Tesla Cars

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workathome
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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by workathome » Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:47 pm

I was thinking more along the lines of "if I drive 60,000 miles/year in a giant SUV that only gets 15 MPG - I could buy a Model X and it would pay for itself in 10 years! So it's free!" Or maybe if the air filter system really work and you can avoid lung cancer and reduce heart disease from exposure to pollution, that could easily be worth $100k or so.

I think you had a good point with "more sense than money" though. Perhaps if you can fire your chauffeur because of the "Autopilot" features and start saving 30k+/year the Model X would also pay for itself in a few years. ;-)

In seriousness though, I agree. An electric with a max speed of 65 or 70, 200 mile range, and 5-6 seats at a reasonable price should replace all ICE cars.

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C40
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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by C40 » Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:42 pm

Ricky wrote:Musk is an unsung hero. Nearly no one I talk to knows who he is - its flooring. He has had an entrepreneurial spirit his entire life and will likely die days after he starts his last company. Fascinating dude and I would buy a Tesla in a heartbeat if I didn't think owning a car over >$25,000 was absolute nuts.
It's interesting to read this a couple years later. Now Musk is a super-hero of nearly anyone with interest in business or technology.

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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by steelerfan » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:16 pm

I guess Jacob can call me an eco-tech hippie LOL. I bought a used 2013 Leaf last November. Paid $12K and received a $3K CO credit. Used but never titled in CO. So for a net $9K I bought a car with 17K miles. The trim and amenities in this base model is basically what you would find in a $20-25K car which is better than I have driven in decades. I love this car for reasons beyond strict economy.

Jacob is correct. There obviously are constraints that make you need to analyze whether it makes sense. I don't necessarily believe that EVs are inferior in every case, but they will not work for some people. There obviously is a range constraint both real and imagined and a battery that WILL degrade over time. The limited range temporarily degrades further in extreme temperatures. If you are in the market for a beater car or are frugal enough to ride a bike walk or take public transit the value is probably not there. Assuming minimal maintenance for the gas car.

I will drive 8000 miles this year for about $100. I am averaging 4 miles per KW @ .05 per KW in CO. I am betting that I will be able to drive this car for several years before I have to make a decision regarding the battery even if my range degrades after the 60K warranty line. In the event I decide to replace it, I am further betting that prices will come down. In addition, there are aftermarket batteries that will extend the range almost double. Not sure if the extra weight will be worth it. Prices are about $5K for a battery but I feel this price will come down and even if it holds I would be fine with a $15K cost for such a great ride with virtually no further maintenance.

Obviously you can beat the value proposition of my used EV with a beater car with gas as low as it is today. Luck may play into it. I always have had several thousand $ in maintenance and repairs in the life of every gas car I have ever had. My crown vic that I sold had cost me about $1500 each of the last two years. It was paid off but was nickel and diming me regularly.

I would never pay the full loaded price for an EV - but at this point I feel they are oversold and when gas prices go back up - they will really pay off - if you accept the limitations of a commuter vehicle with a less than 100 mile range.

George the original one
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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by George the original one » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:35 pm

Friend of mine's wife leased a Leaf during her final years of employment. Her employer paid mileage so she could report to a different work site and the mileage was enough she actually turned a profit on the lease terms!

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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by Noided » Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:22 am

From someone who understands nothing about energy/electricity/fossil fuels, is it more efficient to produce electricity from oil and use it to power cars?

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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by jacob » Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:13 am

@Noided - That practically aren't any oil-fired power plants left. Strictly in terms of CO2 emissions, it depends on whether your local power station is coal fired (electric loses) or gas-fired (slight win) or renewable (bigger win). However, in terms of life-cycle evaluations, the question becomes much harder. Electric cars require more advanced technology and therefore the factory footprint is generally higher. E.g. in principle, you can build a conventional car in a machine shop using steel, but an electric car requires semi-conductor level capabilities (magnets, drivetrain control) and more advanced materials (aluminum, carbon). Thus, electric car manufacturing plants have a bigger industrial footprint than ICE cars.

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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by Freedom_2018 » Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:49 am

So if I am on a long road trip, I can pull into a gas station and top up in a couple of minutes and be on my way. How many hours to charge a Tesla now? Do I need to get a hotel room too?

With a ICE engine, I can carry an extra can of gas that can easily double or triple my range (or AAA can send a vehicle out with extra gas). How do I do that with an EV, haul extra batteries? :)

The energy to weight ratio of a fuel is an important consideration.

I wonder when someone will come out with an electric RV. I bet some folks will buy that too!

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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by workathome » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:04 am

@Freedom - Teslas take 20 minutes to charge to 50%, 40 minutes to charge to 80%. Good time frames for a bathroom break, stretch legs, or eat a meal at the "Supercharger" stations.

There are tools online to plan trips and time the breaks for fill-ups if you're going on a long trip. Also, right now, it's free to fill up for Teslas (this is baked into the high price of the car).

workathome
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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by workathome » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:10 am

The Leaf looks like a good deal. The 2011's are going at auction for closer to 5k. Even the 2015's with better battery packs and almost new are going for less than 13k.

They're much easier to justify purchasing depending on annual fuel costs (then again, you could just live closer to work and ride a bike), but if you're spending 2k/year in gas the car could certainly pay for itself.

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Chris
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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by Chris » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:16 am

Freedom_2018 wrote:With a ICE engine, I can carry an extra can of gas that can easily double or triple my range (or AAA can send a vehicle out with extra gas). How do I do that with an EV, haul extra batteries?
The answer to that would be a pack swap, but it turns out that people aren't interested.

Freedom_2018
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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by Freedom_2018 » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:23 am

See the thing is, an electric car keeps me tied down to some sort of charging infrastructure, trip planning to hit charging stations etc...i.e..it reduces my degrees of freedom.

In that way a Prius is preferable as it extends the range of my gas tank (not accounting for eventual dreaded battery replacement).

Basically what is the value proposition of an electric car?

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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by workathome » Wed Oct 12, 2016 3:03 pm

Value proposition

ICE Cars = Not cool
Tesla = Cool kid. You're better than everyone else, and make rainbows instead of exhaust fumes - and you get to look good and go fast while doing so.

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Chris
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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by Chris » Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:17 pm

Freedom_2018 wrote:Basically what is the value proposition of an electric car?
For most drivers, they get a smoother, quieter, cleaner, lower-maintenance means of transport that they can charge at home. Electric cars make a helluvalotta sense for city transport; most people aren't driving more than 200 miles per day.

As someone who spends most of my miles on the highway, I keep my non-hybrid ICE car. There isn't as much regen braking on the highway as the city, and I don't want to deal with the added maintenance complexity of two types of motors in the same car. The battery is also a concern, though perhaps an unfounded one. I know several Prius drivers, and they're still getting very acceptable battery performance several years after warranty. And I expect battery prices to continue to decline: in 2010, the Leaf battery cost $18k; now it's $5k. If Tesla's Gigafactory comes online, the world supply of batteries will double.

Freedom_2018
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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by Freedom_2018 » Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:25 pm

Methinks something like the smart car would be a good solution for cities. Parking spaces are a huge concern...try parking in LA, Seattle or SF. Those small smart cars would essentially double the parking space available...marketing just has to find a way to make small cars cool..maybe put a kardashian or two in them.

Electric cars seem like a solution looking for a problem at this point. Perhaps if we have more electricity being generated from renewables(water, wind etc) then it would make more sense.

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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by jacob » Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:03 pm

Freedom_2018 wrote:Electric cars seem like a solution looking for a problem at this point. Perhaps if we have more electricity being generated from renewables(water, wind etc) then it would make more sense.
The reason for all the subsidies is to create the demand for this infrastructure. It will increase electricity demand and hence price leading to more renewable investment. Government has to be involved (with a subsidy) in order to nudge the supply/demand intersection. In a way, the subsidy is a way to get the public to demand an upfront investment in the infrastructure that will then be a low-cost solution for many years to come.

(It's kinda like what Tesla did to fund their research by making rich people with loose money pay for fancy sports cars so they could drive the production of a cheaper but still crazy expensive S model. Except the government is doing it for renewable infrastructure ... and with other people's money.)

The larger problem is cultural in the sense that society is trying to find a solution to a problem that could be designed away with smarter strategic choices (public transport, for example). But tradition is strong and doesn't die easily.

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Riggerjack
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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by Riggerjack » Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:38 am

The larger problem is cultural in the sense that society is trying to find a solution to a problem that could be designed away with smarter strategic choices (public transport, for example). But tradition is strong and doesn't die easily.
Top
Public transportation is not a smarter strategic choice.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_ ... sportation


US Passenger transportation

The US Transportation Energy Data Book states the following figures for passenger transportation in 2009:[63]
Transport mode Average passengers per vehicle BTU per passenger-mile MJ per passenger-kilometre
Rail (intercity Amtrak) 20.9 2,435 1.596
Motorcycles 1.16 2,460 1.61
Rail (transit light & heavy) 24.5 2,516 1.649
Rail (commuter) 32.7 2,812 1.843
Air 99.3 2,826 1.853
Cars 1.55 3,538 2.319
Personal trucks 1.84 3,663 2.401
Buses (transit) 9.2 4,242 2.781
Taxi 1.55 15,645 10.257

Driving a pickup alone is more efficient than riding a bus, and light rail is within 0.5% of flying.

Public transportation is a boondoggle powered by subsidies and baseless self righteousness.

But bicycles still rock.

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Riggerjack
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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by Riggerjack » Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:53 am

D'oh!
Looking again, the pickup only beats a bus if you have a passenger 60% of the time.

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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by ducknalddon » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:32 am

Those figures look dubious to me, why is a taxi so different from a car?

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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by jacob » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:51 am

@Riggerjack - I used to that the bus to work out here in the near-burbs. Sometimes I was the only person in the bus! That's obviously a total waste of vehicle. I notice that the average passenger count in your table is 9.2 humans/bus. That's not a lot and a lot of those routes could be replaced with vans. Indeed, if more people took the bus instead of sitting backed up in traffic (to get to downtown which is about 8 miles away takes about 45-60 minutes), bus efficiency would go way up---also traffic would flow faster.

Another potential issue is that busses in the US have really strange seating arrangement with seats pointing in all kinds of directions instead of just being rows of two+two seats on each side of the isle. I don't know whether that's to accommodate several wheel chairs at a time or to provide seating for really fat passengers. Capacity may be down to 18-24 people per bus instead of twice that with a traditional seating plan.

In conclusion, it's a system problem. In the US with so many cars around, I think any transition is better solved with Uber like apps.

In terms of cost/efficiency, accounting is often biased against the public option. E.g. when computing the cost of driving, it's presumed that roads are magically free or that traffic accidents or pollution have no cost. Whereas a subway is charged 100% by the bottom line w/o including business growth around the stations. It's really apples and oranges.

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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by Freedom_2018 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:03 am

@Jacob:

Tesla battery is like 85kwh. Assuming some charges almost fully daily, lets say 72kwh...annual incremental consumption is 72x 365 = 26,280 kWh of lets say 26mwh.

US annual consumption is 5 billion mwh(https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... onsumption)
So if they even sell one million teslas it represents 26million mwh on 5 billion base for about 0.5%. At 10million electric cars we get to 5% incremental consumption. That plan requires selling a lot of electric cars!

Not sure what that would do to electricity price as that will depend on how much generation capacity needs to be built (if any) at the margin to support this additional demand.

Also issues such as standards in charging platforms would have to be considered (like the 7 layer osi model that our internet protocol is based on)...i.e...can electric cars share a charging platform or are they each going to develop their own. This would impact battery production standards.

@riggerjack:

The rail/train numbers look bad because in the US..people expect to travel in public transport like they do in an airline..i.e...one passenger per seat. We need to pack them in like sardines as they do in Japan, China and India. Numbers will look much better then ..ha ha...:)

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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by jacob » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:13 am

@F2018 - There are 250M passenger vehicles in the US to be replaced within the next 10-15 years. I think the goal is to sell a lot. Home charging work can we done with standard 110V (slow) or an upgrade to 220V (much faster). What's interesting is that the battery bank in the vehicle could in principle be rigged to serve as the backup for home power, e.g. to serve as a PV energy reserve overnight [when the sun isn't shining]. IOW, all those EVs hooked up is a distributed replacement for baseload generators.

In terms of energy usage, the US is rich is coal and [shale] gas, but poor in oil, so each EV contributes a tiny bit to oil independence.

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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by Freedom_2018 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:44 am

I find it somewhat amusing that as far as digital storage goes, the move is away from discrete fragmented storage to the cloud or 'grid'.

On the other hand, electricity is moving from the grid to discrete battery packs roaming on four wheels (as well as discrete home solar installations etc).

If I recall correctly, high voltages are great for transmitting electricity since for the same wattage, a lower current means need for less thickwires (saves on materials) and lower transmission losses.

For battery charging, I thought a slight higher voltage than the battery's output with generous amounts of amperage were the way to go, but with quick charging pretty much a customer requirement to consider an electric car, battery technology would have to evolve to withstand high voltage charging without heating up the battery to combustion point.

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Riggerjack
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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by Riggerjack » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:01 pm

Yeah, the numbers look suspect,because the results are unexpected. I've looked,at several sources, and most are in agreement. Japan is way ahead in Rail efficiency, but still not a huge difference. UK numbersare also similar.

To better understand, abus has 500lbs/ passenger at peak load. And it starts and stops far more than a car on the same road. It's worse at 900lbs per passenger at typical loads.

Expensive fuel will fix this with fewer stops and fewer runs, but as state/Federal funds buy buses, and cities pay drivers, this won't be solved by more size appropriate buses.

It's just waste, all the way down.

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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by Toska2 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:29 pm

I take all those passenger mile per BTU with a grain of salt.
Something about population density and how places like NYC couldnt possibly transport everyone by car or bike. Larger cities that do are sprawled out thus increasing the total miles. Better P-M/BTU for autos but making for a net loss to the environment. Apartment living vs suburban housing econmics are also excluded.

I dont despise Tesla but I wish the efforts were put towards school buses. I believe the utilization rate, economies of scale, and cradle to grave process gives a better return on investments.

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Riggerjack
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Re: Tesla Cars

Post by Riggerjack » Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:55 pm

I honestly don't follow your point. Buses don't become more efficient because the city is dense. But then, I'm on the west coast, in a rural county. Before our county's free bus system went bankrupt, using their unverified numbers, we were paying $15/passenger mile for a free service. It would be cheaper to just have a free taxi service.

To be fair, the commuting runs to the ferry run near capacity, one way, for a few hours every day. But, other than that, it pretty much just shuttles seniors around with 0-3 passengers in a full sized bus.

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