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Ridiculous concept of range anxiety.

Discussion in 'Canada' started by LazMan, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. LazMan

    LazMan Member

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    I'm not ready to post this on the main forum. I found the NY Times article annoying. I couldn't figure out how the guy ran out of charge so easily. Maybe he had bad info. Maybe running out of charge would make a better story.

    Then comes Elon's response which seems not too well thought out. Sometimes a rash twitter response doesn't help.

    As I sit here waiting for my car to arrive (in about a month), some thoughts on range anxiety. The Tesla comes with a fixed energy source just like my ICE car. The 85kw (or 60 or 40) battery is very similar to a gas tank with a few important trade-offs. In comparison, one could say that it takes a long time to fill and is somewhat smaller. On the other hand, I will soon have a private super cheap gas station in my garage that always gives me a full tank in the morning.

    Unlike gas, most of the energy in the battery goes to towards pushing the car forward. There is very little waste so things like energy to heat the cabin and heat the battery have to come from somewhere. This and other factors like driving style, elevation change will affect the range. It's not a stretch to expect an owner to understand this. There is no voodoo here. The Model S makes the most out of the inherent advantages of an electric care while doing the most to mitigate the disadvantages. As of 2013, no one has done a better job.

    Most people get to know their ICE cars very well. They can tell from the way it hums if there is a problem with the engine. It doesn't take long until you know what a gas gauge on empty really means and how long you can delay going to the gas station.

    It seems that Tesla owners get to know their cars just as well. For the trips that are likely to come close to the range of a full charge, some planning must be done. If that is too much to ask, then an EV is not for you.

    This doesn't seem that complicated. If I run out of gas in my ICE, I'm an idiot. If I run out of charge with a Model S, I'm still an idiot. I've been reading about clean energy, batteries and electric cars for years. I need to be able to easily do a solid 150km 3 times per week in the summer (to satisfy an irrational hobby). The Volt would spend too much time using gas, the Leaf can't handle the distance. So I didn't buy these cars. Then the Model S comes along and I'm sold. It is exactly suited to my needs including my desire to stop using gas. End of story. If I needed to commute from Toronto to Montreal every day, I'd would stick with my Prius (or, bet yet, take the train).

    For the majority of the driving population, the limiting factor is not range but price, which is a much tougher problem to solve. However, if Tesla is a success this year, then the future of EV's for everyone looks a bit brighter.
     
  2. Zextraterrestrial

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  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Actually, you'd be a worse idiot, because the Tesla gives you pretty accurate information on your remaining range. The gas gauge on most cars is more like a guessing game.
     
  4. KBF

    KBF Model S 2017

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    I agree. Not plugging in at night (in the cold, no less) is the indication to me that this reporter is either very ignorant or intentionally wanted to make headlines. I'd suggest the latter. And he was successful.
     
  5. Kaivball

    Kaivball Member

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    Except there is nearly a gas station at every street corner if you "guess wrong".

    The more EV's there are the more critical charging opportunities will be.

    A supercharger with 4 bays? That's a joke.

    Look how many gas stations we have. Electrical charging takes 5 times as long.

    To serve a similar numbers of EV owners you would need 5x the charging opportunities in comparison to normal gas stations for the equivalent number of vehicles.

    Nobody wants to show up at a supercharger and then having to wait 1.5 hours just to begin charging your car.

    That will be a huge challenge for adoption.

    An ICE can get 400 miles in 5 minutes.

    That means you can "charge" at least 8-10 cars per hour.

    To serve the same number of EV's in one hour you need 8-10 charging stations in the same spot.
     
  6. GeekGirls

    GeekGirls Kid in Candy Store

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    Look at how many of the vehicles at those gas stations are refuelling commuters and cars that are otherwise perfectly well served by charging at home. We don't need nearly as many public chargers because only a fraction of the driving we do takes you more than 100 miles from home. The bigger question is whether you can justify the real estate to support the business model - and I suspect you can, just not with the same approach as a conventional gas station. Downtown parking lots that can trickle charge during the day, and restaurants that can take advantage of a captive audience will make more sense than the convenience store. Maybe it's time for the drive-in to make a comeback?

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    That's a huge piece of it. How on earth can you conclude whether the car is practical without taking the time to get to know it before taking a multi-day trip in winter? Really? That's like going hiking in a new pair of boots! Trying to cut it close without even a full standard charge was just asking for trouble, and not knowing that the car uses energy keeping the battery warm? Owners tend to figure that out after one cold night, and pretending otherwise is just wilful ignorance.
     
  7. LazMan

    LazMan Member

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    Okay. Stick with your ICE. I think you missed the point. The Model S is not a complete replacement of your current gas car. It has it's own advantages and disadvantages. If it does not fit with your needs, then don't get it.
     
  8. strider

    strider Active Member

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    But most of the world IS ignorant. I think we live in an EV/TMC bubble where everyone is an enthusiast and spends tons of time reading about batteries and how to care for them. Ask random people if a car loses energy when parked and they'll look at you like you're a fool and then say no. That's a perfectly reasonable assumption to make. The reporter parked the Model S w/ 90 miles showing on the meter and a 45-mile trip to make in the morning - you would have to know how EV's work to know that you needed to plug in. He then woke up to 25 miles showing on the meter. That is a problem. It's one I'm confident Tesla will fix but it is a fact of Model S as it exists today.
     
  9. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    I think you missed this part:
    If there's a mass evacuation of a city or a national road trip month that everyone takes off work at exactly the same time, you'd have a point. But that's not "ordinary time", that's chaos mode. Even gas stations would have lines in such cases.
     
  10. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    True, but they are not always open.

    When I hear the "lack of infrastructure" argument against EVs, I always reply with the following: How many homes or businesses do you know without electricity? There may be a gas station on every corner, but there are 100 potential charging stations on every block. If you're careless enough to run your battery too low to make the trip home, see if someone will lend you a 110V outlet for a few hours. This is hardly an ideal solution (akin to showing up at a stranger's door with a siphon hose in hand), but in an emergency....
     
  11. carrerascott

    carrerascott FUEL FTR

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    The difference is, must EV cars *should* leave home with a "full tank" whereas all ICE cars need to go to a gas station at some point. If I had a local supercharger, I would probably never use it. The only time I'd use one is on a trip, or if for some reason I forgot to plug in overnight (or if we had a power outage at home overnight).

    So theoretically, with the same # of EV vs ICE cars on the roads, there would be MUCH fewer EV cars needing to fill up (since they'd leave home with a full tank daily).

     
  12. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

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    There are far more gas stations than we need. Around me, within 1/2 mile there are 6! It's insane! More than pubs and churches and of course Wal-Marts combined!

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    Exactly!
     
  13. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    Then there are companies like Sun Country Highway, who provided chargers for the whole length of the Trans-Canada Highway for probably significantly less cost than building a single 10+ pump gas station. True EV infrastructure is a matter of time, not possibility. ICE's have a 100-year head start in the infrastructure game, but I bet that could be gone within the decade.
     
  14. MikeL

    MikeL some guy

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    Yes! Every driver checks his/her range everyday. Need more, just get some. The only difference is that 100 yr head start. All media seem to be prohibited from any mention of EVs without exploring the "range anxiety" angle. Pretty soon we'll laugh & say, "remember 'range anxiety'!? What was THAT about?!" ML
     
  15. GlennAlanBerry

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    I agree that range anxiety is a silly concept, but the media seems to like to bang that drum. The Nissan Leaf did not help matters much in that regard, with its relatively short range and overly publized battery degradation issues due to high temperatures. Most lay people are mainly familar with the Leaf.

    Tesla could help fight this issue by announcing their plans about Superchargers in more detail. It would be nice if they could maybe get some partnerships with some large, nationwide retail chains to put in some HPWC-type chargers. Even partnering with Walgreens might be a start.

    In the short-term, I can see some problems for road trip people in the next few months, as more Model S vehicles are being delivered in CA and in NY, so that you could have people having to wait quite a while to get plugged into a Supercharger, especially on a weekend. Imagine some hostile reporter taking a picture of three or four MS's lined up at each charger at a Supercharger station in March or April.
     
  16. K Hall

    K Hall Member

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    I am taking the family on a 1,532 mile spring break trip from Kansas City, MO to Baton Rouge, LA and back in a few weeks. I will post the results of the experience. I donot have any anxiety about making the trip successfully.

    For the record there are no HPWC's or Supercharges on that route.
     
  17. KBF

    KBF Model S 2017

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    I know several very ignorant people, but ALL of them know that batteries discharge over time. That's why they plug in their cellphones overnight. This isn't rocket science. And ALL of them know batteries need coddling in the cold - anyone who leaves a car outside in Manitoba in winter already plugs in their block heater. It doesn't take much to catch on. And even if someone doesn't manage to understand that connection, after seeing a nearly empty car in the morning, I guarantee that they would charge until the estimated range shows more than their destination. That's kindergarten math! (which number is bigger?)

    I don't buy it. I do get a lot of questions from EV n00bs, but they all instantly see how convenient it is to spend 3 seconds plugging in the car whenever they are done for the day (or needing a charge), and leaving it plugged in until you use it again. Tesla's literature says it everywhere - plug in whenever you can. Anyone actually buying a car will see that message multiple times. #NYTFUD /rant

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    All that being said, Tesla wins here, even if the storyteller ("reporter" if we must) doesn't retract his article. Tesla has their own storyline that is furthured: small breakthrough company is persecuted by the oil industry/status quo/ignorati/bad guys. :D
     
  18. Kaivball

    Kaivball Member

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    That's not the point.

    I already ordered the car.

    All I am showing is what would happen if even 20% of cars are EV.

    Unless we are saying that EV's will only/mostly charge at home and people will have a a second car for long distance trips.

    There are two charge ports at my work. There are already 15 EV's.

    Every day is a mad rush of who gets their first and then it's a long conga line of cars shuffling to the charger throughout the day.

    It's a huge distraction. Leave the office, move the car, charge. 2-3 hours later, leave the office again, move the car...

    Charging the EV is now the modern equivalent of the smoke break... :)
     
  19. LazMan

    LazMan Member

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    Enjoy your car when it comes. Hopefully the rollout of EVs will match the increased availability of charging stations. However, I'm sure it will take a long time until that happens. For now there will be lots of stations sitting empty nearly 100% of the time and a few sites with lineups. Oh, the curse of the early adopter.

    Also, the advantage of the Model S is that the range is so good that I will almost always just have to charge at home at night.
     
  20. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    That's a nice problem to have. Around here EVs are still rare.
     

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