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Transportation

Elon Musk Predicts 1,000km EV Range In Two Years, Autonomous Cars In Three 398

An anonymous reader writes: Speaking with a Danish TV show, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk made a couple of interesting statements about Tesla's future. The company's Model S sedan advertises a range of 200-300 miles (322-483 km) depending on variant, average speed, and tires. Musk says the company will produce an electric vehicle capable of breaking the 1,000km (621 mi) mark by "2017 for sure." Later, Musk went even further, saying he expected "full autonomy" for Tesla vehicles to arrive in "approximately three years." He doesn't expect them to be legal at that point, as regulations will take time to catch up.
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Elon Musk Predicts 1,000km EV Range In Two Years, Autonomous Cars In Three

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  • where do i sign up?
    • by crow ( 16139 )

      He was clear in the interview that he thought it would take another 1-3 years before it would be legal, depending on the jurisdiction.

      I read a review of the beta Autopilot feature expected to be released next month, and it's also illegal. It lets you take your hands off the steering wheel, which is illegal in some states. (I know you can be cited for it in Massachusetts; a state trooper said he used that to ticket drivers on cell phones if they gestured when he was looking.)

    • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2015 @09:45PM (#50623891)

      where do i sign up?

      An autonomous car is still useful even if it's not legal for it to operate fully autonomously -- it can prevent you from inadvertently running a red-light and getting T-boned in an intersection, or could keep you from crashing into a bridge pillar when you fall asleep at the wheel.

    • Factor in Musk time dilation factor. When he says 2017, you have to be pretty precise about the gravitational lensing his ego has created in the room that particular day. It's normally around 2071 or so

  • by riverat1 ( 1048260 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2015 @08:19PM (#50623417)

    If the price is right 1,000 km range electric cars will signal the beginning of the end for IC engined cars.

    • Does the $1-million supercar signal the end of the compact car, too? I mean, the supercar is better, right?
    • by mark-t ( 151149 )
      Only if you can recharge at least 50% in about the same amount of time as it takes to refill a car with gas.
      • by kamapuaa ( 555446 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2015 @09:02PM (#50623681) Homepage

        For people who want to drive more than 625 miles in a day? That is ridiculous.

        You go home, you charge it overnight. It's like starting every day with a full tank of gas.

        • I did that very thing last Friday. Ventura to Mountain View and back. Almost 660 miles round trip. Single day. I do it every month or so, for work. Of course, I ride a motorcycle and it was a beautiful ride, and I filled up twice each direction - but each stop only took 5 minutes.
        • by segwonk ( 1064462 ) <jwinn@earthlink.net> on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @01:04AM (#50624567)

          640 miles ought to be enough for anyone.
          • Completely agree with the reference, of course, but the thing I don't get is why people are hung up on thinking that a single car must fit ALL of their needs. Most American families have two cars. Keep the EV around for day-to-day, in-town commuting, then bust out the old IC when your family does its annual road trip. Not exactly rocket science, and you get to start enjoying the benefits of EVs immediately.

        • You're forgetting the loss of freedom there though, which has a cost. Consider a gasoline car with 5 miles fuel remaining. Consider an electric car with 5 miles charge remaining.

          How long must either car wait before embarking on a trip? Say, because there is an emergency situation? The gasoline car has maybe a 5 minute delay to refuel the tank to full capacity. The electric - best case maybe is you can get to a car rental place, but that's still probably a 30 minute or more delay and much higher cost.

          Tha

      • I don't know about you but 1,000 km is about as far as I care to drive in a day. I can recharge it overnight.

        • by mark-t ( 151149 )
          Not everybody has a power outlet where they park at home.
          • Not everybody has a power outlet where they park at home.

            Why do you keep beating that one? What individual vehicle satisfies 100 percent of people needs or things they don't have? So now Tesla shouldn't be allowed to sell their vehicle because someone in New York City doesn't have a parking space with a charger?? Most people there don't have a parking space at all.

            I drive Jeeps because of where and when I drive. A Ferrari won't work for me. But if you want one - have at it.

            • by mark-t ( 151149 )

              I'm not saying they shouldn't be allowed to sell their car, I'm just challenging the notion that a Tesla will ever start to be a contender against IC vehicles when the recharge times are not anything remotely comparable to how long it takes to fill a car with gasoline.

              Making it good is the first step. Making it affordable is the second. Making it convenient is the third and final step. Miss any one of them and it won't compete.

          • by Dahamma ( 304068 )

            Seriously, then don't get one. Also don't get a Hummer if you live in a crowded city, or any car at all if you live on a small island. That's why there are 100's of car models out there. This was about solving one problem with electric cars, which is limited range.

            • by mark-t ( 151149 )

              Solving limited range is a good thing.... but it's only the first of three steps that are needed to seriously be a contender for the "normal" type of car, which is what the post to which I initially responded suggested.

              Making it affordable, which is what the above poster mentioned, is still only the second step. The third step is making it convenient. That means fast recharge time. Once an electric car, whether it is from Tesla or any other manufacturer, provides this, then you will start to see elec

              • by Dahamma ( 304068 )

                In fact "convenient" is just as much dependent on the usage as the range (actually, more so). Many people who may live in apartments that make it more difficult to charge at home have *free* chargers at their workplace (mine does). And in fact, plugin chargers mean you can charge it to some extent almost anywhere there is electricity (you can find supermarkets, shopping malls, even restaurants that have charging stations), unlike gasoline cars that make you go to a totally special purpose business - a gas

      • Only if you can recharge at least 50% in about the same amount of time as it takes to refill a car with gas.

        This is only needed on long trips. For that, just rent a gas car, or rent a booster battery and put it in the trunk.

        For day-to-day commuting use, an electric car is more convenient, because you can just recharge at home, at work, or at the mall, etc. So there is no need to go to a gas station at all. Also, there is no oil to change, no transmission to break, no gaskets, no air filter. You don't even need to replace the brake pads, because regenerative braking means they don't wear out.

        • by mark-t ( 151149 )

          It's also needed if you forget to plug in your car one night, where at least with a gasoline car you can make a brief pit stop on the way to work the next morning. 5 minutes to fill up a gasoline vehicle.

          People like convenience. Denying that aspect of human nature is only living with blinders on.

        • by geoskd ( 321194 )

          You don't even need to replace the brake pads, because regenerative braking means they don't wear out.

          Be a little cautious with that one. Regenerative braking requires a large enough battery to handle the charging current. The Tesla Batteries are fine, and you'll never need the actual brake pads. The $30k commuters like the leaf, volt and iMiev, do not have a large enough pack to absorb the full brunt of regenerative braking, so they use the brake pads a lot. It kills their actual range, and burns up the undersized pads they put on those cars. The only way to avoid the problem is to get a car with a large e

      • by Octorian ( 14086 )

        Only if you can recharge at least 50% in about the same amount of time as it takes to refill a car with gas.

        This is one place where everyone seems to miss the point.
        For every day use, as everyone has already said, you charge overnight. The car has enough range for any reasonable day trip. (To all of you who insist that you need to drive round-trip 400 miles every day, uphill to the mountains, while towing a boat... Shut the hell up and stick with your pickup truck. You are not most people.)

        For road trips, you don't "wait at a charger for the car to recharge." Everyone, please stop assuming this. Its wrong. Rath

    • by taustin ( 171655 )

      Range by itself isn't enough. If it takes several hours to recharge, versus give minutes to gas up, it will have a very limited market.

    • If the price is right 1,000 km range electric cars will signal the beginning of the end for IC engined cars.

      The 1000km number doesn't actually seem that far fetched. The Model S is a hugely heavy performance car. At its best it does 0 to 60mph in 2.8 seconds. If they built a car that still had a lot of batteries but was instead optimized for range rather than performance, I can see how they might accomplish this.

      On the other side, Tesla is working on a new version of the Roadster. If they can make a family sedan do 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds, imagine what they can do if they design a pure sports car. It might ha

  • Osborne Effect? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by leonbev ( 111395 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2015 @08:20PM (#50623425) Journal

    If I was Elon Musk, I'm not sure that I would be gloating that the Model S cars that my car company is producing will be completely obsolete just three years from now.

    • If the range increase is more from better battery technology rather than just more batteries they can potentially put the better batteries in the Model S and increase its range as well.

    • The range increase he has predicted is 5-10% per year. The 1000km number is for hypermilers who figure out the optimal speed and ideal conditions, then drive all day at 22mph or whatever for the bragging rights.

      The real maximum range right now is around 300 miles, and in 3 years, it could easily be 350 miles. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a bump when the Gigafactory comes online, as they may be able to build more tightly-packed custom batteries to increase density or otherwise incorporate new technol

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        no, he's pretty much claiming that he'll have new battery tech that will turn 300 into 600+ DURING NEXT YEAR.

        pretty sure he's just talking out of his ass on that one though - or he is going to introduce a model that has the backseat and luggage areas filled with the batteries.

        • no, he's pretty much claiming that he'll have new battery tech that will turn 300 into 600+ DURING NEXT YEAR.

          pretty sure he's just talking out of his ass on that one though - or he is going to introduce a model that has the backseat and luggage areas filled with the batteries.

          Yeah, battery technology, while improving, has been improving incrementally over the last 10 years. It may seem like we have made big jumps because our toys now last longer (i.e. tablets) but what has happened is that the electronics have continued to get smaller leaving more room for the battery, which has gotten bigger. Also, electronics have become more efficient. Perhaps this is where Musk feels that they can make huge improvements, in actually making the cars and engines more efficient.

    • by Eloking ( 877834 )

      If I was Elon Musk, I'm not sure that I would be gloating that the Model S cars that my car company is producing will be completely obsolete just three years from now.

      Well, if we take into consideration that Tesla motor upgraded the range of all Tesla Roster for free and got one of the best customer service avalaible, I can safely guess that people that buy model S now will now be left in the dark after that new 1000km model came out.

    • by Dahamma ( 304068 )

      They won't be obsolete any more than a Toyota is obsolete when a new Ferrari comes out.

      A Tesla with a 600 mile range WILL be a vey expensive car, since it needs a huge battery. The current P90D is well over $100K already, and it only gets 1/2 the range.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 29, 2015 @08:28PM (#50623485)

    I understand that people need to be visionaries (and shills), however, with respect to autonomous vehicles, all these press releases, CEOs, VPs, and shills are either lying through their teeth or mean a very specific meaning of the word "autonomous" (e.g., drive only on specific streets, be able to take over within 2-5 seconds, don't drive at dusk/dawn due to lighting messing up camera thresholds, drive only in clear weather 'cause water and snow messes up a lot of other sensors, drive for at most 3 years [because they won't maintain the software longer unless you pay them a lot of subscription money], etc.). To date there exists no autonomous vehicle technology that is tested and dependable enough to be put on an arbitrary section of a road in North America under arbitrary driving conditions and that would meet Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) A as required. Period.

    Yet, let the public dream of their autonomous vehicles that zip around. It gives you eyeballs and people drooling over it. The fact that they talk about autonomous "cars" and not autonomous freight trucks (for which the safety is much simpler) already shows you that they are just shilling for their company and eyeballs.

    To his defense, he said "they *should* have fully autonomy". Yes, they *should* have that already today, but they don't.

    • by xombo ( 628858 )

      I've been saying for a number of years that semi trucks would be the first thing to convert over to autonomous driving. We'll see it there long before we see it widespread in passenger vehicles. Think of it simply: These are trucks that can (and most already do) drive at night when there are few people on the road, have very well-defined and easily known start and end points (vs. listening to a passenger describe a location or navigate an un-mapped driveway), would benefit in cost savings both from constant

  • by saccade.com ( 771661 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2015 @08:31PM (#50623503) Homepage Journal
    This from the guy who said the Model X would be rolling off the line in 2013. He probably will deliver, just not that soon.
  • Dear Mr Musk... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2015 @08:44PM (#50623565) Homepage

    Give us a 300km electric car with 4 seats that has a base model retail of $19,995 and you will freaking change the world overnight.

    80% of the american population does not have the income to afford a car that costs more than that. 70% cant afford a car that costs more than $14,995. and with rent at criminal levels along with wages being doubly criminally low..... you need to offer a very low cost economy version for the poor people in the bottom 80%.

    Make it charge from 120V 15A outlet only and these same poor people will be able to afford to charge it.

    • Re:Dear Mr Musk... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by kamapuaa ( 555446 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2015 @08:53PM (#50623617) Homepage

      The median price of a car in the US is $32K. Electric cars are cheaper to fill up and maintain, and so if there's rational economics going on, the median price could effectively go up quite a bit and still cost the same.

      There already are $20K 4 seat electric cars (after subsidies) that go 150km, and charge up overnight on a 120V connection, and they're a niche item. 300km would be a definite improvement, but I'm not sure it would change the world overnight.

      • by xombo ( 628858 )

        Where is this fabled 4 seat $20k electric car with 150km range that charges on a home outlet?? Me and a few million other people are dying to know.

        • Re:Dear Mr Musk... (Score:5, Informative)

          by kamapuaa ( 555446 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2015 @09:41PM (#50623877) Homepage

          Go on to truecar.com, look up car prices! You can print out a sheet, take it to the dealer, and get it for that price.
          Keep in mind that you should take the car price and subtract $7500 for the Federal subsidy (which is given at time of purchase.) Additionally, different states have different subsidy levels - California will subsidize it $2500, it takes na few weeks though).

          So after $10,000, truecar.com currently lists:

          A Nissan Leaf for $15,000 (that is a seriously fucking good deal)
          A Fiat 500e $19,000
          An e-Golf for $21,000 (A little over, but it's Motor-trends car of the year.)

          They're all 4 seat and will get about 150km.

          I have an e-golf, I drive more than an hour a day, and I just charge is on a 120v overnight.

          • Re:Dear Mr Musk... (Score:4, Interesting)

            by dargaud ( 518470 ) <slashdot2 AT gdargaud DOT net> on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @05:51AM (#50625549) Homepage
            On a side note, as a european, I can add that electric bikes have been making a silent killing in the last one or two years, mostly for city use, but also for farther commuting (some cities have bike path that never cross a road) and even mountain bike use (for older people). The bike shops that used to sell road bikes and mountain bikes now mostly sell those same bikes, but electric. And it's slowly changing the cities (more bike paths, you can take trains/buses with bikes, etc).
        • by jandjmh ( 66714 )

          The Mitsubishi iMiev comes close to that, but only because of $10K in combined California state and US federal tax credits. About $24K before the credits, net cost after is $14K
          Range is closer to 130 km than 150 km
          You will need a $500 charger - it doesn't just plug into a regular outlet
          A Tesla can plug into a regular 120V 15A US outlet, but it's like filling a swimming pool through a drinking straw. It only adds 3 miles of range for each hour of charging.

      • There already are $20K 4 seat electric cars (after subsidies) that go 150km, and charge up overnight on a 120V connection, and they're a niche item. 300km would be a definite improvement, but I'm not sure it would change the world overnight.

        150km represents something like a 90 minute round-trip commute at highway speeds. 20% of Americans have commutes of this distance or greater, and if they don't have a charging capability at work, these vehicles are non-starters. I'm one of these people - my commute is on the ragged edge of performance range of electrics right now and I can't risk it. I'd buy a $20k electric with a 300km range in a heartbeat.

        Electric cars are a very tight niche now. If you have a short commute, it hardly matters whether you

        • This is why workplace charging is so important, but often overlooked in regards to EV tech. The technical challenges of adding charge stations to your destination is a solved problem. Doubling the range of lithium ion batteries is still in the laboratory at this point. Also, with PHEV the more opportunities you have to charge, the less gas you have to burn. So instead of 80% of your trips being in EV mode, you might hit 90% just by having destination charging.

    • Mr Musk not only knows this, but changing this world in this way is Mr Musk's declared reason for founding Tesla Motors in the first place. The plan is to produce the Model 3 in a few years, which will have your 300km range, but current price is expected to be US$35k (neglecting government incentives for electric vehicles.)

    • You could charge a 300km electric car from a 120V 15A outlet
      But to fill the 85kWh battery, it would take 48 hours.

      Most of the rest of the world is a little more sane, with standard household outlets being 240V/10A, but that would still take 36 hours.

      That's assuming the charger and charging process are near 100% efficient

      • Most U.S. homes with garages have 240V service. It's just a matter of adding a new circuit breaker. 50 or 30 amps at 240V is probably enough for overnight charging. So yeah, there is an initial investment there of probably around $1000 for the EVSE and new circuit breaker.

  • by Gordo_1 ( 256312 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2015 @08:55PM (#50623633)

    It's because the media is a piece of fucking garbage and take practically every goddamn thing that's said by anyone out of context. Oh, and the folks who run Slashdot do effectively zero checking on anything they post. /rant

    Now the explanation: Prior to the answer Musk gave indicating that Teslas would do 1000km on a charge, he was talking about a recently set record where a dude (Casey Spencer) did 500 miles (~800km) in a Tesla Model S, driving at something like 24mph for like 24 hours. In that context, Musk said that similarly, a 1000km could be achieved in a Tesla by 2017, given battery density improvements of 5-10% annually. All that would be necessary would be a 20% improvement on the record by 2017. I might add that the dude who did this was in a 85kWh car going downhill for a decent portion of the drive and took into account weather effects, temps and whatnot to achieve his 500 miles. I wouldn't be surprised if the latest 90kWh Model S as is could do another 100 miles if tightly controlled in the right conditions (high altitude, ideal temp/wind), so really a 5% improvement in both 2016 and 2017 is all that's really being predicted here.

    • Figures...I used my last mod point before I came to this page. Thanks for that very informative comment.

  • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2015 @09:02PM (#50623675)

    Just attach a trailer full of batteries to a model S and you get your 1000km.

  • I'm perfectly OK with a car being able to take over if I want it to -- so long as I can flip a switch and turn that off, and drive myself as I'm accustomed to. Besides which for a long time to come it'll just be an expensive option on luxury cars, not standard equipment on sub-compact economy cars.

    In the meantime I propose there be reforms to driver education, driver training, and driver license testing procedures. We can start with doing away with this silly notion that attempting to enter a highway at 45
  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2015 @09:38PM (#50623861) Homepage
    It is now technically possible, we just have to work out the rules and regulations - insurance, financial and legal liability, regulatory approval.

    I think that ten years from now, not a single wealthy person under 21 or over 70 will be driving a car. In 20 years, replace "not a single wealthy" with "only very wealthy American", as we flee the dangerous practice of allowing humans to drive on public roads.

  • A research team from Kentucky has released their findings from a government-funded study.They have found that the software in Tesla Z vehicles effectively cheats on tests and that performance figures quoted are grossly exaggerated.

  • by iONiUM ( 530420 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2015 @11:23PM (#50624273) Journal

    I'd love these California dwelling CEOs to come up to Canada (or even, *gasp* Buffalo) in the middle of February and see how their "self-driving" cars do. Winter is a 6 month reality here and I'm not very interested in a "self-driving" car that works or less than half the year.

    • by sribe ( 304414 )

      I'd love these California dwelling CEOs to come up to Canada (or even, *gasp* Buffalo) in the middle of February and see how their "self-driving" cars do. Winter is a 6 month reality here and I'm not very interested in a "self-driving" car that works or less than half the year.

      6 months?? You wimp! Where I live, summer started last week, and will be over by next week!

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