Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Transportation

Tesla Touts Cross-Country Trip, Aims For World Record 357

Posted by samzenpus
from the keep-charging dept.
smaxp writes "A cross-country trip by two Model S sedans 'recorded the lowest charge time for an electric vehicle traveling across the country – a feat that is now being assessed for recognition as a Guinness World Records achievement,' according to a Tesla blog post. 'The 3464.5-mile jaunt is yet another attempt to ease range anxiety among many consumers who worry about being stranded in a car with a depleted battery pack and nowhere near a charging station. While Tesla’s Model S is too expensive for average consumers, the company plans to roll out cheaper models at some point and needs to address the fear that has stopped many people from buying electric cars, even cheaper ones such as the Nissan Leaf...'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Tesla Touts Cross-Country Trip, Aims For World Record

Comments Filter:
  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Monday February 03, 2014 @12:34PM (#46142045)

    Now THAT will impress me!

  • by i kan reed (749298) on Monday February 03, 2014 @12:37PM (#46142071) Homepage Journal

    Big point-proving stunts don't help with people who go "my local gas station doesn't provide chargers. I'm doomed if I get one." Because that's really in their head, more than about any particular drive being possible. Tesla has to win market share the same way every new technology does: winning enough early adopters to seem normal(and creating a support market).

    • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Monday February 03, 2014 @12:42PM (#46142125)

      The thing that concerns me is that the various car companies have never even agreed on a standard for charging stations. So not only would I have to look for a charging station somewhere in the (currently pretty limited) areas they're available, but I also have to deal with looking for one specific to my car manufacturer. I can't just take my Nissan Leaf down to a local Tesla charger, or vice-versa.

      • 1. Negative charisma means you are literally unable to communicate at all. I thought that was more important than the discussion at hand.
        2. There are generic chargers outside the building I live. I've seen both leafs and teslas hooked up. I'm not sure whether that disproves your point or misses it, but there you go.

        • by Githaron (2462596)
          I think the issue is the superchargers being particular to one car manufacturer. If you are on a trip, you want to be able to charge in minutes not hours.
      • by mlts (1038732) on Monday February 03, 2014 @12:54PM (#46142299)

        Nail, head hit. It would be nice to have multiple standards for charging stations, and it work across all cars. If we can do this with phones (MicroUSB), we can do this with cars, except with some caveats:

        1: Circuits may vary. One place may have a 15 amp, 120VAC circuit at best. Another place might have an 80 amp circuit to support higher chargers, with a 50 amp subpanel coming from it to handle current charging needs.

        2: The charger would need some safety features, If someone stuck a fork in a charging cord and got even a tingle, the lawsuits would be flying. Most current chargers are goof-resistant, but this is definitely an issue, especially in the US where I've seen workers stick two straightened clothes hangers into an outlet, then use alligator clips between those and the prongs on a plug.

        3: Patent neutral. This needs to be a benefit for everyone, as vendor-neutral chargers will help every player in the market.

        4: Low voltage failsafes. US power can be dirty [1], so it should either downshift or stop trying to charge altogether if it gets under 90 volts.

        5: High voltage failsafes... Same reason. Just in case someone hooked up 120VAC to 240 or vice versa. This isn't an issue in Europe and the rest of the world, but there are a lot of RVs killed each year by plugging into a 240VAC dryer outlet which is almost the same shape as a 30 amp, 120VAC receptacle.

        [1]: As a RV-er, a hard-wired EMS is a must if one doesn't want to fry their A/C due to voltage sags.

        • by slapout (93640)

          So you're saying we need charging stations with "Regular", "Mid-grade" and "Premium" like options.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          There are already standards for chargers. You just need a charging cable suitable for your local market (US ones are different to European ones and Japanese ones) but Tesla supply one with the car.

          All the requirements you list have already been met. The cable negotiates with the charger to see how much power it can draw and to make sure the current isn't turned on until it is securely attached. Tesla cars monitor the voltage and current constantly so if there is a problem they reduce power. Voltage support

          • by TWiTfan (2887093)

            The standards you're talking about are only for home chargers, not for these supercharger stations. And a home charger wouldn't be appropriate for such use anyway (unless you want to leave your car charging overnight at a station). They need a supercharging station standard, so someone could charge up their Leaf, Volt, or Tesla at the same charger..

        • You do realize you just picked the worst analogy ever right?

          Wile USB and MicroUSB are standards produced by standards associations, one of the most popular phones in existence doesn't use it (iPhone) and would rather use its proprietary lighting standard.

        • nice thing about Tesla, is that they deal with all of those issues.
      • by mbkennel (97636) on Monday February 03, 2014 @01:14PM (#46142547)

        actually they have.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAE_J1772

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VDE-AR-E_2623-2-2#VDE-AR-E_2623-2-2

        Tesla's supercharger however is proprietary because it delivers far more power than the standard mechanism permits and it is intimately linked with the battery & its control system in the car.
        • by TWiTfan (2887093)

          Fine, I'll amend that to "a standard that everyone actually USES."

          • by mbkennel (97636) on Monday February 03, 2014 @02:27PM (#46143365)
            LMGTFY

            http://www.teslamotors.com/charging#/basics

            Public charging station adapter (J1772, 80 amp capable)

            http://www.mynissanleaf.com/wiki/index.php?title=Charging_System

            All LEAFs have a SAE-J1772 Level 1/Level 2 charging port.

            http://cmaxchat.com/?tag=kilowatt-hour

            The Ford C-Max Energi uses a J1772 compatible charge station
      • by daem0n1x (748565)
        WTF? A simple electric outlet isn't standard enough to you?
      • by Meeni (1815694)

        European union has enforced a norm. So you could expect that this will become somewhat pervasive. Except if USA decides to come up with its own norm as usual.

      • Tesla has a number of adaptors that allow it to use the other chargers. It is true that the others can not use superchargers, but tesla can use the others.
      • The thing that concerns me is that the various car companies have never even agreed on a standard for charging stations.

        They agreed on a standard years ago, and implemented it. My Nissan Leaf can plug into any public charging station. But in 7 months, I have never charged my car outside of my garage.

        Tesla's Supercharger stations are a different, 90kW system.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      But your local gas station doesn't need chargers, because you can charge it at home. The Tesla has a good enough range that many people could probably drive it back and forth to work all week, do the groceries, and still only charge it once a week (on the weekend, when electricity rates are low). At 300 miles, that gives you 42 miles a day. It won't cover everybody's commute, but a fair number of people should be able to make it through the week on that. In reality, the main place you need charging statio
      • But your local gas station doesn't need chargers, because you can charge it at home.

        No, but the local gas station I stop at halfway to my parents house needs one. Otherwise I can't visit home with an overnight stay somewhere.

        And yes, I can have another car to use for long trips. Or rent one. But if I have to keep an extra car around, or pay rental to use one, I might as well keep the gasoline burners I use now, rather than switch to electrical.

    • Well, yes, of course, they would also need some new technology as well, rather than this 100 year old technology they are working with. However, they may have finally found the way to win a place in the market for this technology, despite the fact that it is not new.
      • Please, electric motors aren't new, but lithium ion batteries and their absurd ability to hold a charge and recharge are only a couple decades old as usable tech.

        • They are batteries. Yes, they are a new form of battery, but batteries are not new technology. Batteries appear to be even older than electric motors by a significant number of factors.
          • I forgot to add, wheels did not become a new technology when we started making rubber tires.
          • Let me spoil some things for you:

            James Watt didn't invent the steam engine, he made it pragmatically efficient.
            Edison didn't invent the light bulb, he (paid people to) improved the design to make it cheap to manufacture and relatively reliable.
            ENIAC wasn't the first computer, it was the first one to be able to do some tasks faster than a human.

            Improvements in technology have almost never been sudden and game-changing, and it's completely disingenuous to pretend that advancement to the stage of usability isn

    • Big point-proving stunts don't help with people who go "my local gas station doesn't provide chargers. I'm doomed if I get one." Because that's really in their head, more than about any particular drive being possible.

      Aside the fact that the Model S is an $80,000 luxury car (which is a fact that will limit sales all on it's own), the lack of charging stations and charging times are real concerns, which is probably why it's "in their head[s]."

      Tesla has to win market share the same way every new technology does: winning enough early adopters to seem normal(and creating a support market).

      This is a car that costs almost 6 figures, not the latest smart-gadget. I do not believe early adoption plays into the situation as much as with other, cheaper technological improvements - not nearly as much as the expense, charging times, and lack of range do.

      Don't get me wrong, now

    • "my local gas station doesn't provide chargers. I'm doomed if I get one." Because that's really in their head

      It's not that at all.

      Electric cars would work fine for most people day to day.

      However - sometimes you have to drive across town unexpectedly. Or you want to go on a long road trip where the destination is a way off the main highway.

      All of those things could well exceed the remaining charge if you've already driven to work - or just not be possible, like if you were going to go drive around the Osark

      • And of course there is the driving in heat/cold problem that sucks down the juice far faster than normal. Let's see them do the same Phoenix/LA trip in July, when temps hit 110 and most people will want the A/C running. Or how about from Fort Kent Maine to NY one day with the temps hovering close to zero, in a snow storm where you have to run BOTH the A/C and heater (A/C takes moisture out of the air and makes it easier to keep the inside of the car frost-free).

        I don't want a car that I can drive most days,

      • by rsborg (111459)

        n the end the ethnology that will win out, for those reasons and others, is Hydrogen. Cars will still be electric, they just won't have to lug around a literal ton of batteries

        If there's one thing I agree with Musk about, it's that Hydrogen is a dead-end technology, and only exists as a potential is that it's backed by the oil companies, who want inferior options to exist, especially if the only extraction method is going to be fossil-fuel based anyway.

    • And battery life anxiety is rational too. I can deal with range issues, it's the other 2 that are deal killers. Having to charge up every 100km is annoying, but doable. Having to wait 2 hours to get enough charge to go another 100km makes the car near worthless for road trips, and not much good for local delivery duties either. Way too much down time. Last time I checked, that's about where the Nissan Leaf is at. Then, if the batteries have to be replaced every 5 years or sooner, there go all the savi

    • Just not with Tesla. Look, if you are in a leaf, you get 75 MPC. And that is without any extra energy use. That limits you to city driving. Worse, there were few fast chargers in the cities. Now, because of Tesla, Nissan is installing CHadmo chargers at all of their dealers. But a 75 MPC, means that you can really only go about 35 miles away, which makes the leaf a close car, nothing more, without access to decent chargers.

      BUT, a tesla with a range of 250 MPC, well, none of those owners suffer from range a
  • by Joce640k (829181) on Monday February 03, 2014 @12:38PM (#46142081) Homepage

    Why doesn't Tesla rent little trailers with extra batteries for long trips?

    (or some sort of thing you can clip on the back of the car, or on the roof, whatever it takes...use your imagination)

    Extend the range to as far as you're ever likely to drive in a single day.

    That way you can drive down to Vegas for a weekend, drive to Grandma's place for thanksgiving, etc., no problem.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      This is an idea I've always thought would be nice. You could even hook up an electric generator on the trailer for easy refueling. I wonder what size of generator you'd need to continuously charge the batteries? It may sound like a step backwards to be using gas to power an electric car, but if you're only using it for long trips a couple times a year, that's still a huge savings to the environment.
      • by Whorhay (1319089)

        The original plans for the Model S actually included a small built in generator for extending the range. The idea was scraped though at least in part because they wanted to stick with keeping it 100% electric with no ICE at all. If I ever own a Model S I will definitely build my own small Generator trailer for it. Heck it might not even need to be a trailer, you might be able to get away with something that just hung on a trailer hitch. If plug in electrics ever catch on without huge improvements in batteri

      • by Joce640k (829181)

        This is an idea I've always thought would be nice. You could even hook up an electric generator on the trailer for easy refueling.

        That's a good idea.

        A little trailer with a generator in it for long trips - go as far as you want to!

    • by mlts (1038732)

      I've wondered similar, except a space for an Onan generator. Since Onan gensets can be gasoline, LP gas, or diesel, one can pick what fuel supply they want to use, have that genset installed and be good to go.

      Of course, the gensets are made for AC voltage, but that is what the charger is made to handle. It probably would not take much work to make DC generators so only DC-DC conversion would be necessary to keep the car's batteries going while on a long trip.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      There really isn't any need. You can do a full charge in 50 minutes or add 180 miles of range in just 30. Most people can't drive much further than that safely without taking a break, let alone would want to. They also have their battery swap technology coming in. If for some reason all that isn't enough you could just rent a car for the trip, since it's not like you will be doing it every week.

    • by Valdrax (32670)

      Why doesn't Tesla rent little trailers with extra batteries for long trips?

      (or some sort of thing you can clip on the back of the car, or on the roof, whatever it takes...use your imagination)

      Because the battery is about 1/4 the weight of the car. Just doubling the range would involve towing around an extra 1000+ lbs, plus any added weight for things like wheels, suspension, etc. Have you ever tried towing a trailer that heavy? It isn't something you can just clip on and forget about. Plus, adding more weight increases the amount of power it needs to get around.

      Also, there are major safety issues involved. There's a reason the battery pack is armored and a reason why gas tanks are where the

    • The car has a 250 MPC range. The average for an ICE car is 250-350 (with most of it at the low end). As such, this is very similar to a regular car.
      In addition, within 2 years, America will have a free supercharger every 100 miles or so. In addition, they will in about 2 years, start adding battery swaps at those locations that will allow you to not only swap out your battery for a fully charged one (and only in 90 seconds), BUT, the new temp battery will have a range of 400-500 MPC.
      So, please explain wh
    • I would presume the heaviest part of the car will be batteries. They probably base the amount directly to a weight/range calculation. Simply tacking more batteries onto the problem may simply make is less and less efficient until you are not going anywhere.

  • by toejam13 (958243) on Monday February 03, 2014 @12:58PM (#46142351)

    It would be nice if there was an option for a small turbine with a 4 gallon fuel tank that could drive a generator for extended range. Preferably an air-cooled model so you can omit the radiator and coolant lines/pump.

    • by OhPlz (168413)

      Isn't that self-defeating? The whole point is that the vehicle is all electric, otherwise it's just another hybrid. I wouldn't want to lug around the extra weight just on the off chance that I can't make it to a charging station. Adding such a feature would be admitting that there is a problem with the concept.

      • by toejam13 (958243)

        Most hybrids have the petrol engine attached to the drivetrain. Those engines are still relatively large, and there is a deal of complexity having two engines attached to the drivetrain. A turbine engine can be quite small as it is very efficient. Driving only a generator, it greatly reduces complexity (read: weight).

        And there is a problem with the current concept. Batteries just don't recharge fast enough to allow for quick refueling. And there aren't enough locations to refuel when away from home. T

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Why only 4 gallons? And why not put it in a trailer, along with some space for a couple more suitcases? One that you can rent when you need it?

    • why? These cars do 250 miles. And they have access to a free supercharger every 100 miles or so (or will in 2 years). 250-300 miles is the current range of about 75% of all ICE passenger cars. So, tesla is currently average. Why should they add an extender?
  • But Does it Scale? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BBF_BBF (812493) on Monday February 03, 2014 @01:01PM (#46142391)
    OK, so Tesla builds ONE string of charging stations approx. 150 miles apart that stretches across the US. So tell me how does that work when there are millions of Tesla cars on the road? Charging will take 40 minutes, but the line to get to charge will take 24 hrs.

    Will Tesla be able to build enough fast charging stations when selling cars that cost less than $40K?

    A lot of things work when the average selling price of your cars isclose to $100,000, you have government subsidies flung at you and/or your customers left and right, you have fewer than 100,000 vehicles in the field, your company isn't really expected to show a profit, and your customers actually *read* the users manuals (probably send corrections to technical errors in them to your engineers) and make Apple Zealots look like disinterested teens.
    • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday February 03, 2014 @01:11PM (#46142521) Homepage Journal

      Just like they built all the gas station before putting cars on the road.

      Come on, with popularity charging stations will be built.

    • by mbkennel (97636)

      When there are millions of Tesla cars on the road, Tesla will have the money to build many strings of charging stations and expand capacity on the existing ones.
    • by necro81 (917438)

      OK, so Tesla builds ONE string of charging stations approx. 150 miles apart that stretches across the US. So tell me how does that work when there are millions of Tesla cars on the road? Charging will take 40 minutes, but the line to get to charge will take 24 hrs.

      Will Tesla be able to build enough fast charging stations when selling cars that cost less than $40K

      Switch to decaf and chill out. Do you think the gasoline/diesel infrastructure we have today was built in just a year or two? When filling s

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      By the time there are millions of Teslas on the road there will be more charging stations, since where there is demand the market will meet it, right? Most people don't regularly charge at superchargers anyway, they charge at home or work or in the car park of the place they are visiting. The superchargers are for occasional long journeys and the very small number of people who do extremely high mileage regularly.

    • Spoken like a fool that has no idea of what he talks about. These are not designed for simple day-to-day charging. You do that at your home. These are designed for long distance driving across the nation. Within 2 years, they will these every 100 miles or so (keep in mind that the car travels 250 MPC).
      In addition, current average cost of a Model S is around 85K, not 100K. 100K is a very decked out Model S.
      And Tesla has been making a profit for the last year.

      Finally, Tesla has said that the Model E, WILL
  • The fact that tesla is doing something like this really only acknowledges that getting stranded somewhere is a real problem they have no solution for.
    • by necro81 (917438)

      The fact that tesla is doing something like this really only acknowledges that getting stranded somewhere is a real problem they have no solution for.

      And rather than avoid the problem and pretend it doesn't exist - like every other electric vehicle manufacturer to date - or accept the car's limited utility, Tesla is actually doing something about it. It looks to me like they are putting out a solution. Not a perfect solution, not the only solution, but a solution that can ameliorate the problem. Is tha

    • Why do you say that they have no solution for it? They are putting in free superchargers all over the nation. In fact, within 2 years, they will have one every 100 miles around the nation.
      This issue is no different than what happened when I was growing up and everybody worried about gas stations (many cars back then were only 100 miles range). So, gas stations arose everywhere. BUT, I can still recall in the mid 60s, my dad wondering where to grab gas along some of the new highways that we drove.
  • by Dare nMc (468959) on Monday February 03, 2014 @01:09PM (#46142483)

    I would be curious if the car is efficient enough to charge with say a 50 gallon inflatable water bladder in the trunk. IE could I drive to the top of the 9000' mountain pass with a stream, use a electric pump to fill the bladder with stream water, drive to the bottom using the regenerative brakes and empty the bladder. Would I have more energy than I started with? Obviously a steep enough grade, a few passes would eventually charge the battery enough for a few extra miles anyway. Could reduce the range anxiety getting through the mountains a bit, but wasteful on water use (unless you could dump back into the same stream.)

    • I calculate the potential energy of water at about 2.7E6 J, while a gallon of gasoline has 130E6 J. A close equivalence, I think, is to assume that only 1/5 of the gasoline can be converted to mechanical energy at the wheels. That leaves about 26E6 J from a gallon of gasoline, ignoring any inefficiencies in the systems on the electric car, about 10X more energy than your hour-long (minimum, assuming an 8% grade) trek to grab water.
    • by Solandri (704621)

      I would be curious if the car is efficient enough to charge with say a 50 gallon inflatable water bladder in the trunk. IE could I drive to the top of the 9000' mountain pass with a stream, use a electric pump to fill the bladder with stream water, drive to the bottom using the regenerative brakes and empty the bladder. Would I have more energy than I started with?

      A sedan needs about 20-25 hp to maintain highway speeds on level ground. This is mostly aerodynamic losses (there are smaller losses due to rol

  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Monday February 03, 2014 @01:09PM (#46142489)
    That's really only half true. Informed buyers know that a slow charge time (16 hours or so for the Leaf if I recall) is annoying and unusable. Informed buyers also know that extremely fast charging batteries wear out much faster. There are battery banks in some popular cars that cost over $10,000 to replace and have an anticipated usable life of 3 years due to their fast charging time. So what they really need to address is how internal filaments around the charging port break down in most lithium batteries.
    • by Sprouticus (1503545) on Monday February 03, 2014 @01:47PM (#46142987)

      According to the info I found the Leaf will lose an additional 10% of capacity(70% vs 80%) over the course of 10 years (not 3) if fast charging is used. Not great but not horrible. For an informed buyer, you are not seeming to be very informed.

      There are plenty of challenges for Electric cars, no need to exaggerate them.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      There are battery banks in some popular cars that cost over $10,000 to replace and have an anticipated usable life of 3 years due to their fast charging time.

      Name one please. Tesla, Nissan and Mitsubishi all have 8+ year warranties that cover the use of a fast charger on a regular basis. In fact Nissan currently have an offer on where you can get one installed at your home at low cost when you buy the car.

      What you have to understand is that while the charging current for the entire pack is high the charge rate for individual cells isn't. The per-cell charging rate limit is not what is keeping charging times high, it is the rate at which the charger can deliver c

    • That's really only half true. Informed buyers know that a slow charge time (16 hours or so for the Leaf if I recall) is annoying and unusable.

      I disagree. I lease a Leaf and I love the car. I fully admit it's not for everybody but I needed a 2nd car that I could use as a daily driver (I live approx. 20 miles from work) and my work commute stays well within the expected range (75 miles and up depending on your sources - Nissan says it will do 85 miles on a charge if the weather is not unreasonably hot or cold). I have no big need for quick charging and am quite content with standard trickle charging from a 110 outlet overnight. I have a gasolin

  • by jdastrup (1075795) on Monday February 03, 2014 @01:16PM (#46142581)
    based on 1197.8 kWh it took to drive, you can figure that out here: http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/... [eia.gov] or

    1281 lbs of coal, or
    1197800 cubic feet of natural gas, or
    95 gallons of residential fule oil.

    Just to keep things in perspecitve for the tree huggers.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday February 03, 2014 @01:35PM (#46142839) Journal
    When you buy it in bulk gas cars can be rented for less than 25$ a day unlimited miles. Electric car makers can easily throw in 28 days of gas car rental as a sweetener to induce sitting-on-the-fence customers.

    Also time is ripe for rental car companies to offer a simple car rental accounts to electric car, bus/rail commuter, bicyclers, elderly etc. I imagine if they come up with a model like 50$ a month gets you two days of rentals, and the unused days accumulate, once the customers reach something like 28 days of rentals they just pay a small annual fee to keep the account current. The might even provide a couple of electric charging stations and brag about their green credentials.

  • the only one that is worth buying is Tesla.
    The leaf is far too high priced for what you get. And the other electric cars are pure junk.
    Elon Musk is about to announce his giga-factory. This will build batteries. It will effectively double the amount of batteries on the global market.
    It appears that he will be using lithium from Wyoming, since it is the cheapest lithium in the world (and loads of it).
    And considering that Elon focuses on lowering manufacturing costs via heavy automation and other technique
  • For all of GM's shortcomings, the Volt is actually a good idea that solves the range anxiety problem nicely. If you're just puttering around town, you can go all-electric no problem. Going on the longer trip? No problem, either, as the gas generator will supply you when the batteries run out. It's a win-win for about half the cost of a Tesla.

  • I live in the Mountain West, and regularly take trips where I need to cover 600 miles or more in a day. Nothing electrical, from Tesla or anyone else, comes close to meeting my needs. And that's without getting into how on a backcountry trip I can haul along a couple of jerrycans to easily and cheaply extend my range.

    While a (cheap) electric vehicle might meet my everyday commuting needs, I am not in the market for two cars. One ICE car plus bike and public transit seems to be a far more cost efficient solu

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Monday February 03, 2014 @02:39PM (#46143485) Journal
    This is a map of the superchargers that are currently in the USA, as well as those that are under construction. [teslawiki.net] Do a 250 mile range to see where you can drive your model S today. Do a 100 mile range to see where the next super chargers will be built.

    In addition, you can see the coverage that Tesla is planning here. [teslamotors.com] Advance the time on the map to see where the build out will be at the end of 2015.

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan

Working...