Are there plans to offer a range extender motor option?
No, and there will not be any ever. Putting an generator in EV is basically waste of space, weight and it makes things break down. You lose all the benefits of BEV.
Thanks for the reply. I travel long distances a few times a month, so I'm really concerned with range. I can't imagine that putting a generator in destroys all the benefits of an electric vehicle; larger battery packs create more weight. Until there are charging stations on every street corner and charging times are dramatically reduced, there doesn't seem to be any other reasonable solution other than a generator over the next 10 years or so.
Make that five years tops for longer trips. There are already prototype batteries that have over double the energy density of current generation batteries and that means over 600 mile ranges with single charge. With that big range you need to charge very very rarely on-road, and only a few fast L3 chargers in your way from point A to point B is enough to serve everybody. It also looks like charger infrastructure is developing _fast_. Way faster than I expected. With Model S lifetime you get very soon in situation where generator would be just big waste of space even that it could be useful _just now_. This car has future, and is probably useful design still after 10-20 or so years, hybrids are only transitional cars.
With L3 charger you can charge when you take a break from driving and eat lunch or something. With high power L3 charger it would take less than two hours to charge for another full 600 miles.
ICE breaks easily. There are all kinds of pumps, plumbing, belts, fluids, filters, and in general a lot moving parts that do not exist in pure BEV. It needs a lot more servicing and it requires that you go to gas-station every now and then even if you don't even use that generator (gasoline doesn't stay usable very long). It also is a big lump of weight to lug around compared to similar performance emotor, within few years that weight difference turns in favor of EV.
BTW how long is "long distance" in your case? I suggest that you buy new PHEV Prius if you need a useful reasonable priced hybrid. Or any car that keeps its value. Then sell it and buy Model S (or whatever is practical to you) when you have those chargers. I'm in your situation too, I need bigger range or chargers. I hope that there are chargers in a way by 2013 when I can buy Model S (and I hope it doesn't get our ridiculous car taxes so that I can actually afford to buy it).
I live in the Boston area and travel down to NYC / NJ area (275 miles). I'm not sure where you live but the northeast utilities are only talking about charging stations at the moment, so I'm worried that the charging infrastructure won't be there in a few years, utilities don't move very fast. I really like the Tesla Model S but I'm leaning towards the Karma at the moment for the following reasons.
1) The car will be out soon (I'll believe it when I see it though, reminds me of Boeing's rollout of the 787 dreamliner) I'd like to replace my BMW 7 Series with an EV, ideally sometime over the next year or so.
2) Range generator (outside of my trips to NYC / NJ area) I travel less than 40 miles a day, however, I'd like to go up to Maine for the weekend without having to worry about where I'm going to plug-in my car. I cant imagine AAA is going to come out and give me a quick charge if my charge runs out in Maine. I'm confident battery technology will advance greatly within the next 5+ years but I'm thinking a little more near term.
Model S has 300 mile version. That should be enough for you. You just need a charger for your destination. I need approx 450 mile range, so that is not an option to me unless there is on-road chargers in a way.
Model S will be in production somewhere mid-2012, not next year. What I read the 300mile version might be a bit later (different battery chemistry).
That's AFAIK. No confirmed facts (except that 300 mile range).
somewhat i read that it was next year too, by mid/end next year they will start rolling out the luxury models, and achieve their 20k-modelS-sold-per-year target by mid/end 2012
Sorry everyone, I could not find a 'search' button on this forum, so if this is an old topic, I apologize.
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