If tesla can


#1

if tesla can build an electric car we all want, why can t the other guys?


#2

Big difference between ‘want’ and ‘can afford’. Great $100,000 cars don’t sell in big numbers, no matter how good they are.


#3

Who is this “we all” you speak of? I’m obviously not part of that group. My $100,000 car is not electric and is made in Germany.


#4

Timidity. It’s cheaper to take an existing car and put an electric drivetrain in it, but all you end up with is an overpriced Focus with an inadequate range. Often poor performance, too, though that varies. Tesla was smart enough to realize there were enough wealthy people who would pay a decent amount for a good electric car. These are households with multiple vehicles so the range limitation isn’t that serious. It can be used for everything but vacation trips and the longest day trips, and the owners probably have something else for those.

Tesla Model S buyers are not unlimited. There are enough to pay for this one model, at least. The next Tesla is supposed to be a lot cheaper and much more of a mass production vehicle. At that point we’ll see whether the big automakers want to take on Tesla. And whether they can do it effectively. Many of them have contracts with Tesla for EV powertrain development, so Tesla will profit even from competitor’s models. The problem I see is tgat so far they’ve chosen to make electric variants of their smaller, cheaper models, but they are heavy and expensive when they’re done and neither the range nor the performance are very good.

Normal ICE models don’t have a good place for a large battery pack. It’s too heavy to drop it under the hood and it’s too big to fit under the trunk. Tesla had the advantage of being able to put the battery where it worked best. Only another carmaker starting from scratch will be able to compete. So far BMW has looked most willing, with any number of interesting ideas under development. I think most carmakers are sitting out this round, waiting for the next generation of batteries that will be much better (smaller/lighter/cheaper). At that point it will be much more realistic to offer a single model with either a conventional or an electric drivetrain. Tesla by then may be enough of an established brand to compete effectively.


#5

lol two tone. your second car could be a tesla


#6

@twotone - true, if I was to spend $100k on a car, it wouldn’t be the Tesla. Charging limitations eliminate it from my (imaginary) list.


#7
if tesla can build an electric car we all want, why can t the other guys?

Who says we all want an electric car?

Currently the battery technology isn’t even close to where it’s suitable for my needs. Second…Just because it’s electric doesn’t mean it’s green. Where to you think that electricity comes from that chargers the battery? Many from Coal plants.

When they solve those problems…THEN AND ONLY THEN will I want one.


#8

well I want a tesla. I don t want a volt. I should have said many of us want.


#9

@wesw, others have, GM sold (leased) the EV1, a snappy 2 seater 15 years before Tesla. GM had a bunch on lots in AZ and CA they couldn’t lease, contrary to a movie on the subject. Ford made a few electric Rangers, Nissan makes the Leaf, BMW is soon to offer the i3. Baker offered two very pretty EV’s in 1904.

Many of the earliest cars were electrics competing head to head with steam and IC cars. IC won for the same reasons it leads today; It can be started and driven away instantly and it can be refueled (recharged) in 5 minutes. Steam can’t do the first and electrics can’t do the second unless a battery swap is involved. Forklifts haven’t settled on a single size battery and cars aren’t likely to either. It doesn’t mean they won’t work for some people but they didn’t gain wide acceptance 100 years ago and they haven’t yet in 2014 for the the same reason.


#10

I m familiar with some of the history. I ll just say that idon t believe the big car makers have made an honest effort to make acceptable EV s, until recently that is. the small truck we ve talked about in another thread, would be a good platform for a useful EV. I believe we could build an acceptable EV line now, if we had the will. the advances in carbon technology, for example, could be used to build light but strong components, and that weight reduction would be a big help to todays EV technology. I know its expensive , but every thing is at first.

we need to start using the sun , the wind, the waves and the tides to produce our energy.

IMHO we should drill our butts off in the USA, and reduce the strangle hold oil producers have on us, while we build the infrastructure needed to make the switch from oil to renewable and almost infinite sources of energy.

the sun the wind and the water are under utilized


#11

But the sun and the wind and the water are VERY EXPENSIVE, and each has significant environmental problems.
Wind: kills tens of thousands of protected birds a year (eagles, hawks, you name it).
Solar: Very expensive per watt, requires blanketing thousands of acres of wilderness to generate significant power, not worthwhile in much of the country due to low solar input.
Water: Dams are being torn down because of the destruction they cause to fish habitats. Tidal power is, like solar, very expensive per watt.

No easy answers…


#12

“GM had a bunch on lots in AZ and CA they couldn’t lease, contrary to a movie on the subject”

Like just about everything else these days, that story is completely polarized. The movie story was one pole. The stories that debunk it and say it was unworkable and all just a bunch of rational economics + physics (to oversimplify) is the other pole. The truth, as ever lies in the middle - in the sense that it is not a simple story in any way. The movie was one selective interpretation of history. The economic rationality + physics is another. Neither is honest. Both hold pieces of the truth.

On the subject of the “greenness” of electrics. The fact is that “green car” is an oxymoron. Cars are dirty. Period. However, even though an EV does need electricity generation, and to some extent the smoke stack is just relocated, they 1) are way more efficient in turning energy into propulsion, and 2) open up plenty more options for lots of different energy sources that are very clean. Of course, the batteries will probably always remain dirty up and down the entire stream from production to disposal.

No easy answers… (Part II)


#13

I completely agree with you about dams, that s why I did not mention them. in fact I would like to see all the old mill dams on the east coast be taken out, let the mill ponds drain, and re plant the resulting empty flood plain with native plants or let nature take its course in what plants grow back. we would soon have nice streams again like we do in the few free flowing streams, with tree cover, that we have left.

turbines can be used without dams tho.

ive studied the bird/windmill issue a bit. I believe the studies were flawed and the numbers are wrong.

and I agree with you about the problems with solar, but if all our roofs were solar collectors…


#14

Tesla has never built a car I want and especially not at those prices. Money would be better spent on a Toyota Corolla…

As to bird strikes on turbines I’m certain that happens a lot. Not many months ago I saw an especially large flock of Canadian Geese flying through one of the turbines at the wind farm surrounding me.
It was difficult to watch the road and the geese at the same time so I slowed down to see what would happen. I saw at least two of those birds drop like bricks.

Apparently the birds decided to fly through instead of over and around the turbine blades.
All of those turbines are marked up about that height with dark blotches of varying sizes; mostly on the southern and southwestern sides. It could be that those blotches are where birds were slammed into the towers.


#15

@wesw - how do you know the bird death studies are wrong? That’s a pretty bold claim.


#16

Here’s what the Audobon Society has to say:

In a stunningly bad move for eagles, the U.S. Department of the Interior has finalized a new rule that would make it possible to grant wind energy companies 30-year permits to kill Bald and Golden eagles. Audubon’s CEO released the following statement:
“Instead of balancing the need for conservation and renewable energy, Interior wrote the wind industry a blank check,” said Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold. “It’s outrageous that the government is sanctioning the killing of America’s symbol, the Bald Eagle. Audubon will continue to look for reasonable, thoughtful partners to wean America off fossil fuels because that should be everyone’s highest priority. We have no choice but to challenge this decision, and all options are on the table.”


#17

You’d just have two electric cars: one to drive and one to plug into the solar panel on your roof. Just alternate cars. Simple.


#18

Yeah, I’m still pretty gobsmacked that hydro keeps being presented as a “green” power source. My ecological conscience (such that it is) was formed from reading Ed Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang, which goes into depth about how hydro-electric power was raping the desert SW, and the lead character repeatedly fantasizes about blowing up the Glen Canyon Dam. Much of the viritol I show towards environmentalists centers around them having their priorities out of whack…the rest of it is due to how they’ve hijacked the “party of the workingman,” to the workingman’s detriment.

The economic rationality + physics is another.

So, you’re saying to be “progressive” is to be…irrational? The scientific method isn’t a “right vs left” thing…it’s a “right vs wrong” one. Far too many progressive causes have been hamstrung by leaders that (IMO) ought to put the bong down and hit the books. Putting ideology ahead of rational thought processes is no better than saying “dinosaur bones are the Devil’s handiwork!”…just different sides of the ideological aisle.


#19

It depends on how bad you want something,people are in love with thier infernal machines for what ever reason.This spoiled bunch of people called Americans have a funny sense of freedom,People loved the Impact,but GM knew you better get rid of those things(to many service techs would be out of a job and too many stealership owners wouldnt be able to afford thier luxurys) long live Tesla and may they set a new standard(nobody complains much about the range of a Horse and eagles are getting so numerous around here as to be almost a nuisance as are otters-so things can change)-Kevin


#20

“The economic rationality + physics is another.
So, you’re saying to be “progressive” is to be…irrational? The scientific method isn’t a “right vs left” thing…it’s a “right vs wrong” one”

WTHeck are you talking about?