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Range extender for Tesla S

Range extender for Tesla

I know Tesla will never have a range extender in their cars.
Till now, the best range externder was announced for Audi A1 E-Tron. Small Wankel engine below the back seats as secondary engine.
Or this one from 1979 :
Even better solution would be super powerful RSE Rotary Stirling Engine, which would work on any kind of fuels, solar heat, or both at the same time. Of course it would work in silence at high RPM, only to recharge the batteries. Range of these cars would be 2000 miles.

I will buy a Tesla when somebody has a range extender in a trailer to sell me like those Freedom extenders in the link above. I find it so tremendously appealing cute that sometimes I think I only want an EV to have an extender trailer like this. Could be some biofuel to save my ecofreak face, too.

The increase in the drag would almost eliminate the range gain. Lose-lose.

I'm a bit Looney, because I name all my cars, I have since I was 16 and I'm easily the most demanding driver a car could ever have. I love to drive, anywhere. I ride roads I've never been on just because which has, in the past got me in trouble. Ie NO cell service, no map, flat tires, run out of gas... I do have a three gallon gas can filled when I go just because. I say this to say I am one of those people who would buy a solar "gas can" for my Tesla if it were offered.

Cars represent freedom and I think It would be great to have a pack that charges your extra battery while your driving, parked, hiking, boating or whatever... And if you ever need an extra 10miles, plug and go. I can totally see myself half way down route 66 thanking goodness for the 10 extra miles. I know ZERO about solar tech but I do know people want to just getup and go....and maybe we're not there yet but I think Elon has already proven "If you build it, They will come"

The other point to realize is that it may be a waste of time to develop a range extender. The battery technology has already increased on the cells that the Tesla uses. It is zero work to upgrade from current 265 mile range to adding a few % from better batteries. Each year I believe this will happen and eventually you'll have a 600 mile Telsa. Kind of pointless for an extender at that point.

Several improvements can be made to Model S that can increase range:
1. Aerodynamic wheels with 19" tires - done already. Need to be aesthetic.
2. Improve air flow underneath the car. Some of it has been done, but it could improved around the wheels to reduce turbulence.
3. Optional side view cameras, removable mirrors. Good for highway driving. In traffic I prefer regular mirrors.
4. Smart cruise control with lane assist - In the highway once a lane is set, the cruise control can keep track of the traffic. Adjust speed, regen, coasting, etc for energy conservation.
5. Brake can be optimized to take max advantage of regen braking.
6. Weight Loss - At 4,647, I think Model S can shed a few hundred pounds by using stronger alloys of Al, structural design optimization.
7. Add a few more Li-ion cells? 100- 120 KW-hr premium version, anybody?

Towing a range extender would skyrocket the odds you would need to use it. More batteries is always a better plan.

That's why a genset on a trailer is such a beautiful idea. Tesla would work out perfect for me 360 days a year except for those 5 days I regularly have to drive half a thousand miles into the jungle.

Five days a year I hook it up and I am a happy customer. I don't even have to own it, maybe Tesla couzld rent it out at the suoercharger stations.

And I don't even want more batteries in the car for every day as they cost weight and dollars.

You have gas stations you can visit to feed the genset in the jungle? Or you carry 100 gal. of fuel for it as well? Riiigghhttt.

What are the odds of bumping into a gas station in the jungle vs a Supercharger? Even in 2019?


You should probably stick with an ICE or a hybrid then, because Tesla will never do that.

Despite all the reasons not to use a traditional fuel generator for range extending, the idea of using a piston engine, even a diesel, is a terrible one.

The most efficient motor you could use for the purpose of generating electricity would be a gas turbine engine (yes, a jet engine). They are currently about the highest efficiency engine that gets its power from fossil fuels. The reason we don't use them in cars is that they have an EXTREMELY small peak power band. When generating electricity though, that is all you need.

A gas turbine engine the size of a watermelon could supply enough power to run the car, and charge the batteries at the same time.

You should probably stick with an ICE or a hybrid then, because Tesla will never do that.


Tesla just needs to provide a charging socket in the rear bumper. A trailer with a genset can come from another company.

And hybrids are for pussies.

I think It would be a good idea (considering this is possible), if Tesla could lower the acceleration/power and use the energy to increase range. They could probably have this function as one that you could switch on or off, since the Toyota Prius has a function like this, which the driver can switch into and out of using it.

Power and range are not mutually exclusive in BEV. Large battery just gives lots of power. IIRC there is some sort of economode in Model S already, but it just does what you can do yourself IE not floor it in every opportunity.

By far the biggest factor in range is speed. Reduce speed and you get bigger range. Sweet spot for max range is somewhere near 25mph.

Tesla has a patent for a hybrid battery system that incorporates two kinds of battery. The first is a standard lithium ion battery that recharges quick and can be recharge thousands of cycles. The second is a metal-air battery which is lower cost and holds more kWh per kg. This second battery does not charge as quickly and has a shorter life about 400 cycles. The idea is that the first battery is for everyday sort distance travel. It may have the range of say 150 miles. The second battery is for occasional long distance travel adding say 250 miles or more range. If the secondary battery is only recharged about 20 times a year it will last for 20 years, adding little additional weight or cost to the vehicle. This is one potential way that Gen 3 vehicles could deliver a 400+ mile range at an affordable price.

Yeah, it's an interesting trade-off. 300 mi at 55 mph, and 33% more range at 45% the speed.

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