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Tesla Motors - I want one

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
Click here for an absolutely gorgeous all-electric sports car.

0-60mph in ~4 seconds
135MPG equivalent

Two pictures say it all:




Look at that torque curve!

I keep putting off a new automobile purchase (I drive a '92 Lexus (123,000 miles) and the wife drives a '93 Camry (152,000 miles)) because I have myself convinced that if I can keep these two running past 200,000 we will have a replacement for the internal combustion engine. I literally want these two cars to be the last gas-powered cars I ever own. Possible? Probably not.
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post #2 of 39
Yeah, electric motors are incredible for torque. Only question: weight? All those batteries gotta weigh tonnes. And doing 0-60 in 4 seconds may flatten them instantaneously...

But I'm all for it!
post #3 of 39
This is why I have been a proponent of electric cars and hybrids - for that instant on torque.

I worry about EMFs a little though - are you going to get testicular cancer from the car or something?
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post #4 of 39
The signature ones are going for $100,000. The production ones will be around$80,000. It was on a NPR segment last night. They were also talking about a minivan that they would be doing. By the time they come out (minivans), I won't need the minivan and will be in the market for the 2 seater. Hope the price will be down to $40,000 then. They also say that it will take about 3.5 hours to charge. If they had a quick charge, say 30 minutes that would get you and extra 150 - 200 miles it would make it more than just a commuter car.

reg
post #5 of 39
Yeah I saw that on Uncrate.
post #6 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by reg
The signature ones are going for $100,000. The production ones will be around$80,000. It was on a NPR segment last night. They were also talking about a minivan that they would be doing. By the time they come out (minivans), I won't need the minivan and will be in the market for the 2 seater. Hope the price will be down to $40,000 then. They also say that it will take about 3.5 hours to charge. If they had a quick charge, say 30 minutes that would get you and extra 150 - 200 miles it would make it more than just a commuter car.

reg

Acura has had a hybrid with similar performance numbers in development for a while. It was called the "Dualnote" at first, and then the name was changed to DN-X:

http://research.cars.com/carsapp/nat...acura/dnx.tmpl

Kind of ugly body, but it is a test mule only. I imagine that the end product would look kind of like the Acura NSX.
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post #7 of 39
There's a few projects about electric cars out there. That's why paying so much for gas can be good because it causes people to create alternatives.

Hey Groverat, "my" Wrightspeed X1' can beat "your" car! 0-60 in 3 seconds.

"Yours" is nicer and more normal looking though. The creator of the Wrightspeed, Mr. Wright used to work for Martin Eberhard, co-founder of Tesla Motors (Tesla gets funding from PayPal founder Elon Musk). In fact they were neighbors.

Wow, I was just reading the info. on the website. These guys have thought of everything. They even have solar panels for your home to charge this puppy and more. And 250 mile range is outstanding.

There are companies working on high-performance batteries that are half the cost, lighter and charge even faster. I hope whoever wants a cool looking car that's faster and cheaper than almost any gas powered sports car out there will look into these and help create economies of scale.

This car will be at the Petersen Automotive Museum in LA this weekend. Definitely gonna go check it out. Thanks for the info.
post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
This is why I have been a proponent of electric cars and hybrids - for that instant on torque.

I worry about EMFs a little though - are you going to get testicular cancer from the car or something?

It depends on how the speed is controlled. If the company is aptly named, then I'd expect that AC power is used, which I've never seen get into the frequency ranges that can affect organic tissue.

But if traditional batteries are used, I don't think there's any good way to utilize AC, and hence there will undoubtedly be some degree of high frequency harmonic EM energy. This will occur whenever "switching" is used (usually pulse-width-modulation). Incidentally, PWM harmonics are also responsible for the buzzing you sometimes hear when certain battery-powered electronics are charging.

Edit:
It appears that the car uses 1000 pounds of Lithium-Sulfur batteries and uses a switched-3-phase-AC power system. Depending on the design of the power controller, it could potentially deliver a relatively clean AC waveform since there are so many battery packs. The cleaner the waveform, the less parasitic EM energy, and the less harmonic energy.
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post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
It depends on how the speed is controlled. If the company is aptly named, then I'd expect that AC power is used, which I've never seen get into the frequency ranges that can affect organic tissue.

But if traditional batteries are used, I don't think there's any good way to utilize AC, and hence there will undoubtedly be some degree of high frequency harmonic EM energy. This will occur whenever "switching" is used (usually pulse-width-modulation). Incidentally, PWM harmonics are also responsible for the buzzing you sometimes hear when certain battery-powered electronics are charging.

The power lines that people worry about living under are AC also - and I thought that both AC and DC power transmission resulted in electric fields. I doubt that the car is AC, because the batteries will supply DC, and would there be a purpose to including an inverter and running AC motors?

I don't know if I believe that living under power lines causes cancer, but the people liable to buy this car are also the people liable to believe that EMFs cause cancer.
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post #10 of 39
Thread Starter 
I like that this car doesn't even use the latest-and-greatest battery technology, meaning that not only is there a lot of room for growth, there's room for growth already.

As far as whether or not this will zap your little sperm soldiers I leave that to the experts. I doubt they're putting out a cancer machine.
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post #11 of 39
The torque isn't actually that high - my Volvo wagon has 295 foot pounds, almost twice as much, and my car is 0-60 in 5.6 seconds.

With 1700 lbs of batteries, it has to be about the same weight as my wagon, too.

I wonder how they are getting the performance?
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post #12 of 39
Damage can be reduce by - time - distance and sheilding. Since the batteries are behind you, they would put some type of shielding behind the seat or in the battery compartment. I doubt that anything emitted by the batteries would cause more damage than normal background exposure. Also they have the batteries heated and most likely cooled for best operation. That would also mean that they would have to be vented. When fuel cells get better and cheaper it will be hard not to buy an electric car.

reg
post #13 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
The torque isn't actually that high - my Volvo wagon has 295 foot pounds, almost twice as much, and my car is 0-60 in 5.6 seconds.

With 1700 lbs of batteries, it has to be about the same weight as my wagon, too.

It's not obscenely high, but there's no way in hell your Volvo gets that kind of torque before ~4500 RPM, meanwhile the Tesla is hitting max torque at 0RPM. Max torque at stall, which is really cool.

And you're burning a hell of a lot more fuel doing it, which is the whole point in this thing.

All we need are more powerful batteries that can sustain the power over an extended period of time. Now that isn't super simple, but it's certainly do-able.

My only real problem with electric cars is that they won't sound good. As far as I know they are pretty much silent so the only noise would be brakes and tires-on-pavement.
I suppose you could have some kind of speaker system set up to emulate whatever car you like the sound of (a Ferrari 275 GTB for me, please, oh god).

Of course, I could see people using that like cell phone ringtones. Punch the gas and Avril Lavigne starts screaming about boys, irritating the hell out of everyone around you.

[edit]

Another thing to keep in mind is how much simpler mechanically an electric car could be. Fewer moving parts mean fewer broken pieces.
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post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
It's not obscenely high, but there's no way in hell your Volvo gets that kind of torque before ~4500 RPM, meanwhile the Tesla is hitting max torque at 0RPM. Max torque at stall, which is really cool.

More like 1800 rpm for max torque on the Volvo (plus turbo lag) - I just don't see how you are going to save 1.6 seconds with less torque overall, and just an advantage in the fraction of a second that it takes to rev the engine. Maybe it is the time saved in gear changes that makes the difference.
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post #15 of 39
Ah... another glorified golf-cart.

Only thing is that I've never seen a "high-performance" 4 cylinder engine with a torque curve like that.
post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat

My only real problem with electric cars is that they won't sound good. As far as I know they are pretty much silent so the only noise would be brakes and tires-on-pavement.

My neighbor had a GM EV-1 and it had a rather subtle but unique high-pitched turbine-like whine when underway. Not at all annoying but satisfyingly attention-getting. It *was* silent at very low speeds and therefore had a quiet two-tone horn that activated when in reverse to warn nearby pedestrians.

I had a chance to borrow it for a day and found the low-RPM torque to be amazing. With a single-speed transmission, acceleration was felt as constant pressure against your back until you let up on the accelerator at cruising speed. If you didn't care about battery life, you could surprise most other cars on the road.

The EV-1 was computer-limited to 85 MPH, but the power train was obviously capable of much higher speeds. However, the very narrow rear track and narrow, low-resistance tires produced some weird handling characteristics (oscillations), so an 85 MPH limit was smart thinking on GM's part.
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post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
The power lines that people worry about living under are AC also - and I thought that both AC and DC power transmission resulted in electric fields. I doubt that the car is AC, because the batteries will supply DC, and would there be a purpose to including an inverter and running AC motors?

There has to be flux for electromagnetic radiation to occur. DC has no flux, but quite often DC power systems are modulated with on-off circuitry, and this results in flux. The nature of DC power switching actually creates a lot of noise.

I suspect that the car uses AC because the literature suggests that it has a three-phase induction motor. I would also be extremely tasteless to call any kind of DC product a "Tesla." A sort of AC power could be arrived at via the car's much-vaunted power controller. The end result is that individual battery cells are cycled on and off in combination, creating a quantized representation of the ideal sinusoidal waveform. In other words, it would be somewhat similar in operation to a DAC.

As for the batteries in this car, I suspect that they are Lithium-Sulfur cells. These are pretty new, but should be subject to the same kind of advancements as the nano batteries. Since Li+S batteries are much lighter than typical Li ion batteries.

Overall I'm very impressed with the Tesla roadster, and if I have $100k to spend on a car in 2007, I'll definitely get it.
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post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by skatman
Ah... another glorified golf-cart.

Only thing is that I've never seen a "high-performance" 4 cylinder engine with a torque curve like that.

It's actually very similar to that of the Honda VTEC engines, which is very much a high performance 4-cylinder. It's also similar to the Toyota 1.8L that's in the Lotus Elise.
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post #19 of 39
I didn't have the time to check out the specs for this car, I apologize, but are you all suggesting that there is no transmission? I would guess that a CVT would be in line, or am I a dumb ass?

Paz
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What we obtain too cheap, we esteem to lightly...it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Thomas Paine
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post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by rufusswan
I didn't have the time to check out the specs for this car, I apologize, but are you all suggesting that there is no transmission? I would guess that a CVT would be in line, or am I a dumb ass?

Paz

There's a 2-speed electronically operated manual (geared) transmission. I would imagine it operates similarly to push-button 4WD, but I really have no idea and the marketing verbage doesn't go into too much detail about the transmission.
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post #21 of 39
Im guessing that in electric vehicles, the motor is pretty much attached directly to the wheels.

Wouldn't it be better to have a conventional gear system in these things so that the electric motor is always doing low revs? Wouldn't that save alot of electricity, and extend the range somewhat?
post #22 of 39
The real problem with electric cars is that they don't make vroom vroom noises. Hybrids are the future, the only variable is fuel source.

That straight electric vehicle may not be as green as you think. What do we do with voluminous quantities of spent batteries if/when the majority of vehicles are made this way? And if your vehicle's electric supply is coming of any number of America's laughable "clean coal" generating stations...

No, I think what's needed is a very efficient, constant velicity, internal combustion engine with electric hybrid drive.

I'm surprised that we don't yet have a small high-RPM turbo diesel-electric hybrid mated to a CVT. Keeping the RPM relatively constant should overcome the idle, stop and go, problems some diesels have, together with an electric for tourque where needed, and voila. It could be something closer to a diesel electric train in concept, where the engine is running all the time as a generator for the electric motor. Current hybrids drive off of both power sources. This would too, but by making the diesel very small, it could be smooth and frugal, and run at a higher constant RPM -- where appropriate, steady state cruise for instance, the CVT could take care of the gearing and bypass the electric entirely. Or, in the case of stop and go, the engine would be sized just right to be a very efficient generator. Current hybrid IC engines have too much displacement, this would have to be almost a small turbine -- largely bypassing the need for heavy, expensive, and environmentally hazardous batteries.

Low sulfur diesel today.

Biodiesls and ethanol tomorrow,

Hydrogen in 20 years...

The way I figure, a small, 400-660cc diesel/electric in the arrangement I described, should power a compact 4 seat car into the 135-145MPG range based on existing technology, and it could be mass produced for less than $30K.
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post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
Im guessing that in electric vehicles, the motor is pretty much attached directly to the wheels.

Wouldn't it be better to have a conventional gear system in these things so that the electric motor is always doing low revs? Wouldn't that save alot of electricity, and extend the range somewhat?

I'll be brief: for motors, the energy-in is nearly directly related to the energy out. Revs don't relate so much to this unless the gearing remains constant.
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post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
The torque isn't actually that high - my Volvo wagon has 295 foot pounds, almost twice as much, and my car is 0-60 in 5.6 seconds.

With 1700 lbs of batteries, it has to be about the same weight as my wagon, too.

I wonder how they are getting the performance?

Maybe it doesn't have a transmission? Or the regularity of the torque allows for faster shifts?
post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
There has to be flux for electromagnetic radiation to occur. DC has no flux, but quite often DC power systems are modulated with on-off circuitry, and this results in flux. The nature of DC power switching actually creates a lot of noise.

I suggest you review Ampere's law before making such bold statements. Maybe you could tell us what exactly it says. This could be useful for the purposes of this discussion.

Quote:
I suspect that the car uses AC because the literature suggests that it has a three-phase induction motor. I would also be extremely tasteless to call any kind of DC product a "Tesla."...

If you look at the torque curve that they claim, you will notice that it is very characteristic of DC motor, not AC motor. Torque curve of an AC motor looks very different.
The advantage of using a DC motor is that you don't have an ultra high current DC/AC converter... a rather inefficient device that needs a dedicated cooling loop.
post #26 of 39
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post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by Matsu
That straight electric vehicle may not be as green as you think. What do we do with voluminous quantities of spent batteries if/when the majority of vehicles are made this way? And if your vehicle's electric supply is coming of any number of America's laughable "clean coal" generating stations...

You obviously didn't do the FAQs.
Quote:
Are there any toxic chemicals in the battery?
All Lithium Ion batteries are classified by the federal government as non-hazardous waste and are safe for disposal in the normal municipal waste stream. These batteries, however, do contain recyclable materials that make recycling a good idea

Sounds to me like an opportunity for companies to recycle or recondition them. Plus, I'm sure there's companies working on making these things very environmentally friendly.

Your vehicle's electricity may be coming from your own energy producing home.
post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by skatman
I suggest you review Ampere's law before making such bold statements. Maybe you could tell us what exactly it says. This could be useful for the purposes of this discussion.

If you look at the torque curve that they claim, you will notice that it is very characteristic of DC motor, not AC motor. Torque curve of an AC motor looks very different.
The advantage of using a DC motor is that you don't have an ultra high current DC/AC converter... a rather inefficient device that needs a dedicated cooling loop.

I'm not trying to claim that one way is better than the other, but on the telsa motors website it explicitly states that the motor is a three-phase motor. If there's such thing as a three-phase DC motor, it would be the first time I've heard of it.
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post #29 of 39
I'm still sure that this would be a better car as a hybrid than a battery powered electric, especially if the thing has 1700lbs worth of batteries on board. That weighs more than even the baddest 1970's musclecar engines, what am I writing? It weighs more than entire drivetrains.

A 660cc motorcycle type engine weighs less than 100lbs. It would be hard to build a gas engine/generator, CVT and gas tank combination that weighed more than 500, saving at least 1200lbs in the process.
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post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
I'll be brief: for motors, the energy-in is nearly directly related to the energy out. Revs don't relate so much to this unless the gearing remains constant.

thats a shame, i was imagining an expanding drive gear system - you know, a belt driven thing where the drive cog actually expands in size to alter the ratio of input and output gears. As you accelerate, the drive cog expands from 1:1, to maybe 4:1 or something, and the revs on the torquey motor remain constant, say 1000rpm to achieve the same effect as going from 1000rpm to 4000 rpm at the motor.

I would have thought, that given the amount of torgue, turning an expanding drive cog wouldn't be so hard?
post #31 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by Matsu
I'm still sure that this would be a better car as a hybrid than a battery powered electric, especially if the thing has 1700lbs worth of batteries on board. That weighs more than even the baddest 1970's musclecar engines, what am I writing? It weighs more than entire drivetrains.

A 660cc motorcycle type engine weighs less than 100lbs. It would be hard to build a gas engine/generator, CVT and gas tank combination that weighed more than 500, saving at least 1200lbs in the process.

we really need to scale down the ITER project into an engine size. It will happen one day!
post #32 of 39
Thread Starter 
Matsu:

I don't think the goal was to design the best overall performance machine they could, the goal was specifically to make it all-electric.
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post #33 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
I'm not trying to claim that one way is better than the other, but on the telsa motors website it explicitly states that the motor is a three-phase motor. If there's such thing as a three-phase DC motor, it would be the first time I've heard of it.

Hmmm....

V(t) = Sin (wt + PHI) ... where omega ( w ) is zero for Direct Current...

...three phase...

...\ ...

... phases with no phase...

...conjugate of the phase...

Step funtions?

...well, someone might have invented it, or be about to invent it, but it ain't gonna be me!

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post #34 of 39
Wired magazine has an article on it. It has a huge inverter and an AC motor.

The entire powertrain is behind the seats but between the axles.
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post #35 of 39
This stuff is pretty cool. Here's another electric car you guys might wanna check out. In the video, this little car destroys a Porsche Carrera GT and a Ferrari Modena. It's still just a "proof of concept" car as of now. Hope the topic starter doesn't mind me adding another car(prototype) to the topic.





The website

The video vs. production exotics(wmv)

As I mentioned earlier, Wright used to work at Tesla Motors. Seems that we have a little "friendly" competition going between them which is great. Of course, if I wasn't a neogreen and my ego needed a Ferrari or a Carrera GT....damn, those engines sound sweet. Nothing like the sound of a Ferrari engine.

Edit: Another video from Discovery Channel ca. http://www.exn.ca/dailyplanet/view.asp?date=5/10/2006#
post #36 of 39
Whatever. I'm going to put a Thorium reactor in a electric-powered replica of the A-Team van, and I'll dominate all of you.

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post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
Whatever. I'm going to put a Thorium reactor in a electric-powered replica of the A-Team van, and I'll dominate all of you.

You'll never beat my Teenage mutant ninja turtle van. I pity the fool.
post #38 of 39
Interesting, I never thought about the possible EMF issue of electric cars. I'm glad it's not likely to be an issue with this car. And yes I want one too! 1 cents a mile! They did mention that they will have a solar option for it so it's all green energy and could even have extra energy produced that could be used as a power generator. The first Silicon Valley car.
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post #39 of 39
They are saying that the batteries will have a life of 500 charge/dis-charge cycles. Their estimate is 100K miles. I wonder how much it will cost to replace those batteries?
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