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Competition from a new startup

Saw this article and thought it might be worth posting here:

Title: Taking on Tesla: Pulse Motors
http://www.inc.com/coolest-college-start-ups-2012/eric-markowitz/pulse-m...

I think Tesla has a little time before the threat is significant. Maybe they can build a folding model to stick in the frunk of my Model S tho?

FYI: Video at the bottom of the page starts playing automatically...

Heh. Electric bikes? News? Competition.
Cute.

I just last weekend went to exhibition that had all kinds of bicycles (and hiking gear and fitness and ...) and quite a lot of those bikes were electric assisted. As such you need to pedal to get the benefit. In here if you are not required to do that the classification changes from bicycle to motorcycle (or moped). Basically you need a license to drive such a vehicle.

Anyway, quite a few of those had ranges 100+ miles (and obviously a lot more if you just keep pedaling) before they run out of juice. Prices were between 1500EUR to 5000EUR (and "normal" bicycles ranged from ~500EUR to 6000+EUR. I'm not sure how to define "normal" anymore when topic is bicycles).

No news in that front, only thing that I noticed that there were now a lot more manufacturers with electric assisted bicycles than last year, and prices have gone down a bit. No electric scooters this time, but I'm guessing those were not appropriate to topic of the exhibition, which was mainly outdoor fitness sports and hiking and all things related.

There were even those fold in bicycles with electric motors. Quite expensive though (for a bicycle).

For those with terminal range anxiety, carrying a folding one in the frunk would be an option! ;)
The truly fit and obsessive could maybe rig a stand, and use it as a generator to recharge the Model S/X battery. Or not.
:)

Some of those bikes were really alien. What do you think of a bicycle that weights only two kilograms? Entire bike, not just frame: tires, chain, gears, brakes, everything. Materials used are incredibly light. If you could build a small car using same materials without it costing helicopters you could easily make a BEV with ranges over 500 miles without having enormous battery pack.

I wonder if you could make small car-like VTOL plane using those materials. Maybe Elon could focus to make electric flying car reality next. "Tesla flying car". No more roads needed.

With "flying car" I mean something like this:

http://www.trekaero.com/Trek_VTOL_Dragonfly_Vehicles.htm

Nothing fancy, just two ducted rotors instead of one large free one for safety and noise reduction (so not a helicopter), fly-by-wire and computer helping pilot to maintain speeds and directions so that no difficult to pass and expensive pilot licenses are required and some sort of GPS/hive mind 3D road system (which altitude, where to go, where everybody else is at any given time etc.).

A superlight car would have trouble holding the road, and would roll sideways in stiff cross-winds. And if it was hit, would either crumple or bounce 50' through the air!

Thanks, but no thanks.

Motorcycles do not roll sideways in cross-winds and they are two-wheelers. Size of the car doesn't matter much, except side profile size. Big cars have big side profiles, your common heavy SUV probably behaves worse in side wind than light and low sport car.

Crumple is good, bounce would not be. Safety is relative concept, if that would really matter that much, then all motorcycles, bikes and scooters would have been banned ages ago. You can make small car that is fun to drive and safer than motorcycle. If everybody drives a tank it doesn't protect you any more than normal car in head-on collision. This current tendency to build bigger cars "for safety" is stupid IMO.

Heh. "Crumple" is only good when it's incomplete.
Ever ridden a bike or 'cycle in strong, gusty cross-winds? It's quite thrilling! However brief.

@Timo - I'm not sure why you are classifying the "safety size" issue as "stupid". I think of it more as "selfish, and not universally helpful".

Vehicle vs. sturdy brick wall, the weight of the vehicle won't matter to the occupants as much as the crumple distance. It certainly won't be any worse unless heavier means less crumpling in which case more of the impact will be transmitted to the occupants. But, equal crumpling will mean the weight will be irrelevant in that case.

But, vehicle vs. vehicle - then the heavier vehicle has the advantage in that the combined body will end up with momentum in the direction of the larger vehicle and so the occupants of the larger vehicle will have less delta-V to deal with. Think of an aircraft carrier running into a Yaris - the people on the bridge wouldn't even notice, but the driver of the Yaris would have much greater injuries than if he had run into a brick wall instead (or a parked aircraft carrier). In that case, heavy means "safer for the occupants of the heavier vehicle", but at the expense of any one they hit unless those other occupants also "bought big".

I suppose "heavier" might mean "more like a brick wall if you aren't moving". Sure, it might be nice to take on more delta V from someone hitting you while stopped, but at least then it was likely entirely their fault so its less a question of "knocking them back selfishly" and more of "not buying into being their cushy break-away crash barrier".

I see "heavy to be safe" as more selfish than stupid. If you look at it from a global perspective of respecting human life, then I guess the selfishness takes on an element of "stupid", though... ;)

Also, motorcycles are affected by cross winds. They may not roll over, but you definitely have to consciously deal with cross winds and it is "more, or less, thrilling" depending on the weight of the bike, its side shape, and sometimes tires and road surface.

But, weight does help there - it's more that their light weight is offset by enough maneuverability that they can easily swap lean angle for lateral stability without a lot of externally visible drama...

I'm not sure why you are classifying the "safety size" issue as "stupid". I think of it more as "selfish, and not universally helpful".

Well, I define "selfish, and not universally helpful" as stupid. I grand scheme selfish behavior is stupid, because it contributes in general well being of everyone around you, and ultimately even you.

"Timo | March 13, 2012 new

I'm not sure why you are classifying the "safety size" issue as "stupid". I think of it more as "selfish, and not universally helpful".

Well, I define "selfish, and not universally helpful" as stupid. I grand scheme selfish behavior is stupid, because it contributes in general well being of everyone around you, and ultimately even you."

Very noble. Some people stupidly prefer to survive to observe and enjoy the consequences of their choices, however. In an evolutionary sense, suicidal nobility has a serious disadvantage. Which makes noble non-stupidity stupid! Oh, what to do, what to do???
>:/

It's stupid because in the end everybody has a heaver car which results in approximately zero net gain in safety but has a lot of penalty attached, e.g., in terms of efficiency (driving efficiency as well as manufacturing efficiency).

It's an observed phenomenon, tho': the purchase of "on-road SUVs" by city dwellers, etc., who like the mass and elevation. And capacity, and "lane authority".

Since there is no "one size fits all" for passengers/cargo, some largish range is inevitable.

It's related to a prisoner's dilemma. For now, I believe that larger cars are still in the minority (though that may change soon) so buying large still has a safety advantage for the one making that decision. If we ever reach critical mass of SUVs, it will be more of a defensive decision and we would be reaching the far end of the overall net vicious circle. But it would still be a step towards relative safety for that individual making the buying decision even if the playing field was pounded down below sea level by the action on it.

Now, "stupid" would come into it if they buy a less crumply large car thinking it is safer (it would be more dangerous for the ones making the decision). And, I'm agreeing that it does come into play if you consider environmental impact - they're trading health safety for physical collision safety, though the tradeoff is fairly weak on the environmental impact and fairly dramatic on the collision side of the equation.

Elon's "compromise" of a mid-weight large capacity ultra-safe vehicle is about as good as it gets at this time. Now if only it can tow and come up with a miracle roof rack solution ....

;)

Speaking of all which-all, given a choice of roof rack or falcon doors, which would you choose?

I can imagine a technical compromise: when the roof rack is on, one side won't open, and all rear passengers have to exit on the other side.
>:)

Unless the roof rack attaches to the door itself and moves with it.

Hey Brian, I wonder which one of us thought of that compromise first? I posted the same idea April 3 in the Model X forum "Ski/Bike Rack". I would have posted it 2 or 3 weeks earlier, but there were website difficulties with my account. Let's hope Tesla monitors these forums, because your or Beaker's solution would make me happy. You gotta be able to put toys on the roof, just gotta.

Barry;
Is March 16 earlier than April 3?
>:/
;)

Brian,
Of course it is. But it took me 2-3 weeks to post -- I kept getting "Website under construction" messages and the like. I finally had to email Tesla website support, and they promptly fixed a problem with my account. I don't know when I first tried to post, may of been before or after Mar 16, and though I obviously care a little bit about the date (or I wouldn't be posting this), mostly I care that a good idea doesn't go to waste! Can't wait to get my X, preferably with a roof rack option!


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