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New York Times Article - And My response

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/automobiles/stalled-on-the-ev-highway....

John - I assume you did the research, or perhaps someone at Tesla told you, that when you go for an extended trip you you do a max charge - that would have given you 265+ miles of rated range. When you go on a road trip in your gas car do you put 12 gallons in a 14 gallon tank?

If I go somewhere in my gas car, spend $8 to get 2 gallons and 60 miles of range, but needed 3 gallons to go 90 miles and get there, and run out of gas, shame on me. Plug in overnight, always. It's EASY.

Here's the equivalent - you get gas when you need to. You plug in every night when you get to your destination. There are more outlets in America than gas pumps - probably at least 1 million times more. Every outlet in America is a refilling station. Come on!

Why didn't you point out the basics that you failed on? If you ran out of gas would you blame Ford for not telling you the car's MPG, or Exxon for not having a station when you needed it?

Driving an electric car is NOT less convenient, it just asks you to think differently. Takes effort, just like a gas car requires effort. If you start simple-mindedly with the gas paradigm as the baseline, you have made a basic mistake. Would get on a bike and write a negative article because you couldn't make it go 65 MPH? Please make the effort next time and acknowledge when you don't.

www.teslamodels.wordpress.com

There already is one (or one planned) in NYC is there not? Rome was not built in a day! And at home .. Overnight charging can be @ up to 62 mph. with the HPWC. And at present while I'm sure it might happen I can't imagine that you would feel it is of more importance to place Super chargers in NY city limits rather than along major inter city linking corridors coast to coast.

The "range anxiety" seat pucker will be FAR more in the forefront of your mind when cruising an isolated stretch of interstate then when cruising in NYC. and I'll promise you finding a SC there will be like an oasis in the desert! and it will make "your S" more useful along with everyone else who does not live in NYC or LA.

As was posted elsewhere on here "somewhere" Can you remember when the first diesel powered M-Benz began to hit our shores? In those days diesel availability was not what it is today, every station did not have it and one had to plan accordingly if road tripping in a diesel auto. "a bit off topic" but eventually it did happen as will the Supercharger network so long as Tesla / Solar City remains viable.

I think the most important superchargers at this point are the ones that can open up the Model S's visibility and viability to the largest number of people and I cant think of anywhere that would be achieved more rapidly then New York City, with the largest population (almost three times as many as LA) the most annual tourists (almost twice as many as LA) and by far the largest population who live in dense housing without off street parking where they can charge at home.

The reality is that with the current NE superchargers too far apart one will need to be placed in between, you can either put it just outside NYC somewhere or within the city, both solve the interstate range issue but putting it in NYC opens it up to almost 10 million NYC residents most of which cant charge at home even if they wanted to and about 70 million annual tourists. It seems like a no brainer to me.

"and about 70 million annual tourists. It seems like a no brainer to me."

And how many of the 70 million tourists drive electric vehicles to New York City?

How many more might if they could use a supercharger to top it up every few days? and how many might see it and say "hey whats that?" and read the infographic placed in front of it about Tesla and the Model S and charging for free from the Sun and then go home and google Tesla to find out more? How many people drive electric cars on a regular bases today or drove them back in 2007 when the Model S was first being developed? since when is that how Tesla measures their future? Marketing is not about current reality its about projecting a new reality and making it real.

Hey, I'd rent one if it was offered. A fully charged S would handle most of my needs on vacation. A supercharger nearby would sweeten the deal.

@ Docrob

California is actually our most populous state as well as the largest car market "by state" in the United States. And I'd guess..?? also the state with the most Model S cars in the wild.

Elon said that Model S deliveries would influence where infrastructure such as stores, service centers, etc. would need to be, building the system out on a demand based logic placing services where the customers are, not where the prospective customers are.. That comes later "I hope".

They're coming !!

In cold regions, winter has not been kind to Tesla and I think it's best to admit this and look at what it means and what Tesla should do about it.

First, to Pungoteague Dave I would say that while Tesla is not a model T Ford, he is an early adopter for a totally new car and drivetrain and should understand that.

I assume he means Washington DC when he talks about "the city". According to Google maps he is 192 miles away and should be able to make it comfortably in milder weather. He sure does not need a supercharger along the way.

But not in cold weather. Is this a problem? Obviously. Can it be solved? I'm sure it can. More important, it must be solved. This is a problem early adopters should take in stride, but as Tesla sells more cars we run out of early adopters.

This is a teething issue and it will be solved. Perhaps a simple insulation panel below the battery would help? This cover could be snapped on every winter in cold climates, along with the winter tires. Perhaps just a 1/4" of polyurethane and aluminum foil would measurably reduce heat loss compared to the metal bottom of the battery pack. Other modifications might be possible, either in software or hardware, or both.

The New York Times article will be used as fodder, for sure, but it is also a service. Tesla will need to address the problem. I am sure it will.

Superliner, it is quite clear the NE corridor is a very high priority for Tesla as evidenced by it being the recipient of the first two superchargers outside of California. There is now evidence that their first two superchargers are spaced too widely even for 85kwh vehicles in cold weather, if they wish to claim a functioning supercharging network in the NE (particularly for 60kwh vehicles with supercharging capability) then there is really no option but to install another supercharger between the current two, the only question is whether to build it in NYC or just outside of it. My point is not whether NE superchargers are a priority, that's a moot point as Tesla has already reveled they are. It is about what I think is the best strategy to complete the Boston to Washington charging corridor which has now been shown to be insufficient. Also as an aside I never claimed New York state was larger then California I said New York City was almost three times larger then LA, which it is.

Docrob;
NYC the world's most populous city? Not by a long shot. Check Mexico City's numbers, e.g. About #8 per wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_metropolitan_areas_by_population .

Your "in-city marketing" attitude towards Superchargers is nonsense. Wrong tool for the wrong job. I think it will be a Frosty Friday before any are installed in-city.

Broder's article reminds me of the saying, "Stupidity is the only capital crime in Nature." Or, more likely, he was inspired by Top Gear's little scripted "Let's push a Roadster" ploy.

Super67;
Fun video. Does Boudain do bulimia? He should weigh 300+ the way he eats! He sure makes Seattle sound delicious.

As for 60kWh cars with Supercharging capability, anyone who bought a 60 with the thought it would make a good long-distance car was self-deluded. Moreover, they charge more slowly and have to be stuffed fuller to have a chance of making it to the next city or SC. Again, wrong tool for the job.

Brian, I never claimed it was the largest city in the world I was referring to it being the largest city in the US. considering the most frequently cited impediment to electric cars is speed of charging id say superchargers are exactly the right marketing tool to increase acceptance and putting one within reach of the US's largest population centre even more so. I don't even know where to start with "I think it will be a Frosty Friday before any are installed in-city", you do realise there is already one in Los Angeles, America's (not the world's) 2nd largest city, dont you?

Hi all. So I am an NY guy (live just north of NYC) and frequent the I-95 corridor quite a bit to DC as I have family there.. I am getting my MS in T+2 days. I say "+" b/c I was supposed to get it this past Friday but mother nature got in the way. Maybe today is the day if not Tues! Black on black 85kwh non-perf. P7395. VIN 4107

I have gotten this article sent to me about 100x already by friends knowing I am about to get this car. They all ask "are u nervous"? I say "no"...without a shadow of a doubt.

As many of you point out, there's a learning curve and we need to change how we travel. And we AND TM will figure things out. But these SC's are too far apart IF the intent is to avoid "filling up" at random recargo/chargepoint spots in between.

The shortest distance between DE rest stop and Milford, CT is 199 miles. That's crossing the ALWAYS traffic-laden George Washington Bridge (1+hour traffic at 5mph) and the infamous Cross Bronx EXPY into CT that is a cattle chute through NYC...think THE main thoroughfare for 18wheelers going to New England. I have avoided the latter highway for 20+ years!

The longest by distance but almost ALWAYS shorter by time is up over the Tappan Zee Bridge via the Garden State Pkwy into CT. That makes the distance a whopping 214 miles between SC's. That means you need MAX charge in DE and a bit of luck. In 30 degree weather, based on everything I have read here, it's not possible.

When you drive North and South on the eastern coast....you need to be able to change course last minute or you are doomed in hours of traffic. Early on, this will require EXTENSIVE planning but this is not something TM can expect the mainstream to do.

So this message is for TM...use us early adopters on the east coast....we can tell you what highways need one to make this SC network work for 60 and 85kwh. So here's my reco:

1) Add a SC to reststop between Exit 11-12 on I-95. This will give you a top off to get through NYC traffic on a weekend
Cut and paste this into Google search bar: 40.5574,-74.263372

2) Add one somewhere on the Garden State parkway....maybe at rest stop on both sides N/S-bound at exit 151...so people have the option to go "Around" NYC
40.839536,-74.178776

Here's to hoping my MS comes today and thanks for hearing me out!

Superliner, Alex K, Rickemisler,
Even though slightly off topic.
I am in rural Arizona (San Manuel) and comute into Tucson most days (100 miles round trip) with a 1500 ft climb in the middle and below freezing temps in the morning. After 5000 miles averaging 303 kWh/mile I could not be more pleased. According to the Supercharger map there will be at least three in Arizona. If I interpret the map correctly, one on I-40 near Flagstaff, one near Phoenix, and one just east of Tucson. Of course time will tell where they actually get installed. There is existing now a fast charger (240 v 80 amps) at Picacho Peak and I believe the one in Flagstaff is operational. GoE3 is installing fast chargers at all 27 of the Bolin Travel Centers in Arizona. Investigate www.jurassictest.com which is really good at estimating range. According to jurassictest, I can make it from Tucson to Los Cruces so getting there from Safford/Duncan should also be doable. I do travel to Safford often and will start taking the Model S as soon as I find a suitable charging location. Showlow and Pinetop are reachable from San Manuel but maybe not from Tucson. If any of you need a charge (240 v 40 amp solar) in an out of the way place look me up in San Manuel the town is small enough that most everyone knows where the Model S lives.

Intentional grounding.

Having driven this great machine for 4 1/2 months through all kinds of weather, and loved it all the way, I’m not surprised that the NY Times (’shale gas is a Ponzi scheme’) would print something like this.

What idiot would go freeze trying to drive a Tesla to failure? His problems were just too easy to avoid - could have kept comfy with the heat on and topped it off in NJ or NYC, or plugged in while sleeping overnight in Connecticut. Really, why didn’t he go find an ordinary 110 outlet somewhere near where he slept, especially when he knew there was a chance he’d finally run out? Either very dumb, or ... but wait, it was on purpose, of course.

MarkV;
That map is just a hypothetical programmer's draft, showing what 150-mi. spaced SCs would look like. Not necessarily anything to do with how it will turn out. GB made this clear fairly early on.

Docrob;
Sorry for misinterpreting "in the world's most populous city" (p. 2 of this thread).
Oh, wait ...

BTW, calling the SpaceX SC an LA location is deceptive. It is there because Elon owns/runs both companies, not because it's in a city. It's a demo site.

All,

I haven't read all the posts on this stream, but my wife read the article to me while returning from a movie last night (I had left the Forum up on the display while waiting for my daughter's ski bus).

Let's just set the article aside for a moment. They guy doesn't quite understand some fundamental concepts behind the Model S.

I've taken our Model S on one business trip so far, round trip about 160 miles, from Kirkland to Olympia WA. I charged it up to about 270 miles (has anyone been able to get it up to the fabled 300?). During the trip I ran the heater (it was in the 40s - 50's outside), picked up a colleage for the last 30 miles (big guy, 60 roundtrip), used cruise control most of the way, probably averaged 65 MPH. Tried to drive conservately for the outbound trip, no real 'punching it' for fun. Stopped off at Ikea, picked up a shelf... When I got back to Kirkland, I had 85 miles of range left.

So, at least what we consider 'average' temps in the PNW, I feel very comfortable doing a 200 round trip. Anything more than that, I usually just rent a car, as its cheaper for my company...

This all being said, our Model S has basically become the 'family' car, with our two remaining SUVs seeing little use. We've put over 2,000 miles on the Model S over the past 6 weeks, while filling up just one of the SUVs. So our gas use has gone from over $600 a month, to less than $100. And neither of the SUVs had full tanks when the Tesla showed up.

That, in our humble opinions, is what the Tesla Model S is all about. Not to mention a blast to drive, cool looking... etc. I had to turn away Boy Scouts the other night who were clamoring for a ride home...

Thanks,

Kevin

@ MarkV cc; AlexK. @ Rickemisler

I may be able to help by giving you a local set of eyes in the greater Safford area. Additionally I may be able to provide a charging solution at my home in the coming months? (currently pulling permits for 100A service in my garage for two 14-50 outlets "one of which will be located outside accessible when parked in my driveway" on a single breaker) In this way I would have capacity for a HPWC in the future?

If interested or just want to chat find me here -> drwhite001@gmail.com I'd be happy to assist if I can. (note I don't have a M/S as of yet, still in the planning and research stages).

It seems that the Tesla apologists in this thread are missing the point regarding this article. Yes this is a new technology that requires some atypical thinking. So why did they completely drop the ball when it came to taking care of this reporter? They should have had a top tier tech available on speed dial 24/7. If they had done a little hand holding this bad press probably never would have happened.

The question is how many early adopters are there? Is it enough to sustain TM until they get their act together? I'm probably a borderline early adopter/second phase customer. They've already lost me with the iffy customer relations and the significant degradation of range in (real world) cold temps contrary to their claims. I'm canceling my res. I'll keep my eye on things in the interim but I hope they're ready for prime time by this time next year.

From a practical and engineering perspective, it is pretty clear that electric cars are not up to the challenge of cold weather operations away from charging. I love my Model S (in Silicon Valley), but with my wife's love of cabin heat, we will still have an ICE for a snow car. ICE's produce copious waste heat that is great for keeping her warm, and batteries simply aren't there yet. The massive battery of my car still only has the energy of 2.5 gallons of fuel, it is just hard to keep warm and go anywhere with that amount of energy.

I have no doubt that EV's will improve greatly in this regard, but with self-discharge as well as heating needs, I think the article accurately reflects that EV's are not ready for long distance trips where you cannot charge overnight. Luckily, those trips are a great minority of driving.

Calling a supercharger in Hawthorne Los Angeles a Los Angeles based supercharger is deceptive? Well that's an interesting concept. Yes it is a demo site, and that's exactly what I'm suggesting a NYC based supercharger could be, a demo site to allay the range fears that hold so many back from going EV, they have one in the west coast's most populous city so why not a sister site in the East coasts and the US's most populous city. I see that I did type the World on page 2, I typed that shortly after coming off night shift and it was purely a typo intended to read US's, regardless it is semantics the point is I thing a site in NYC plays a similar role to the LA supercharger but in a city almost three times larger whilst also serving to bridge the unacceptably large distance between the existing NE superchargers.

About blaming the driver.
There seems to be a fair number of recommendations to read the manual and check the numbers.
Where in the manual does it say that starting off with a 90 mile range you'll end up with 20 by staying overnight in cold weather ?
Parked in a warm garage you'll be down by 8 miles or so (4 with the 4.1 power saving feature that was buggy and had to be disabled).
Even if you knew that you wouldn't expect the charge to drop this much.
He was on the phone with tesla multiple times, why didn't they mention it to him ?
Or they themselves didn't know, that makes it even worse for tesla...
Now about recommendation to charge from a 110v outlet.
Have you thought about logistics behind it ?
Have you tried charging your car from that or even using an extension cord (that tesla clearly tells you not to use in the manual) ?
The driver is not to blame here.
Tesla needs to clearly set expectations.
Disclaimer, I am a signature perf owner and a stock holder (long).

Here's a little hybrid thought that is sure to scandalize the EV purists.
Although burning gasoline in an ICE only gets you 6 to 7 kWh of mechanical energy, that gasoline contains about 30kWh of energy, much/some of which may be extractable as heat (sorry I don't know the thermodynamics numbers of this process.) Why not put a small, and appropriately well designed gas, or kerosine, or other fuel, heater somewhere in the car just for this purpose in the winter? Two or three gallons of "fuel" would weigh in at under 20 pounds and heat you better and longer than all the energy in a 85kWh battery.
I realize that this sounds like a kluge and dangerous, but, this side of nuclear, it's hard to beat gas, or equivalent fuel, for energy density.
This would extend cold weather battery driving range and warm a cold battery in the morning (without wasting driving range.)
Come on Tesla people, think out of the box (or battery.)
Heck, maybe I'll design such a heater and make an infomercial to run on that 17" screen.

To follow up on my previous comment on a "heater."
I neglected to mention the volumetric unit: gallon. So, gas will get you about 6 or 7 kWh of mechanical energy per gallon of gas, and about 30 kWh of heat energy per gallon of gas. Sorry, my bad.

no gas please, not necessary. The car will improve over time. no worries, this was bound to happen at some point. The car and infrastructure will need to improve as the first adopters and Tesla learn from this. The car and infrastructure will evolve and the paradigm will slowly shift towards plugging in. Right now the car is not for everyone, someday maybe.

Docrob;
It's the dang Tesla offices! Not relevant to other cities. Your argument is disingenuous. Real SC installations are for intercity use. Deal.

as we get more real world experience, I think Tesla will be wise to have correct and public info on the range one actually can expect. At the Harris Ranch supercharger, Tesla has put up a note, saying more superchargers are targeted by end of March (not May, as I saw somewhere else on this forum), and in advising charging etiquette, the note says to get to the SC in Tejon Ranch, 110 miles away, at 70 mph, we could charge to a rated 135 miles, and arrive with 10 miles left. This is bad advice, IMO. and if you followed it you might run out of charge. The first time I did that trip, I charged to 176 rated miles, and arrived with only 16 miles, and I had to drive slower an 70mph as the miles went down. So, don't believe what you read, drive and think conservatively in terms of miles, Not all EV drivers are smart, and not even all Tesla owners are, hmm.

@Brian H, I don't think anybody who buys a 60 kWh thinking it's apt for long distance travel is deluded.

It's not the best option for long distance travel, but for people who do little long distance travel it should work with the superchargers.

Tesla will sell you a 60 kWh with supercharger, and charge you for it, so for that to make any sense the superchargers have to be within the radius of the 60 kWh car. Otherwise, the supercharger option would be deceptive.

The tradeoff with a 60 should be that your long distance trip will be slower because you need more stops. It should not be that you can't do it at all.

sergiyz - I have now traded two emails/responses with John Broder. he doesn't seem like a bad guy, but he's not manning up. I have no doubt Tesla fumbled the ball several times while on offense, however John did too. When he could have been proactive he was not. His biggest mistake was assuming an ICE mindset as the paradigm for driving the car. Shame on HIM as an automotive reporter! Seriously!

If you were flying a new type of airplane, wouldn't you look into things a bit?

If you were cooking on a new type of stove...

If you were using a new type of chainsaw...

Tesla muffed, So did he. Isn't his job as a reporter to inform? If so, he left it half done.

www.teslamodels.wordpress.com

Brian, it is my opinion that the Hawthorne supercharger (which is at the SpaceX office not the Tesla one) is largely a marketing too to expose the population of LA to what's possible with a Tesla, it is also my opinion that a NYC supercharger would serve a similar role but for almost three times the population and twice the tourists. It is quite clear you have a different opinion to me, that doesn't make my opinion invalid or "disingenuous" just different. Deal.


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