Monday, October 03, 2011

A COOL Electric Car?

This article shows a new Tesla electric car that is supposed to out perform a Porsche. The body design is better than decent, and if the performance is as advertised, perhaps what we've been waiting for has arrived. Unfortunately, at $50K, it won't show up in my garage any time soon.

Even more of a concern to me, and I've not yet seen this addressed at all, is how long such a vehicle maintains it's advertised performance before the charge runs down. To be sure, I'm only comparing this to electric devices with which I'm familiar, and it isn't uncommon for those to begin to lose power as it, well, loses power. With the typical internal combustion vehicle, it'll run the same way regardless of how much fuel is in the tank, as long as fuel IS in the tank.

But do electric cars run in this manner? That is, at the end of the day, will this Tesla still do 0-60 in under 5 seconds, or will it take 30 seconds to reach 45mph because it doesn't have the charge necessary to get to 60? I simply don't know as I have not heard this addressed. Maybe someone knows how this is supposed to work. If this is simply not an issue with these cars, then we may be seeing the dawn of a new era.

Another question is, how did this company find financing to create this vehicle? Are they gov't funded or private? There is a demand for such cars, and knowing that, venture capitalists would only need to see a good plan to kick in. I really hope this was done privately. And I really hope the cars will perform as advertised, as well as with the same expectations we now take for granted of our current vehicles.

6 comments:

Stan said...

I was looking at these awesome cars several years ago (first release 2008). Only $50k? The prices I saw were easily twice that. (That was their sports car.) I was interested (not interested as in wanting to buy -- WAY outside my range) in their claim to 300 miles per charge. (Currently they're claiming 245 miles and a 7-year battery life.) Since my work is 100 miles round trip and the standard electric car offers 50 miles per charge, it was the only one remotely close to what I'd need for an electric car. Oh, and their financing is largely their IPO as well as a $465 million loan (interest-bearing) from the U.S. Department of Energy. Yeah, not in my future, but cool car. (I mean, seriously, 0-60 in under 4 seconds?) But I am wondering how they're able to offer such a range of operation when no one else has been able to offer it.

Marshall Art said...

Stan,

As you've looked at these types of vehicles, can you give any insight to my concerns regarding the extent of the charge. Does it maintain the performance regardless of the level of charge left, or does the vehicle run slower, like many electric devices will. The closest example I can think of is an electric forklift, which or tug that I recalled ran slower at the end of the day.

Edwin Drood said...

for all those the decry the rich this will be a perfect example of why we need them.

right now only the rich can afford the Tesla, much like cell phone back in the 80s-90s the rich will be the target market and will keep the industry afloat until new process make the car affordable to middle class and then even the poor.

Marshall Art said...

Good point, Ed. This is how it always goes. A new product is offered at an expensive price, and eventually the price drops and all can afford it. I doubt that it would get to the "all can afford it" point without first a bunch of well-to-do people wanting to be the first to own the new product and having the bucks to get it.

Stan said...

Since the cars (and technology) are new, there is no way to know yet the ability of the storage system to maintain its charge over time. Buy one, and you can test it and see. However, since their claim is 6x the range of the standard system with a 7-year battery life (meaning 7 years before you ought to replace them), if it slowly degraded by 25% you'd still be driving more than 4x farther than the other vehicles on the market.

Marshall Art said...

Well, I'm not going to cough up 50K for any car anytime soon. But one thing I know for sure is that when my 2003 model sedan is down to a few gallons of gas in the tank, it will still have the same response when I press the accelerator to the floor. It's 0-60 time, whatever that might be, doesn't change because I'm low on fuel. Can the same be said for electric cars at the end of the day? I feel compelled to assume this issue has been addressed by the engineers. I just haven't heard about it. Hence my question.