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LE MANS: Nissan Announces Electric LM24 Racer For 2014

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by chimpanzee, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. chimpanzee

    chimpanzee Member

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    #1 chimpanzee, Feb 25, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
    LE MANS: Nissan Announces Electric LM24 Racer For 2014

    There was a series of episodes on Auto Mfrs on History Channel, which I recorded on DVD. ALL the major mfrs (Ferrari, Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Audi, Volkswagen, Nissan, Toyota, etc) had Racing Programs to support development. Durability/Reliability testing (long term data) can be supplemented with racing experience.

    This is one of the major HOLES in Tesla Motors, their lack of presence in Racing. The Tesla Roadster debacle in 2007 (production delays, a major one due to transmission breakage: Xtrac & others), can be traced to this. They were trying to do something that had NEVER been done before: mating a high torque electric motor (near instantaneous torque curve on acceleration) to a multi-speed transmission. There was an eerie NBC video (M. Eberhard taking a female journalist for a ride), & the Roadster broke down during the interview!! Little did anyone know, this would come back to haunt Tesla. This kind of thing would have been spotted IMMEDIATELY under racing conditions (Extreme Duty Environment, aka EDE). I actually know an Xtrac development partner (in Racing) who solved this problem: they had the SAME transmission breakage issues, & over a series of races in 1 year, they finally found a solution. Via Empiricism (trial & error), & won their FIRST race the following year. Tesla was trying to "throw $$ at the problem", especially with EM (who apparently doesn't have a Physics degree from U of Penn, as per M. Eberhard's lawsuit) thinking that R&D can happen instantaneously.. It DOESN'T..& it CAN'T. Applied R&D takes TIME

    "It takes Talent also [ in addition to time ]"
    -- Dr xxx, Harvard PhD, Dir of Ford Research (?)
    [ I met him at 2012 CES (Consumer Electronics Show) ]

    There needs to be a "bridge solution" YYY (cooperative R&D Org, linking Academia & Industry) for all of "emerging Economy" of Alternative Energy (incl EVs), to lessen the risk/burden of all the startups. There already are many startup failures: solar (Solyndra), batteries (A123). "Time to Market" is crucial in business, & YYY could minimize this.

    Xtrac is involved with many major Racing series, incl Indycar. I've been involved with Offroad & Indycar. Sample here:

    Indycar 2.0
    [ Xtrac supplies the gearboxes for Indycar ]

    CORR Racing
    [ I know a Pro 2 & Pro 4 team, who were using Xtrac transmissions ]

    Nissan made a huge leap with the Nissan Leaf, the 1st major Auto Mfr to jump in with a mass-market EV (after General Motors EV1..only leases, limited run). They are demonstrating their commitment, by understanding the value of Race Development. Ford uses to have a SVO (Special Vehicle Operations) unit, headed by Michael Kranefuss, designed to address the RoI in Racing.

    Tesla Motors simply doesn't have the resources for an SVO type of unit. It's recent debacle with NY Times (& Tesla customers..unresponsive emails), demonstrate it's lacking in Customer Service.

    It was said by General Motors, that a new vehicle launch requires 1 billion. With close to .75 billion (?) by Tesla, it's becoming clear how true this "critical mass" figure is. They might end up "running out of gas" (irony, that's the term used to forward Alternative Fuel innovation).

    "You scratch, the game's OVER"
    -- Mitch MacAleer, hang-gliding aerobatics champion

    One slip-up by Tesla in the Model S, it's over. Already, there are a LOT of red-flags. Model S has some shocking imperfections

    - lack of fit/finish (right front hood sticking up 5mm!!, rear door "gap"
    - door has to be slammed to closed
    - niggling problems in auto-electronics (trunk opening by itself, etc)

    which is unacceptable for a $59K - $90K pricepoint luxury car. How are they going to deal with the massive warranty work? The lurking monster is a massive recall due to XXX. Auto Racing development (Durability/Reliability testing) could minimize chances of XXX popping up.
     
  2. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    Hyundai -- huge sales, no racing
    Jaguar -- now Tata, no racing anymore

    ... please elaborate how a racing team helps Tesla. Your post appears to be tossing stuff against the forum wall to see what sticks.
     
  3. chimpanzee

    chimpanzee Member

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    Jaguar has a long history in racing. I forgot to include it in my list of History Channel programs, as well as Porsche. Spyker, Lotus (who did the chassis for Tesla Roadster), Aston Martin all have Racing programs.

    Did you even read what I wrote? There is NO long-term data on various issues:

    1) electric engine + transmission
    what contributed to production delays in the Tesla Roadster

    2) chassis flex + floor-mounted-batteries for the Model S
    this is what I'm wondering about. Chassis flex, so did the designers account for this in the battery structure? High-centering will happen, especially low-slung sports cars. There could be a disastrous "battery fire issue, ala Fisker Karma. The Chevy Volt also has some bad PR because of battery fire. There was an incident aboard a FedEx aircraft, carrying an ACP (AC Propulsion) unit..many yrs ago. The recent Boeing 787 fires due to Li-Ion batteries is another case


    ..which could be addressed with Racing Program. It's not just a race-team, but a Manufacturer initiated development program in a Racing Series. Private parties would get support from a Mfr. Examples: Cosworth & Ford, Judd engines & Lotus (2012 Indycar, which ended up failing..tried to rush things). All this requires LOTS of $$. Something, Tesla Motors..a small company.. doesn't have, like a major Auto Mfr. That Xtrac had "development partners" (race teams, in various series).

    Tesla Motors looks/sounds like a "poser" wanna-bee "Auto Mfr". They've made some milestones in terms of Engineering (Drive train, Battery Technology, etc), but in the end

    "David beat Goliath in 1 battle, but didn't win the War"
     
  4. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

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    Tesla did some amount of testing the Model S on the racing track (Laguna Seca for one). Don't know how much. However, as was said a few months ago, Tesla would eventually like to do racing, but currently doesn't have the resources. End of story.
     
  5. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    I think the primary value of racing is advertising. Tesla spends zero on advertising and so far they haven't needed it.
    Any other testing that they need to do can likely be done much more cheaply than with racing.

    I would love for Tesla to have a couple more billions to be accelerating the Gen III car, the next Roadster, and blow on a racing team as testing/development and advertising. They don't have it.

    If Tesla could spend a tiny amount of money supporting privateer racing teams, that could be the best bang for the buck, but I don't think that is in the cards in the near future.
     
  6. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    That would be my point too. Automakers primarily race for advertising. The amount of testing done via racing is going to be limited because most race spec cars will be significantly different than a production version.

    Even for the three examples given: fit and finish (doesn't matter for a race spec car, which likely will use different body and interior materials), door slammed to close (doors will likely be modified, for example the handles changed to standard ones), auto-electronics issues (most of that functionality will not be tested or even in the car because it might be ripped out to save weight).

    Where racing helps the most is drivetrain development and so far Tesla's drivetrain has been relatively solid.
     
  7. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    What you are writing has nothing to do with the title of the thread. Bait and switch.

    What is the current Jaguar doing for racing?

    Oh and gosh those Hyundai cars are sure suffering for the lack of racing pedigree. I'm pretty sure they are eating the sales of all those other racing teams. Explain that.
     
  8. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Racing often has little bearing on vehicle technology for street cars. They do many things that would never make sense in a street car, that are NOT reliable long-term, because they want to push the performance.

    It's more about marketing than anything else.
     
  9. gray

    gray Member

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    Not exactly true: Rhys Millen Shows Off 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Drift Car
     

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