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My justification story for buying a Model S...

I have been reading great deal of post here lately on justification for buying a Tesla Model S, and I thought I would share my justification story...

When I first saw a Tesla Roaster on the road, I was so envious, it was in the HOV lane blazing past me, as I sat in my gas guzzling luxury sedan in miserable gridlock traffic. After figuring out what it was, and read about it, I was astonished! Then I went to a dealer, sat in it, and quickly came to the realization it just was't practical for me (Never mind, I could hardly get out of it, as I am 6'1" tall, and nearly had to fall out of it, just to get out). Thus needless to say, when I first read about the Tesla Model S, I was extremely excited!  

I commute a long distance for my work, however, I'm a performance-car enthusiast, and don't feel comfortable driving cheap 'economical' ICE vehicles, much less anything that makes me feel like I am worth less than I have worked so long and hard to create for myself.

Call it what you want, however, I grew up my entire childhood dreaming of owning fast, technologically advanced, luxury cars (many of my toys growing up were toy exotic Matchbox, etc cars). 
Unfortunately,  I also grew up dreaming of owning a home close to the ocean, in a safe neighborhood, where most people around the country could only dream of living.

With that said, the only way for me to afford my childhood dreams was to commute 125 miles round trip, in worst traffic on the planet. I have been making the long commute for well over 3/4 of my life, and it only gets harder to deal with every year, as traffic gets worse, and gas gets more expensive. 

Thus for my needs and dreams, the Tesla Model S Performance is a Godsend of a vehical! Not only do I get to drive a semi-exotic, super fast, high-peformance, technologically advanced, luxury sport-car / sedan (that I would have only dreamed about as a child), it saves me serious money, time, and trouble with my long commuting lifestyle! Plus I get to feel and look good doing it (which no other vehicle on Earth can do currently).

It's going to be like my own version of... 'my cake, and eat it to'!

P.S. That three-step for controlling DC voltage is the reason you can't readily feed rooftop solar power to your car battery. Transformers require AC to work; changing and controlling DC voltages directly is not feasible. (I think this is part of the reason the TM PEM is such valuable secret-sauce wizardry, utilizing the parallel and serial DC voltages of the small batteries in packs to sustain a precise high output power and voltage, which is then inverted into AC for the motor. Or is the voltage controlled after conversion to AC? Only the engineers know for sure ... >;p )

Brian, I am talking about using the BEVs as the backup power for the grid. They are connected to the grid whenever they are plugged in. There would be very little extra added to the chargers they are plugged into to have it take the BEV battery and use it to supply the grid when needed at any time of the day since millions and million of cars with plenty of extra juice would be sitting there almost fully charged.
If I get solar panels for my house and a battery pack I can use that battery to supply my energy needs when I am not generating with the solar or wind. In a very similar way the grid can use BEVs. We have the tech today.

On another note, it is not that hard to reduce the voltage on DC power. My little radio shack car adaptor has a switch that gives me a choice between 6, 9 and 12 volts when I plug it in the 12 volt power socket. I made one when I was a kid with the 101 electronic kit except it was completely adjustable from 0-9 volts. The higher the current the larger the device, same for A/C.

In the US we already transmit power for thousands of miles with no issues. You must be way behind in that tech world Brian. How do you think we buy and sell power between companies. I am not going to get into the technical details. A/C power is pretty easy to adjust frequencies and voltage. I am not saying it doesn't cost money. I think we have 4 grids in the US. West coast, East Coast, Midwest and Texas (good old Texas). I think Texas would be the perfect place to tie three grids together if it hasn't happened already.

Also the throwing away of the power issue is solved when you just put that extra energy into all the BEVs plugged into the grid.

Brian is in that proverbial box. Elon's engineers are outside that box. That is why Tesla has such a superior car. . . And Space X a rocket.

TM has made rather discouraging noises about using BEVs as distributed grid "storage". A whole lotta expense and complications for a rather dubious benefit.
When and how do you imagine it would be useful? Absorbing and buffering wild swings in output from wind and solar? Why not just put nice, stable base load and fast-ramp gas generators in place, for a fraction the cost? BEV backup is a solution to a non-problem.

You misunderstand the difference between connecting stable and controllable large generation and consumption nodes at long distance with trying to do the same trick to load-balance wild swings in power. (Talk about "predicting" them with weather forecasting is literally whistling in the wind.) Example: Poland has stopped accepting output from Germany's windfarms at any price, as accommodating its unpredictable leaps and falls are far more damaging and difficult to deal with than it's worth to have the power. This has caused considerable scrambling and anxiety in said providers. Another: the touted Destertec Saharan solar super-project to provide power to Europe is quietly being cost and feasibility and politics -analysed out of existence. Some things can't be solved with any amount of hand-waving and loud talk.

typo: ... accommodating its leaps and falls is far more ...

Speaking of Germany:

http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,15300384,00.html
http://washingtonexaminer.com/article/686896#.UC-RaaDy34s

Some 'boxes' contain chunks and mountains of reality that don't respond well to being ignored.

Buy a Model S or BEV because it's a fabulous product and meets personal requirements, not as a sacrifice to save the world. If it turns out, as I believe it will, that CO2 emission is a non-problem, or even a net benefit, will a purchase of a Tesla car still make sense? I strongly believe so.

I attended a presentation on the "Smart Grid" and one of the key elements of knowing demand (smart meters and appliances communicating their requests before drawing power) is that the voltage of the transmission lines can be varied to meet demand. I can't remember the numbers but as BrianH points out there is significant loss that can be reduced with reduced voltage.

And high voltage DC transmission was also mentioned, of course it has its own engineering and safety challenges.

I believe that our grid performance is amazing (literally) given its age and limitations. The primary drag on implementation of smart grid is, of course, economics. Thats a whole different discussion for those in the know.

BrianH, "....will a purchase of a Tesla car still make sense? I strongly believe so."

I agree!

The other stuff is fun to talk about though.

This was a great thread...it made me recall one of my more cynical rules of life: the end game for all species is extinction...fingers crossed that I outlive the next ELE. ;-)

My justification for buying a Model S is to minimize the energy intensity of transportation - that simple and that complex.

I should add that I was unable to otherwise justify any car purchase with the exception of the Model S.

I should add that I was unable to otherwise justify any car purchase with the exception of the Model S. (BYT)

+1, that sums it up very well for me.

My justification: Gas cars are so *before yesterday*. Other electric car are so *yesterday* because they make you look like you drive under torture. Model S is the car that we deserve in our time.

It's green, clean and mean.


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