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We aren’t giving Tesla enough credit for how incredible the Model S is

S'toon

Knows where his towel is
Apr 23, 2015
3,702
3,749
AB
On Friday, Tesla announced a suite of upgrades to the Model S sedan. The headline improvement was the introduction of “Ludicrous Mode,” which betters the “Insane Mode” the company created for the high-performance P85D all-wheel-drive, twin-motor version of the car last October.


Insane Mode was truly insane. Here was a four-door luxury car that could do 0-to-60 in a staggering 3.1 seconds. That’s supercar velocity.
But Ludicrous Mode cranks the Model S up to 11. Yes, it truly does. Through some complicated electrical engineering and the addition of a 90kWh battery option, the Model S P85D can, according to Tesla do 0-60 in 2.8 seconds, breaking the highly symbolic 3-second barrier and serving up straight-line performance reserved for roughly half a dozen so-called hypercars, such as the Ferrari LaFerrari and the McLaren P1 — exotic beasts that cost more than a million bucks.


The P85D — actually, it should probably be called the P90D, with the 90kWh upgrade — costs a bit more than $100,000.
Now that’s ludicrous!


Even more astonishing is how Tesla was able to achieve this level of velocity. As CEO Elon Musk related on a conference call Friday, and in a company statement, Tesla wasn’t exactly trying to create the kind of acceleration for the Model S that would rival what Musk gets from the the products of his other company, SpaceX, and its rockets.


Rather, Tesla was trying to make the powertrain (that’s the battery pack plus the electronics and motors that drive the wheels) last a million miles (itself an impressive goal). This process entailed improving a fuse that would typically melt when sucking too much power. A “smarter” fuse solved this problem — and serendipitously now enables the P85D in Ludicrous Mode to continue, effectively, accelerating in Insane Mode past the previous Insane Mode limits.
It’s double Insane Mode!

<snip>
Full article at:
http://www.businessinsider.co.id/arent-giving-tesla-enough-credit-incredible-model-s-is-2015-7/
 

ThosEM

Space Weatherman
Dec 13, 2013
870
324
Annapolis, MD
Seems like I read that the increased power also involves a new *contactor* material that supports a higher maximum current draw from the battery, which of course translates directly to more power capability. The numbers are given here: How does Tesla work? - TESLARATI.com

1500 A (the earlier limit was 1300 A) at 400 V would seem to be 600 kW, or 804 HP. So the earlier limit of 691 HP has been elevated that much!

I must confess I have no aspiration to have that much power in any car I own, but it kind of cool to think that we can have that much power, with essentially no downside in terms of energy efficiency when tooling along at normal highways speeds.
 

neroden

Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan
Apr 25, 2011
14,676
63,889
Ithaca, NY, USA
This actually shows how far Tesla will go to fix hardware design problems. Remember a couple of people had problems with main contactor failures? Arcing, melting, disconnecting, etc? Not very many people had this problem, but Tesla has just redesigned the main contactor with a different material in order to prevent it from ever happening again.

They really are aiming for a service-free car. I don't think that's achievable (crash repairs alone will demand service) but they're closer to it than any other car company.

This bodes badly for Tesla stock about 30 years down the road, when every car on the road is a Tesla but none of them have worn out yet. :) But it's great for anyone buying the car. And it should accelerate the adoption of electric cars if they last longer than gasoline cars, so it's good for the world.
 
This actually shows how far Tesla will go to fix hardware design problems. Remember a couple of people had problems with main contactor failures? Arcing, melting, disconnecting, etc? Not very many people had this problem, but Tesla has just redesigned the main contactor with a different material in order to prevent it from ever happening again.

They really are aiming for a service-free car. I don't think that's achievable (crash repairs alone will demand service) but they're closer to it than any other car company.

This bodes badly for Tesla stock about 30 years down the road, when every car on the road is a Tesla but none of them have worn out yet. :) But it's great for anyone buying the car. And it should accelerate the adoption of electric cars if they last longer than gasoline cars, so it's good for the world.

I don't think it will be bad for the stock, as they will continue to add new features to the car, or change how it looks. Apple phones are pretty reliable, and yet people keep buying them for the new features and the looks.
 
We also seem to forget that the Model S really is Tesla's first car. Then we go and compare the fit and finish with cars from other luxury car manufcaturers, like Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Porsche, etc. I do the same thing. All these manufacturers had many decades to perfect their production and quality. They can focus on small improvements on the next release of the same model to achieve a higher quality at a certain price. I can only imagine what kind of quality and price Tesla will be able to achieve in 10 or 20 years. SpaceX reduced rocket launch cost by 75%. Granted, the automotive industry is a different competitor from government funded rocket programs, but still. Detroit certainly often looks like a government operation.
 

Right_Said_Fred

Moderator
Moderator
May 11, 2012
4,368
41,928
The Netherlands
Indeed a most incredible car. It works so well this fact slips into the background of daily life, and sometimes you fall into taking it for granted and need to be reminded, as per the title.

Or you get reminded when renting an ICE while vacationing in another part of the world. In my case a brand new VW Golf. What a horrible car, compared to my Model S. It's amazing what established carmakers get away with as long as many people do not know yet how comfortable electric driving can be, even in smaller cars like the Volt (which I also own) and the Leaf.
 
1500 A (the earlier limit was 1300 A) at 400 V would seem to be 600 kW, or 804 HP. So the earlier limit of 691 HP has been elevated that much!

Well... that is the power extracted from the battery during full acceleration. It is not the power put onto the road by the four tires. There are a variety of (small) inefficiencies throughout the powertrain - which would shame any internal combustion configuration, but nevertheless they're still there. To say the new car has 804hp would probably be stretching things a little too much.
 
J

jbcarioca

Guest
Well... that is the power extracted from the battery during full acceleration. It is not the power put onto the road by the four tires. There are a variety of (small) inefficiencies throughout the powertrain - which would shame any internal combustion configuration, but nevertheless they're still there. To say the new car has 804hp would probably be stretching things a little too much.
Since the typical drivetrain power loss for AWD is 20-10% more than with 2WD, tesla has a huge advantage in that the differential loss due to AWD is probably negligible. The typical ICE losses due to transmission conversion losses are in the order of 15% or so at best and a typical >20% for any automatic transmission. As a further ICE issue, maximum torque is usually in a very narrow band, and horsepower in an even narrower band. Both those are true regardless of what ICE type (diesel, gasoline, compression ignition or otherwise...). Almost all of those inefficiencies are absent from BEV's.

I do not know, but I am sure that the Model S loses not much more than 20% of energy input due to the storage and transmission inefficiencies. Even the best ICE vehicles will face 80% or more loss due to heat generation alone. That is why the engines are called "heat engines" because their power comes from rapidly heated (exploding) gases.

BHP (Brake Horsepower) to WHP (Wheel Horsepower) comparisons will inherently favor battery powered vehicles. That said, the conversions of electrical power output to horsepower are valid enough, but do not in any way equate to actual delivered power to the wheels.

We all know the Model S can break dyno belts, which happens because electric motors have their highest torque at a dead stop, hence our marvellous launches! ICE must always have slower response, if only because they must make a large number of small explosions in order to produce the torque.
 

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