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Next iteration of battery and drivetrain for Model X?

Discussion in 'Model X' started by vgrinshpun, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. vgrinshpun

    vgrinshpun Active Member

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    Credit Suisse investment bank initiated coverage on Tesla Motors last week. In their report they mention, pretty much as a fact, the new 10%+, more "energetic" battery and next generation drive unit to be used in Model X. See my musings on this subject, cross posted from the investment portion of the Forum:

    Credit Suisse Report and 10 percent more energy per cell - Page 2
     
  2. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    That would be a good way to make the X on par with the S. I believe Elon said we would see about a 10% range loss on the X compared to the same size battery in an X. In an S, it should take EPA from 265 to about 295.
     
  3. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Not fact, speculation, but certainly possible. I hope it's true, as it will show the EV naysayers that batteries improve every few years but ICEs remain basically the same.
     
  4. Matias

    Matias Active Member

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    I still believe this 10% refers to Elon and JB saying in conference call, that GF cells will be 10-15% better in terms of energy dencity.
     
  5. vgrinshpun

    vgrinshpun Active Member

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    Elon and JB mentioning 10% chemistry improvement and the 10% cell capacity improvement mentioned in CS report IS one and the same.

    Remeber that according to the latest from Elon, the Model III will be released late 2016, while Model X in 2015. The design for Model III battery pack, cooling, drivetrain and body can be started after the cell design, chemistry, form factor, etc. is set and frozen. I do not believe TM will be able to accomodate another iteration of the battery cells after the Model X introduction but before Model III. That is why both Elon and JB emphasized that 30% minimum cost reduction is achievable with high degree of certainty, without any breakthroughs in chemistry. The 10% improvement in battery cell capacity mentioned in CS report is part of this improvement, the 20% gain due to manufacturing/vertical integration improvements at the GF is another part.
     
  6. SteveG3

    SteveG3 Active Member

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    I suspect and hope you are right. it wont be long before we know.
     
  7. DIL

    DIL Member

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    Applaud your enthusiasm, but have to call you out on this one. Of course ICE is improving! The incremental innovation in everything from fuel injection to turbo boosting has advanced tremendously.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The Model X is shaping up to be a big leap, not just a taller version of the Model S with AWD. Very cool!
     
  8. James Anders

    James Anders Member

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    There have been huge advances in gas engine technology in the last 5 years. Direct injection is one that comes to mind. 4 cylinder engines are replacing 6 and 8 cylinder engines.
     
  9. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    You say "huge", I say "modest".
     
  10. hileyms

    hileyms Member

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    Direct injection has been around since 1996 in cars (actually Ford did something in the 1970's I think). You did not mention that many European and Japanese manufacturers now have 3 cyclinder engines - mostly to improve fuel consumption to meet new regulations. Not really huge advances.
     
  11. Nubo

    Nubo Test Mule

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    They are still (to quote Robert Llewellyn), "suck-squeeze-bang!-fart!" engines. Some are quite refined. Still not the same as an electric motor. Electric drive is unquestionably superior; the only hitch is cost and performance of batteries. 20 years after that problem is truly solved, begin looking for gasoline cars in museums and concours.
     
  12. James Anders

    James Anders Member

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    DI was invented more than 100 years ago. A number of manufacturers toyed with the technology over the years but it wasn't until recently with modern digital computer controls that GDI has been more widely adopted. Efficiency and power increases can be in the 20-25% range and that is a huge advance.
     
  13. EchoDelta

    EchoDelta Member

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    I had a 1974 Alfa Romeo with Spica injection. Worked great. But Let's see how much time has to go by now to improve 20%!
    We would get slightly excited about 20% between model iterations; but almost assume it for skipped iterations (roadsters->x or modelS->gen3)
    I wonder if someone can do the plot of improvement over log time of ice drivetrains vs electric.
    </offtopic>
     
  14. Red Sage

    Red Sage The Cybernetic Samurai

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    More Deluded Rantings of a Deranged Mind...

    Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha were making gasoline engines that were capable of normally aspirated 250 HP per liter 25 years ago for motorcycles. Honda was offering cars with 50 MPG 25 years ago. Those cars were 49-state legal, and the catalyzed exhaust version for California got 49 MPG. Hypermilers were getting those cars to 100 MPG 25 years ago, and they were not hybrids. If not for regulatory changes in emissions, and restrictive changes in crash protection which made even non-harmful gas compounds illegal and demanded that the weight of cars go up, Honda would have passed 100 MPG years ago.

    The traditional automotive industry is not interested in achieving 'major change' at all. They only do 'incremental change' and even that hearkens back to what they could have accomplished decades earlier. Most of the 'advances' in making the majority of gas guzzlers moderately more fuel efficient has been made by adding more gearshift profiles to automatic transmissions. It used to be a point of pride that a truly powerful motor would "...only get 3 MPG!"

    I find it disingenuous that people who lambasted both EPA regulatory requirements under Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) since 1976, and dismissed the technological advances that made them possible, now laud the results of those very same improvements in ICE vehicles as if it were made in a willing, purposeful, natural fashion.
    • They didn't want fuel injection, because they preferred carburetion.
    • They didn't want automatic transmissions, because they preferred manuals.
    • They didn't want catalytic converters, because they preferred leaded gasoline and a rich mixture.
    • They didn't want engine management computers, because they preferred cars be simple as possible for the shade tree mechanic.
    Every step of the way traditional automobile manufacturers have fought the advance toward the future, always wanting to stay in the past, because that was always 'good enough' for them, and their Customers. If the Detroit Big Three had their way, no one would own a car that weighed less than 6,000 lbs, was less than 22 feet long, got more than 8 MPG on the highway, used anything less than a big block V8, that didn't need a variety of parts replaced every 1-3 months, that didn't need the whole vehicle replaced every 2-4 years... But now they talk about the 'superiority' of petroleum fueled ICE vehicles over BEV as if it is something to be proud of, when in their hearts they despise everything their precious gas guzzlers have been forced to become with the passage of time.

    Before advances in battery technology, and the coming of an upstart such as Tesla Motors, the traditional automobile manufacturers could ignore electric cars. They did so gladly. They would turn their attentions toward electric cars from time-to-time, but only to ridicule them. They thought it was rather cute that warehouse switched to electric fork lifts, and airports and seaports switched to electric carts. They could live with those minor 'innovations', because those electrics were largely out of the public eye and were so obviously handicapped by short range and the need to be plugged in almost all the time. When General Motors accidentally made a viable electric car in the EV1, they campaigned vigorously to make it a failure and finally succeeded in that endeavor, just in time to buy AM General and start pumping out HUMMERS.

    You see, traditional automobile manufacturers don't actually make cars anymore. They build mobile spare parts conveyances. When they design a product line, it is always with a look to the future. But only in terms of how much revenue can be made on the car through service, repairs, and replacements of parts over its limited lifetime of use. Sure, they had to make their cars a little bit more reliable, with the caveat of 'regular maintenance' to consider... But once a warranty ran out, it was back to the same old status quo for vehicles sold as used cars. Alternator, water pump, oil pump, head gasket, transmission seal... The cycle of remove & replace is ongoing until there is a permanent failure of seized parts somewhere in the mix. The car is built when the number it can achieve is most profitable in the long run.

    Electric cars counteract that entire paradigm because once you get them to work, they... work... and don't stop working. Ever. Tesla Motors is close to getting there.

    The two biggest arguments against electric vehicles are their cost and their range. The greatest expense of their manufacture is in the batteries, and it just so happens that the extent of their range comes from batteries as well. Once you are able to achieve range, then the next argument on the list is that they take too long to charge.

    Those arguments become less newsworthy by the day. There is a lot of talk about the energy density of gasoline. But one gallon of gas will never produce more energy. An ICE can at best only use 15% of that energy at its peak efficiency, which goes down with age and wear. An 85 kWh battery pack stores as much energy as 2.5 gallons of gasoline, but uses 85% of that energy in an electric vehicle. That's why you would be lucky to travel over 50 miles in a comparable ICE using 2.5 gallons of gas, while the equivalent energy in a Tesla Model S 85 takes you over 250 miles.

    The cost of batteries will come down due to improvements in the technology and economies of scale through greater production capacity. The energy density of batteries improves at a steady, predictable rate. The number of battery cells that allowed 85 kWh in 2012 will allow 170 kWh by 2020, and probably sooner, but will cost less than they did before. Less than ten years after that, the same number of cells will make for a 340 kWh storage capacity, if not more. Battery packs will cost less, take up less space, weigh less, and provide far more power than ever before, while a gallon of gasoline sits still at 33.7 kWh and hybrid cars struggle to use even 7 kWh of that potential at 20% efficiency.

    When Tesla made the Roadster, the Naysayers proclaimed it was just a small, impractical 'toy for the rich', and thus did not qualify as a 'real car', even if it had managed to attain the impossible: a 200+ mile range.

    When Tesla announced the Model S, the Naysayers stated it was undoubtedly vaporware, because there was 'no way' that anyone could make a full-sized electric sedan that was worthwhile.

    When Tesla went public, Naysayers proclaimed they must be setting up a scam, that they just wanted to frighten a larger, established, automobile company into buying them.

    When the Tesla Model S arrived, Naysayers said it too was a 'toy for the rich' and that it would be a niche product, with little to no adoption, because it was too different from the norm.

    Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt, Deception, Denial, and Duplicity... Such are the tools of Naysayers.
     
  15. TES-E

    TES-E Member

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    Wow.... so what do you REALLY think...? :rolleyes:

    I happen to agree with you... Well said.
     
  16. Phil Seastrand

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    Red Sage: big +1!
     
  17. BlueTan85

    BlueTan85 Member

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    Great post, Red Sage. Heck, great speech! :)
     
  18. Teo

    Teo Banned

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    #18 Teo, Aug 22, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    This is based on research. Deutsche Bank analysts have published a research paper and they are expecting the cost will drop 7.5% every year until 2020.

    Here is a link to the research paper. Look at page 20 for graph.
    PDF Warning: http://bioage.typepad.com/files/1223fm-05.pdf

    Here is an article about the same subject:
    Green Car Congress: Deutsche Bank Forecast sees slower transportation electrification and greater gasoline demand near-term; increased confidence in the pace and breadth of long-term shift to efficient transportation systems

    Here is Marc Tarpenning, one of the founders of Tesla, talking about the same graph at 30m06s. You can switch to HD.



    6a00d8341c4fbe53ef0147e12cbaf5970b-800wi.png
     
  19. bonaire

    bonaire Active Member

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    Has DB gone back and reviewed if the pricing estimates they have in these graphs and studies have played out by their estimates? When making such sweeping assertations, they should back it up with every 2-year reviews to see if they were correct. I do know that the CS guy now (Dan Galves) was at DB back in the 2010 timeframe. So, perhaps this is the same analyst re-hashing what was stated in the past?

    The real answer is scale. And some changes to chemistries. Very large scale manufacturing driving demand of input parts to be priced lower. But this also has to have a customer base out there ready to buy millions of cars per year to help feed the cost of scale price decreases. That is how the big automakers can make lower-priced cars - lots of experience with casting of engine blocks and components. Once electric motors and batteries can be priced below the cost to build an engine, fuel system, emissions, sensors, exhaust - then we will see what is really going to happen. That is the pricing of EVs below the price of comparable ICE vehicles. That's when things get interesting. Get your children into electrician school because there will be a need to install millions of EVSE units in garages worldwide.
     
  20. Red Sage

    Red Sage The Cybernetic Samurai

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    #20 Red Sage, Aug 24, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Teo covered a bunch of it, but just so you know, the 7%-8% annual improvement is in two forms, both an improvement in cost per kWh as well as an improvement in storage capacity. This is per JB Straubel, who has stated multiple times that the capacity of lithium ion batteries doubles consistently within ten years and he doesn't see that changing within the next couple of decades. Just doing the math, an annual improvement of ~8% leads to doubling capacity every nine years. JB mentioned that from the 2007 introduction of the Tesla Roadster and the 2012 release of the Tesla Model S he had personally witnessed an improvement of 40% capacity. If a similar improvement takes place for the 2017 release of Model ≡, then the same number of battery cells that allowed 85 kWh would be capable of ~119 kWh.

    Yes, this was covered in JB Straubel's presentations. That guy absolutely loves batteries. He knows all there is about the technology and its history. I highly recommend you take a look at this video, and take notes:



    I trust that JB Straubel knows what he is doing. I am certain that Tesla Motors will design the Gigafactory in such a way that if something other than lithium ion appears in a mature state, they will be able to switch to another technology in short order, as compared to other manufacturers. When they say their battery cells have twice the energy density of those in a Nissan Leaf, they are effectively saying Tesla's batteries are ten years ahead of Nissan.

    Undoubtedly.
     

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