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The reality of tesla?

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by serious7, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. serious7

    serious7 Member

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    #1 serious7, Jul 9, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
    Hey everyone! I'm 18 years old and have been a long time fan of the tesla motors company. I've been following the production of hte roadster since it first appeared in the media and im a very green type of person. I've followed hydrogen fuel cell production for as long as I can remember and was a fan of that technology back in the days, but now i've come to realize that electric may be the wave of the future. ^_^ I plan to purchase a roadster in maybe a decade maybe :eek: haha but i have a few doubts about the technology as of right now. So for the owners out there could ya help me out a bit?

    1) Does the tesla roadster really have that 200+ mile range on full charge? Did any of you guys reach that mileage or can it only be achievable in "range" mode?

    2) Does a full charge really only cost something around 3 dollars or is it a lot more? I plan to charge my very future tesla roadster on solar power haha ^_^

    3) This is an important question. How much does it cost to replace the battery pack. Did the tesla company give you owners any information about this?

    4) I heard that at 100 thousand miles, the battery capacity will max out 80 percent. Its not bad, but when do you guys plan to replace your batteries? When it reaches 50 percent? 40 ? 30?

    5) If you have the ac one, music on, and driving in race like conditions, do you notice a significant decrease in your range for driving? If so, by how much? Please elaborate.

    6) Do you guys think that tesla would ever adopt a new sort of "battery technology" into thier cars that will force them to re-engineer and re-design the roadster and other models all over again thus making the current roadsters completely out of date for future repairs?

    7) And finally a personal question. Do you owners somewhat feel that your roadsters may not be reliable enough to reach the end of the destination and back?
     
  2. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    I'm not an owner but I'll give you my thoughts on some of your questions.

    One way to figure it is if the Tesla uses 220 watt hours per mile it will use 48.4KWH in a 220 mile drive. Multiply 48.4 by your electric rate, say for example .12 cents per KWH, and you get $5.81 to fill up.

    The great thing about EV's is the motor doesn't care how it gets it's power. A different battery chemistry as long as it's configured to give the same voltage should not cause any problems. You might need to reprogram the charger a bit differently but that should not be a big deal. Right now there are people who made EV conversions with lead batteries and have replaced it with lithium.
     
  3. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    Sure thing! The Roadster is an absolute blast to own and drive, and is definitely part of a big greening effort for me. Solar panels, CFL and LED lighting, more efficient appliances. But the Roadster is the most fun part of that.

    1) Yes, you can really get 200+ miles a charge. After driving it for a bit, you realize how much the range is under your control, and the car's VDS gives you enough information to easily tune your driving. I feel like I could easily get 200 miles on a standard charge if I wanted to. But, you also quickly realize that the number of times that range figure actually matters is very small, because you can plug-in at home and have more than enough charge for a day of driving by the next morning.

    2) I haven't bothered to track charging cost, because most of my charging is at work!

    3) We don't know. More importantly, we don't know what it will cost when it's actually time to replace it in 7 years. We have guesses - I suspect the cost will be less than, say, $18k when it's time.

    4) Battery life is going to depend on how much it's babied, etc. Longevity is going to vary by owner and usage pattern. I suspect my replacement will be more determined by an increase in 0-60 time rather than a decrease in range.

    5) The audio system takes very little juice. I have it on all the time. The AC takes a bit more - I suspect it's about a 5-8% hit on range, but I think others have better data than I.

    6) It's technology. It marches forward. We already know the '10 system is slightly different. As long as I can get a battery replacement when I need one for a reasonable price, I don't mind. That's life. I got the car I paid for and I'm totally happy with it (besides, I still like the spartan-with-a-purpose '08 interior more). Repairs will always be available for it, at what price is the question. People still keep classic cars going, it's just more expensive when something breaks. How rapidly that occurs is going to be anybody's guess.

    7) As reliable, if not more, than the engined car it replaces. Mechanically, it's far simpler.
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Not an owner either, but I will try a few:

    I depends on how fast you drive.
    Twitter / Bob Sexton: Customer: "I only get 100 ...
    PG&E E9 rates go as low as $0.05/kWh so it can be as low as $3.
    On the other hand, some people have peak rates closer to $.30/kWh so it could be as much as $20 in a worst case scenario. And yes, if you generate your own power (e.g.: PV or Wind) then it could be nearly free in some cases.

    "Tesla Battery Pack Replacement Would be $36,000 Today, Musk Says " Green Car Advisor
     
  5. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    That is how you do it !!!

    Same here. I can live with reduced range down to about 120-150 miles. I will consider replacement if the performance drops significantly.
     
  6. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    I don't recall where, but I think I read that they do expect performance will slowly degrade not just range.

    Who knows what kind of technology they will have available by the time you guys get to 100K miles in ~5-10 years.
     
  7. BBHighway

    BBHighway Member

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    I'm sure I can get 200 miles out of a standard charge by driving very conservatively, but what I think is much more pleasing is that I can get 200 miles from a range mode charge even when driving pretty much normally.

    When the batteries finally need to be replaced, I'm not as concerned with the cost as I am looking forward to the potential of increased range. Soon 18650 cells will be on the market that could provide 360 miles of range and I expect by the time the pack need replacing we'll be able to get a 480 mile pack.

    For me a full charge costs $6 (in range mode). About half of my electricity comes from the solar panels on my roof. So I'm not entirely free of fossil fuel, but if everyone could cut their carbon based fuel use by half we would be in great shape.
     
  8. Dean

    Dean Member

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    While I'm not yet a Roadster owner (though I should be by next week) I feel confident enough to answer two of your questions...

    The cost to fill up the Roadster is directly related to your own cost of electricity. I used to be on the So Cal Edison Domestic (standard) rate plan. My electricity rate was 36.9cents/kWh. However, in anticipation of my Roadster, I have changed to the TOU-D2 rate plan, which will allow me to charge the Roadster during non-peak hours for an annual average of around 15cents/kWh.

    According to Tesla's documentation, it takes 68kWh of electricity to fill up the Roadster's 55kWh battery pack. Therefore, it will cost me approximately $10.20 to entirely charge the battery. Note that had I not changed to the TOU plan, it would have cost me $25.09 to fill the car up. Further note that with my current rate plan, should I accidentally charge the car during peak hours (10am-6pm), my summer (June-October) rate increases to 33.9cents/kWh.

    Lastly, while solar power is no doubt great for the environment, in virtualy all cases, the real world cost of solar electricity is substantially higher when compared to purchasing electricity from your local utility company.

    Tesla's estimate is that, if taken care of properly, you could expect your the battery to last up to 10 years. While no one can predict what a new battery will cost in 10 years, I personally believe it is reasonable to expect that new battery technologies will yield a lighter, smaller battery with more capacity, that costs substantially less than it does today. And assuming Tesla is successful in mass producing their cars (along with other car companies) the scale of economy for mass produced batteries should further reduce the cost of a replacement battery.

    If you buy a Roadster today, Tesla will pre-sell you a replacement battery for a mere $12,000. But I'll make you a deal, for $12,000 today, I'll buy you two batteries 10 years from now... and I'll give you half your money back too. [In other words, the current battery replacement deal is a financially unsound investment when compared with other opportunities for investing your $12,000 over the next 10 years.]

    Of course, the point is an irrelevant one for the many owners who won't still own their Roadster 10 years from now.
     
  9. serious7

    serious7 Member

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    haha its nice to see like minded individuals who want to help the environment!

    I think 5-8 percent is a lot of loss. I dont own a tesla yet as Im still a kid haha but I read that there are a few different modes to drive on. A ranged mode that gives full accessibility to your battery (full 100 percent) and a standard mode (correct me if im wrong) that gives you around 80 percent ish (correct me if im wrong) of your battery power. Im sure any conservative owner of the roadster would drive in standard mode so thats a huge chunk of driving range gone. On top of that if you're using a heat/ac system, 5-8 more percent would also be gone? Thats like 15 miles of driving range gone.. I live in canada so I would definitely need to rely on a heating system..could someone else confirm what is the impact on the range of the roadster using the heating system + sound system?


    The point of an electric car is to save money in the long run (since it uses green technology) and the battery replacement cost of 18 thousand would negate any beneficiaries a potential tesla customer would get from purchasing the car (other than the fact they get a sick ride that probably wont have any emisions depending on where the user gets the electricity from). Say I have to replace the battery packs in about 7 years. If i have to pay about $120/month of gas for a gas powered car, that will add up to about $10080 dollars of gas in the course of 7 years.

    As u can see, even with maintenance cars, the overall cost to run a roadster is a lot more than a gas powered car which is very sad. By the time I graduate and get my first job, we'll probably see the first batches of roadsters for thier replacement batteries and I truly wish the replacement cost for the battery will be a lot cheaper than $10080 otherwise it is just way too expensive to use this beast. One of the ways environmentalists promote green technology is through advertising how cheap green technology is in the long run. Sure the roadster only costs pennies per mile, and you can have a completely free ride if you use solar panels to charge it. And in that simple math calculation, we are considering just the milage costs of running a roadster vs a simple gas powered vehicle and they are not anywhere near close to each other (even if you include maintenance costs for a gas powered car it would still not be enough). A 36 thousand dollar price tag for a battery pack is like paying for a new low end gas powered sports car. :( And plus, the insurance costs for a roadster would probably be pretty high as well unfortunately... I'm not trying to bash the roadster, Im a great fan of the design and I want to actually work for tesla in the future (one of my dream jobs haha) and I am soon going to devote my life into studies related into this field. But we'll see how the costs are in the future when technology is more advanced, and production is larger.

    Does driving at high speeds really affect the milage? Can anyone confirm that? Im curious to know how much...I search everywhere on the internet and its hard to find this information.

    I would hope too. But I was wondering about wether the car could benefit from future battery technology where batteries would get lighter and carry more power. I know the tesla has a lot of weight from the battery pack and it was structurally designed to overcome that weight, but what would happen in the future if battery technology becomes a lot lighter and more efficient? Adding a new battery pack that is lighter would cause an imbalance on the structural design of the current tesla roadsters wouldnt it? Would the company go against giving the current owners a different mass of battery packs or would they try to give the same mass but larger capacity of energy? 480 miles per charge is amazing in my opinion. I would love to see that! Even if you drive past the 100 thousand mile mark (which adds up to probably 80 percent of battery capacity left [correct me if im wrong ]), it will still give you enough milage and juice to reach far destinations! that means u dont have to replace the battery for like 10 years+++++!!!!!
     
  10. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Everyone seemed to cover all your questions above but your "10 years away" number really makes almost all the answers moot. 10 years ago there was no Tesla. 10 years from now Tesla will have two or three more cars out and there will probably be a dozen other Electric cars to choose from, all of which will be at least double today's range and much less cost than anything in the near future.
     
  11. serious7

    serious7 Member

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    Yea, but you never really know right?
     
  12. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Only in my bones. :tongue:
     
  13. serious7

    serious7 Member

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    I hope the technology gets better. LIke if the EV1's were able to get popularity back in the day (and still be economically affordable), then why cant the electric cars of the future be? :tongue:
     
  14. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    One thing seems pretty obvious, no one is buying a $120,000 Tesla to save money, so your cost analysis doesn't really apply.
    If you want to save money on transportation move as close as possible to where you work and buy the cheapest reliable used ICE you can find, or bike and take the bus. Or convert your own ICE into an EV and live with the limited range.
     
  15. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    I've never seen a vehicle have structural problems from having to carry less weight. Handling might be affected somewhat, but from what I've seen a lighter pack would be a benefit and remove much of the body lean seen in slaloms. You could always add some bricks if you really needed the extra weight.
     
  16. serious7

    serious7 Member

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    Im iwlling to shell out 120 thousand. But I dont want to pay more for milage than a gas powered car. I believe that green technology should be known as a cheaper alternative to CO2 emitters in the long-term scenario. People will only go for this technology when it becomes very clear that a person will save money in the future if they go green as opposed to produce emissions.
     
  17. serious7

    serious7 Member

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    haha yea. But doesnt the battery pack constitute a large percentage of the roadster? Its supposedly heavier than the lotus elise isnt it? Jeremy Clarkson did a segment on roadster and explained how the battery pack made a significant impact on the handling of the roadster in tight turns. I'm no race car driver so I can't comment on the accuracy of that statement, but the structural design of the car must've been made to cater towards the heavy battery weight. It's probably one of the reasons why the roadster is a bit wider than the lotus elise cause i remember an engineer from tesla said in an interview "we made it a bit wider to make the car handle better" or something along those lines.
     
  18. Dean

    Dean Member

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    The Engineering Blog on Tesla's web site covers this in detail. Here's the summary...
    15 mph = 400 mile range
    30 mph = 360 mile range
    45 mph = 285 mile range
    60 mph = 220 mile range
    75 mph = 160 mile range

    Nothing about this car makes much economic sense. But in countless ways, price included, many would consider it far superior to other comparable cars in its class. If you want to compare running costs, you should use the mileage of comparable sports cars, which likely get around 12 mpg (or less at high speeds). Nevertheless, operational costs for battery and electricity are MUCH, MUCH higher than the marketing would have you believe. Like I said earlier, solar energy on your rooftop is still more expensive than buying it from the electric company, but there are other reasons to go solar, such as making a difference for the environment. "Making a difference" plus the sheer enjoyment of driving this car are a few really good reasons for getting the Roadster!


    For the best gas mileage as the lowest price, you could buy one of these.
     
  19. mt2

    mt2 Member

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    First, I gotta thank you for some intelligent questions. We're so tired of fielding the inevitable perpetual motion questions, we've actually started a thread with the stupidest questions we could dream up. Very insightful, thank you.

    Second, a lot of your questions can be answered by searching the forum. The vBulletin search function isn't great, so you might try Google and add "site:teslamotorsclub.com" to your search. And then expect to have to wade through a lot of posts. But the reward will be a detailed answer to just about everything you're interested in.

    Finally, I have to agree with Dean. Don't try to cost justify a Roadster. It was intended to be a high price car to bury the cost of innovation. The Tesla business model considers that all new technology, PCs, cell phones, flat screen TVs, even indoor plumbing, was expensive when introduced. So the Roadster was designed to compete with cars in the same (and higher) price bracket. If you must compare, compare against other sports cars with the same performance. The Roadster will come out ahead.
     
  20. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #20 TEG, Jul 9, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
    Some of the questions posed in this topic were recently discussed here:

    Ask It: 2009 Tesla Roadster | NextAutos.com and Winding Road


    By the way, the big power draws are probably the main heater and the air conditioner. Say ~1000 - 2000watts for each. So if you keep the heat or A/C on you might lose say ~10 miles of range every hour.
    On the other hand the heaters built into the seats use a _lot_ less so if all you need is to keep your backside warm there isn't much impact on range.
    Also, the stereo probably uses <200watts (depending on how loud you run it) which isn't going to have a noticeable impact on range either.


    Just stay away from the heater/AC/defroster (unless you really need it) and everything should be fine.
     

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