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Battery Range - Performance in the Real World

I need some help/input from the “Forum.” Perhaps Roadster owners can advise me from their hands on experience. I am trying to decide between the 160 or 230 mile range battery.

1. Am I correct, the Roadster and ‘S’ batteries are roughly the same?
2. The factory uses the 245 mile range for the Roadster. What is your real world mileage range in daily driving?
3. After a couple of years what percentage decrease in range and performance have you experienced?

Also, I understand the faster I drive and the more accessories I use will reduce the range. I am not a racer but I do enjoy a spirited drive. I will likely have the air conditioner or heater, audio, and other accessories on. The 160 range battery will satisfy 80% of my daily driving needs but if the real world range and age degrade the actual range to under 120, I may need to step up to the 230.

Thanks for your help.

Was not arguing for the 55mph speed limit, just recalling the episode/era

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@My5bAby

Well you didn't make an argument for it, but you made an biased assertion which turned out to be incorrect. If you would have stopped with "Successfully lobbied against 55mph speed limit" then I wouldn't have said anything. :)

I think you're all vilifying Zelaza unfairly. He made a correctly qualified statement: if you don't have a place to recharge, your effective driving distance is halved. He's right. The question is what are the "places to recharge"? And here's where I disagree with Zelaza: it doesn't need to be high-speed--but it does need to be 220v.

From Boston, I can get to the cross-country skiing at Jackson NH, but I can't get there and back without charging. This is a little village with no big hotels and very limited parking at the XC ski center -- so they're unlikely to reserve a spot or three for EV charging only. Until I know for certain how I can charge in Jackson, I can't take my Model S there.

This is just an infrastructure problem, though. If there were no gas stations in New Hampshire, I couldn't drive my BMW there, either.

@Robert.Boston

Nobody on the planet says "how many round-trip miles do you get per gallon?"

The 55 speed limit was adopted during the Carter years and had nothing to do with traffic fatalities - it was an attempt to fight
the oil crisis by increasing mileage. Failed at that and also failed to reduce highway fatalities (they actually increased as I recall-
one reason they were "officially" revoked) was widely ignored by the driving public.

Knock off the crap about Zelaza. Believe it or not, you don't have to be an oil industry employee to see the problems that have plagued
electric cars for the past century. It's the battery, stupid, as they say. The cost, the lack of capacity, the excessive weight, the long recharge times, the short lifespan. Now, many of those deficiencies have been removed with the advent of the much improved li ion cells.
Recharging the Model S 300 pack in 45 minutes (assuming this to be true) pretty much eliminates the recharge problem. And weights are not all that inhibiting, at around 1200 pounds for the largest pack.
Lifespan needs to be improved and recent battery developments from Toyota and others seem to promise complete elimination of that concern. So right now the big bugaboo is cost. Looking at the Tesla pricing of the battery packs options leads me to conclude that the cost of the battery pack is going to be roughly $10,000 for every 75 miles of driving range. I believe that only in the price realm of the Tesla Model S are electric cars roughly competitive at this point, which is a big improvement and the first time this has ever happened. But at this price point, electrics will not be sold in sufficient numbers to have any effect on anything. That must wait for lower battery prices. Two developers so far have promised battery prices between 10% and 20% of their current price. That would do it. At that point, electrics are not only cheaper to run, but will be cheaper to buy as well, marking the end of the gas powered era. Until that happens electrics will remain niche vehicles, assuming gasoline prices don't skyrocket into the stratosphere. I've observed that EV enthusiasts tend to be ridiculously over optimistic and are getting ahead of the technology. It all comes down to the price of batteries. It's no more complicated than that.

Battery tech has made amazing strides in just the past 5 years. Do you think it's going to frickin stand still in the next 5 years???

It's a good thing you guys aren't in charge of where R&D funds are funneled or we'd still be lugging around 5 pound cell phones the size of a fricking brick!

I am going to agree with brianman about Zelaza; he is the official Tesla blog troll. A brief review of his posts will reveal a common premise that EV's, even the Model S, are not ready for modern consumers. Regardless of the topic; economic, utility, practicality, range, or other, he is consistently the naysayer posting verbose arguments backed up by handpicked and often misrepresentative facts and circular logic that conform to his agenda.

With regards to towing hardware on the frame; also agree. I think not having a spare tire in the car is a poor idea as the obvious outcome is the need for a tow with every flat. Not good advertising for a young car company in my opinion (every Model S with a flat tire gets paraded around town on the back of a tow truck). If I am not mistaken, the low profile high performance tires are more prone to flats than conventional sized all season tires.

Brianman

I honestly appreciate the critique of my statement. Furthermore, I admit an error for not including developments in the "quality" of vehicles. However, I respectfully suggest you consider and admit the fact that, regardless of the "quality" of a vehicle, the faster you are going, the more you will be injured. It is a matter of simple physics. So the most correct and complete statement would include both quality improvements and slower speed of impact.

Robert.Boston

While it may appear that we are treating Zelaza harshly, most of us have NEVER seen a positive statement regarding EVs and/or Tesla from him. Reading the posts on the forum you will find many of us disagree about every conceivable aspect of the car company and technology. However, the underlying message is why "my" suggestion for the Model S is superior, unlike Zelaza's comments where the underlying message appears to be universally, "you should not buy this car or support this technology.".
Mr. Robert.boston I invite you scan through the various blogs yourself. If you come to a different conclusion regarding Zelaza, please let me know, reference the post/s and I will personally give Zelaza a sincere apology and will defend his motives in the future if I perceive someone else is misunderstanding his intentions.
I however would wager that you will come to the same conclusion that we have, and find yourself asking, "why is Zelaxa spending so much time posting in this forum?".
Certainly another reasonable purpose might simply be to get attention. However, even if that is true, the reality is we are trying to get this company / technology off the ground and this is a very vulnerable stage.

The only reason I have not ignored Zelaza is because he echoes and represents what we are up against. While some may say this therefore makes him helpful, I would liken it to having a member of the opposing football team secretly on our team, in our huddles, locker room and practices, always saying, we can't beat their defense, we can't stop their offense, our team is not ready, our coach & quarterback are making the wrong decisions, this is a bad sport, we should be spending more time at home, we are neglecting our family and friends by being here etc.

A player who did that would have his motives questioned, then be asked to leave, and thus we have done the same.

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Mycroft

I STRONGLY DISAGREE WITH YOU. If they were in charge of R&D they would have said, what's the point of a cordless phone if you have to keep putting it back in the cradle to keep it charged. If you forget, your phone is dead, has that ever happened with a normal phone? Plus what happens if you forget where you put it? Sure you can take it out by the pool but if it gets wet it's ruined! Until a cordless phone can have a week of talk time, unlimited range from the base, be water & meteor proof, the technology just is not ready. It should not even be pursued or offered to anyone.

Hey, did I just succinctly describe the obvious about cordless phones, Range Anxiety !

We need to start small with something like a, I'll call it a Golf Cart. We can slowly add range, size and features and then all the sudden they will be adopted by the masses and replace ICE vehicles :-)

Oh, that's right, we tried that :-(. Now the term Golf Cart is derogatory and turns people away.

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@Ramon123 "Recharging the Model S 300 pack in 45 minutes (assuming this to be true) pretty much eliminates the recharge problem.

Why wouldn't it be true? There are Li-ion batteries out there that can be charged in less than five minutes. All it takes is power. Lots of it for battery sizes of 90kWh. For 45 minutes roughly 90kWh/0.75h = 120kW. Probably 500V * 240A or something close to that. Not too much to handle.

Looking at the Tesla pricing of the battery packs options leads me to conclude that the cost of the battery pack is going to be roughly $10,000 for every 75 miles of driving range. (Ramon123)

I would not make any conclusions regarding the actual price of battery tech based on Tesla's option pricing policy. It is far too easy to come up with arguments why Tesla should overcharge (maximize gross margin on more expensive configurations) or undercharge (push high range battery into the market to help market share and brand reputation). IMO, the actual battery cost is mixed into Tesla's magic sauce and you will not learn anything by looking at Tesla's consumer prices.

@Brant
"I am going to agree with brianman about Zelaza"
Woah. That's My5bAby's pitch. I just think his "you must think in round-trip, so let's halve the numbers" is specifically asinine.

@My5bAby
"regardless of the "quality" of a vehicle, the faster you are going, the more you will be injured. It is a matter of simple physics."

Incorrect. It's an issue of -a- do you have an impact (wreck), -b- what's the deceleration like, and -c- mitigating factors such as airbags.

brianman, I am sure My5bAby implied "all else being equal". Given the same vehicle with the same "quality", crumple zone, airbags etc., the damage increases with the speed at which an accident occurs.

My own comment on the issue: There is a lot of psychology going on, e.g., when airbags were first introduced some studies observed that drivers tended to more risky driving style b/c they felt safer, leading some to the conclusion that the positive physical effect of airbags is canceled out by the negative psychological effect on driving behavior. I think there is something to it (I wouldn't feel easy going fast without my seatbelt fastened -- you may argue whether that makes a difference or not when I hit a wall a 80 mph, but in any case, it *feels* safer) although I would hesitate to quantify the effects.

"all else being equal"
The zealot wisdom was "surely it would be safer if..." and the statistics proved otherwise. From that point, it went to "I didn't mean to imply" but then "let me make another assertion that surely you will agree with".

If you want to start a discussion on that topic, go nuts. But let's not mix up the topics.

re Zelaza: just because he appears to be an EV foe doesn't mean that everything he says is wrong. Moreover, it's good exercise to address his arguments, inasmuch as what he's saying here will be (and is now being) said in many other forums. We need good answers to valid-sounding points of EV critics.

re batteries: when I last met with the CFO of the U.S. Department of Energy about prioritizing DOE R&D dollars, I singled out energy storage as the most critical element, and one that needs more funding. Storage complements all the other techs that DOE is funding -- even if breakthroughs in solar or ocean tech are made, without a way of storing that intermittent power, we'll still need an overbuilt transmission system with lots of fossil-fired power plants.

Lots of interesting feedback. Thank you. However… we are straying, a bit.

I would also like to hear from Roadster owners who can verify their real world observations about power, charging, miles per charge, etc. I realize that no Roadster owner will drive until the battery is depleted, so lets take a normal daily drive of say 100 miles. Virtually every Tesla owner and future owner will drive and recharge at night or at work , probably both.

How was your Roadster’s (power, mileage) when new…how is your Roadster after 1,2,3 years. I have only driven a Roadster for a brief, exhilarating,, few minutes, do you only recharge to 80% and how does this effect everything?

Specifically, if I were to purchase the 160 mile battery I would not expect to realize the full 160 miles driving range due to spirited speed, accessory usage, etc. Most traffic goes 75-80 mph on the freeway in Southern California …or it is bumper to bumper. I would anticipate the 160 would be a “real world” 130. Now if I only charge my battery 80% is the 160- 130- really 104?

So you drove your Roadster 100 miles. You charge the battery to 80%. What does your gauge indicate you have left in range?

Appreciate your feedback.

"Now if I only charge my battery 80% is the 160- 130- really 104?"

Yep. Hence my statement that if you routinely drive more than 100 miles on a charge, you should upgrade to at least the 230 mile battery pack.

Mycroft.

Thank you. You just cost me $10K but saved me from making a more expensive mistake.

If you think I cost you $10k, just wait 'til you see the tasty options they're going to entice us with. :-o

Some friend you turn out to be! Can't wait.

Mycroft I hope you realize my comment was tongue in cheek :-)

I have had an opportunity to speak with one roadster owner while he was getting his car serviced. In short it performs as advertised. Additionally he said the program that monitors usage and informs you about remaining range is extremely accurate. He was very pleased with the over all performance of his vehicle.

I think we are / will be very fortunate to have Mr Musk as a CEO. It appears that his paradigm is under promise and slightly over deliver. I think that is an excellent business model in general.

The question I have is, what are aerodynamic tires? There has been some speculation but nothing from tesla other than Mr Holzhausen supposedly saying, paraphrased ( the tires are not too unattractive)

For me I'm getting the 300mile ( potentially now 320) battery pack so I can take some trips and because it makes it easier to keep the battery within a window (of charge) that optimizes longevity.

Oh yes thank you Mr Volker, that is exactly what I meant. The purpose however of my diatribe was to say at the end of the day, if we are to be early adopters we need not only to understand the risks involved but also understand the motives of both individuals and industries that are respectively afraid and financially opposed to change.

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"Mycroft I hope you realize my comment was tongue in cheek :-)"

Certainly. :)

"I think we are / will be very fortunate to have Mr Musk as a CEO. It appears that his paradigm is under promise and slightly over deliver. I think that is an excellent business model in general."

I agree 100% Contrast that with the mind-blowing ineptitude of Fisker!!!

"The question I have is, what are aerodynamic tires? There has been some speculation but nothing from tesla other than Mr Holzhausen supposedly saying, paraphrased ( the tires are not too unattractive)"

It isn't the tires that are aerodynamic, it's the wheels. We have no idea what they're going to look like.

I'm getting the 300 mile pack as well (with the Signature Edition). Primarily because that's required for the Performance package. Without that, I could easily get by with the 230 mile one.

0-60 in 4.4 silent seconds WILL BE MINE!!!

It isn't the tires that are aerodynamic, it's the wheels. We have no idea what they're going to look like. (Mycroft)

I don't know more than you do, but thinking about it I assume that aerodynamic wheels means covered rims/no (visible) spokes. Look what some racing bicycles have. If it wasn't for a particulary innovative design (which Tesla no doubt has in the desk) that would certainly look, um, unconventional. But a flat/plane outer surface would probably help aerodynamics.

You lost me at paradigm.

From what I read , I thought there was a more efficient wheel design in the works.

Perhaps the easiest and most cost effective way to boost mileage is to overinflate, skinnier tires. I doubt you will be pleased with the handling or braking in fast turns, especially in the rain.

Just kidding!

Not sure if you're kidding petero, but in this case, "paradigm" would equate to "world-view", or in the German, weltanschauung.

Elon likes to actually deliver more than he promises, hopefully earlier than promised. Henrik on the other hand does the exact opposite.

As Volker said, the best guesses we have on the new wheel design is that it would be flat with colored or engraved accents of some kind.

Anyone seen Zelaza lately?
I think it is best we warn new readers for his contrinutioms, when he is back with a new name!

Did a quick web check, and Zelaza actually means Iron (Fe) and not oil or petroleum...

We own a towing company [...] It would be great if they have the eyelt behind the bumper with the removable peice to hide it but none of the pictures Ive seen show it. Since Ive already had to tow my wifes S550 for running out of gas Im positive I will have to get her for not charging the Tesla LOL (Towman26)

Not necessarily:
http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1068232_your-electric-car-out-of-jui...


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