the battery might differ between models ?
     
  15. CapitalistOppressor

    CapitalistOppressor Active Member

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    Less energy to heat the 40kWh (less mass). I think the OP said there were 3 cars though, which means they could be testing all three batteries if they wanted. I'm more of the opinion that they are wanting to directly address the variety of range loss issues they have (vampire loading, and cold weather losses) in the most extreme environment available.
     

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