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various questions


As an Australian who is unlikely to be able to justify the cost of a Telsa Model S any time soon, if it does indeed come to Australia, I feel it is my right to criticise everybody on these forums who won't give me one.

No only joking :-).

Anyway, some things I was wondering:

What is the environmental impact of the making the batteries? Some articles say this is insignificant over the lifetime of the car while others are much more gloomy - I am not sure who to believe.

How does the Tesla S cope with going on long down hill stretches of mountain roads? Normally on a conventional car the technique you would use would be to change down gears causing the engine to slow the car down, to avoid the brakes overheating. I would assume you can somehow use regenerative braking to do the same thing. How does this work? Is it possible to activate regenerative brakes without using the conventional brakes?

Is Telsa serious about the Australian market? I have seen some conflicting articles on this (sorry can't seem to find the links right now). I can't see any official articles on their website of what there future plans are for Australia.

Is there any data on average kwh/distance used? I ask because I see lots of people quoting cost/distance, which is meaningless as electricity costs may vary considerable in different countries, and at my place electricity prices are going up up and up.

If anybody wanted forcefully give me a Telsa S all expenses paid as a result of this post I wouldn't resist (resistance is futile). No violence required. Honest.


@Mark E

So Volt is a hybrid? I must have missed this. Yes, agree, if I wanted an electric car one of the significant selling points would be the reduced maintenance of not having a ICE (not just the cost, but also the hassle of trying to get it to the service centre) and the increased reliability.

A solar PV system wouldn't work for me either, for the same reason. Don't get many minutes of direct sun on our roof.

Was wondering about the luxury car tax. How much is this? I see:

Seems like Australia doesn't make very good incentives for Electric Car use like some other countries. ACT is better then some states. Victoria gets $100 off in registration fees. wow.

About the downhill: lifting the foot/goose pedal automatically engages regen. (But if the battery is too cold or too full, the regen may be limited or disabled.) If you set cruise control, most find the MS holds that speed seamlessly, up and then down the hill, within 1 mph, with no driver intervention whatsoever, much less use of the brakes. That may not be the least-energy strategy, but it is very convenient.

Yes the Volt is a serial hybrid.
I don't see any incentives being offered here for us, especially in NSW.


The additional energy you need overnight will not be a problem for a while. Most Grids still rely on atomic power that can't change it's output on short notice, wich means that normaly there is too much power on the grid over night wich has to be used somehow. Here in switzerland we pump up water into water reservoir.

There are also some studies that took a look at the electric bills of fuel refineries and depending on the source 60-90% of the electricity an electric car uses to move is also in the fuel. So a part of the more needed electricity could come from the not needed fuel ;)

But then reality will be just like always we have new electric gadgets and we'll build more powerstations to fulfill the need... like with computes, big tvs and cell phones.

There's no call to call penguin_brian a bird-brain! >:p

@Mark E: Maybe move to ACT :-). Still have to pay this luxury tax (5% of market value of car I think I saw), but you don't have to pay stamp duty. Which looks very similar (seems to be 5% in Victoria and just under 5% in NSW).

At least that is my understanding. Apparently ACT has a reputation for having expensive car registration, however I think it might turn out to be cheapest for electric cars, at least for the very first registration. (I think it might be possible to transfer registration using the same name between states without paying stamp duty; not 100% sure on this).

@ChristianG: Yes. For coal power plants used here, I seem to recall it takes 12 hours to start up or shut down a generator. I think people had the idea that you could use green power (e.g. wind) to fill this gap, however you might not have the green power when it is needed (unless stored in batteries).

The one exception to the general rule of having too much power during the night is hot nights, when everybody has their air conditioners turned on. People don't like it when power companies underestimate the power requirements and introduce blackouts as a result. So the power companies are expected to anticipate this, and add more power just in case.

Which is also something to consider when purchasing a BEV. Sometimes electric blackouts can last days. Might be when you need the car most. e.g blackout caused by bush fires. Which isn't to say that petrol shortages never happen (and maybe this will get worse with time), however electricity at present time seems to be less reliable. At least where I live.

@Brian H: I assume ChristianG meant to say Penguin_brain not Panguin_brain :-)

I just discovered this thread which is interesting reading:

"I still fully expect Australian deliveries to begin at the end of this year or early in 2014 [...]. Our commitment to Australia is unchanged. Actually, interest in Model S in Australia has climbed since last December."

Actually, I missed the "Pan" bit. But a penguin is a bird, as you surely know. It restricts its flying to underwater, though.

penguin_brian: saving the stamp duty wouldn't compensate for putting up with ACT.

penguin_brian -regrettably all we really get in Oz is a lifting of the luxury car tax threshold.
The Volt works much like a ww2 submarine - the motor runs a generator which charges the battery, not the wheels.
The thread you quote has been largely contributed by me in response to emails sent to management at Tesla. George did not reply to me on this occasion, but the manager for Asia Pacific, Kevin Yu, did and it is he whom i quoted.
Can i suggest you write to the Government and opposition, regarding further breaks on EV's? I suggest G Hunt in the opposition. I have written to them all, and got a reply from the Greens as well as Hunt, but as usual not from the Labor government. They never reply to letters. Doubt we will see movement on this front - we are too busy giving aid to the dregs of the world and borrowing cash from China and running up the debt to pay for it!

@Mark E: Is it really that difficult dealing with the ACT bureaucracy?

@dborn: Makes it sound... inefficient. Converting electricity to motion, then back to electricity, then store it in a battery, then convert it to motion again. Not to mention the extra weight for fuel and generator.

Good suggestion regarding contacting government.

The problem with raising the luxury care threshold is that it sounds like even the cheapest configuration of the Model S will exceed the threshold.

Arguing the case with local politicians might be marginally easier when Tesla announce pricing of the Model S for Australia.

@Brian H:

Some birds are clever.

In this case, my name is a joke based on Tux.

Unfortunately, I don't think Tux could drive a Telsa Model S. Huge flaw in the car design.

And here I thought it was a reference to inhabiting the Southern Hemisphere, dodging leopard seals and Orcas!

@penguin_brian: I don't like the weather, architecture, or location of Canberra. It was only built to settle an argument!

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