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The Verge Review

Reading through a review on The Verge now:

http://www.theverge.com/2013/2/12/3969260/going-the-distance-driving-tes...

Loved this comment from the writer, in the context of pushing the car to its limit:

I kept going, partly out of stubbornness — I’d set out earlier in the day running the numbers and never doubting that we’d be able to make it all the way — and partly out of the masochistic belief that running out of power would make for a good story. Admittedly, I hadn’t really thought through the drama and strife that could come from being stranded on the side of Highway 1 with a dead Tesla.

A nice, well written read. Only one quibble:

We expected to spend about half an hour charging; it’s only about 90 miles from Gilroy to our final destination in San Francisco, so we didn’t need to top it off, which would’ve taken a couple hours.

Um, no. Full charge on an 85 should take about one hour, not a couple.

He also kept saying that the waiting list is years, first one or two and then a few. That will scare some people off. But I agree, it was generally well done. An initial skeptic who was won over, not a skeptic determined to find (or create) fault for the sake of a "good" story.

@blephneiben - True. I didn't focus in on that because it's WAS years. It isn't anymore though. I thought it funny that he indicated he almost WANTED to run out because it would make for a more interesting story, but didn't.

Ever notice how all these news rag reviewers manufacture a way to have range issues? Well we did not charge to max, or we did not plug in overnight, We could not wait long enough to add the range needed? We thought we could make it, the list goes on and on.

How about I push my ICE to it's limit? How does this sound?
I expected to only spend 5 min. at the gas station as my destination was only 90 miles away so I did not need to top off I just added three gallons. "topping it off would have taken 10-15 minutes". My ICE barely made it, chugging along on fumes with the low fuel lamp on when I arrived.

Must be a FAULTY ICE vehicle!! They should have told me what to expect if I don't add enough fuel, or drive beyond the range of the fuel I have onboard HOW DARE THEY!! I can't imagine anyone feeling comfortable travelling in one of those.

Drama sells!!

I'm curious about the issues with navigation system mentioned in the article. Is it true that the navigation system on Model S works with 3G and not satellite? If yes, would Tesla require Model S owners to pay for 3G data service, someday if not today, to use navigation? I'll hate to see the answer be "yes" since i've paid for the technology package and was hoping that it will work like any other off the shelf navigation systems.

I had a similar story in a diesel VW golf going from germany to luxemburg. Back then diesel in luxemburg was a lot cheaper than in germany, so the driver wanted to fill up in luxemburg on the way to belgium. But he passed the first gas station after the border for some reason (that car had no 17 inch screen, so it is entirely possible to be distracted without one). We had to get off the highway as the tank was almost empty, and look for another gas station. Found a few houses, asked people, but they only spoke french for some reason. One managed to give us directions in english, found a self-service gas station, but it wouldn't take visa or mastercard (probably broken). We went on, started turning off the car on downhill stretches, at that point you could cut the tension in the car with a blunt knife, but then finally found a gas station, by that time driving on fumes of the fumes... although diesel doesn't really have fumes, but anyways. And somehow nobody seemed to be blaming VW for not putting a bigger tank (you could drive like 800km on a tank) or the oil companies for not installing a gas station every mile. If I had published an article about that, I doubt very much that shares of VW would have plunged 3%. The car also had that old DVD-nav system, where you had to enter city and street names with a rotating wheel, and press the wheel after every letter. I have no idea how the driver could operate that while driving any better than just typing on a giant touch screen. In fact, it is a lot more distracting. But there was no outcry back then that those systems require the driver to take his eyes off the road. Guess tactile knobs are king, no matter if you have to look at what you are doing or not.

"They can feel out a volume control here, a temperature control there without having to look down."

Um, yeah, if you have to look down at your steering wheel to see where your hands are, and where the two scroll wheels on the steering wheel are (that can be configured to do just that) you should probably not be driving any car. And waiting for the nanny state to protect you from yourself by taking the browser away (because you couldn't RESIST the temptation of looking, or just couldn't bitch slap your front passenger and tell him to play with his iphone) will not make you more responsible, you WILL find a way to injure yourself and others, one way or another.

Otherwise, the production values of the video were really good.

Nav. systems work by combining GPS with maps. GPS is satellite based the map tiles come over the air via' 3G 4G or from a disc or drive onboard the car etc. and the whole thing is overlaid on the display.

That said, at some point you will need a data plan for your car it would seem. I can see Verizon licking their chops now!

Correction...with the tech package the maps are stored locally and only updated over the air (though I believe the updates are done over the limited telematics data plan that Tesla includes at no charge for things like monitoring the car and delivering updates.

Thanks @riceuguy & @superliner. It's comforting to know that $3750 worth of tech package will give a reliable navigation system and much more. Wonder why did the reviewer have issue with navigation even though they were driving the signature series. Did the signature series not include the tech package?

@superliner - you know, I did exactly that with my ICE recently. I had been running around too busy to get to a gas station. I ended up at my barn, basically on fumes. It was about 6 miles to the nearest gas station. The barn had a bunch of gas cans for lawnmowers and the gator, so I grabbed a can and put some in. I figured I only needed to get 6 miles, so I didn't even put in a full gallon. Well, I drove to the gas station and you can guess what happened. Literally in the (very busy) intersection, the car ran out of gas and had to be pushed through into the gas station.

At least I didn't blog about it and blame BMW :-)

Geek V;
"Uh, no", no. You cannot double ½ charge in ½ hr to get 1 charge in 1 hour. The battery slows down to about level II rates after about 80%, so the last 20% takes about 1½ hrs. at 40A or so. So Max Range would have, indeed, taken about 2 hours.

@Brian H - This page says "300 miles of range per hour of charge": http://www.teslamotors.com/charging#/onthego - and this one lists the highest battery (ideal) range as 300 miles: http://www.teslamotors.com/models/features#/battery

That's how I arrived at a full charge taking an hour. Now, granted, the first statement may be a marketing mistake because everywhere else I see says 150 miles in 30 minutes... And I know with other chargers you are right about the charge tapering off as your approach full. But I really have no idea what a supercharger can do and was sort of taking Tesla at their word.

@GeekEV - the fact that the maximum rate of charge can only be sustained for 0-50% doesn't invalidate the statement.

@jat - So are you saying I am right? Or Brian is? Or neither? I don't have my car yet so I was going purely based on those statements on the pages I referenced... Can you elaborate?

@jat - Wait. Are you saying that Tesla's statement of 300 miles of range per hour is valid because *IT* could sustain that? Even if the car can't? That's misleading marketing speak at it's worst if that's what they meant. I suppose it's a moot point because who's going to sit there any longer than needed to get to the next station?

But I didn't mean to derail this thread, I'm just trying to understand...

I am saying you can charge from 0-50% at a rate of 300mi/hr, which will get you 150mi in 30 minutes. After that, it slows down progressively, to the point it is no faster than a L2 charger at 80% (and above the standard charge level it gets even slower than that).

The link you gave says you can get 150 miles in half an hour, and it says the rate is 300 mi/hr -- both statements are correct, though I would prefer to be more explicit about not being able to sustain that rate.

Yeah, I see what you're saying. It's not unlike saying I'm driving 60mph, even if I'm only doing it for 10 minutes. However, surely you agree (and I think you do) that stating it the way they did is strongly misleading. Now that I see what Brian and you are saying, it makes sense and it doesn't really bother me. But others might not be so understanding. I can only hope that it wasn't done deliberately - I like to think Tesla's better than that.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, I retract my comment about the author getting the charge times wrong...

You shouldn't need a 3G connection to have map access, at least with the tech package. This has been discussed on other threads but the Nav does not go dark when you're out of signal as I understand it. As for the 3G plan, a base level of 3G comes free with the car to provide software updates and to return all acquired data to the mother ship. A separate 3G contract will be available but not be required since the car will be able to access the net through the wifi hotspot functionality on your cell phone. Undoubtedly Tesla is facilitating our addiction to Slacker and voice command now, so that when the data plan is announced it will be the least painful exercise to simply hit "accept" on the screen to keep the opium flowing.

In Tesla's defense, the standard way of referring to charge rates is miles/hr. But in this case, saying "5 mi/minute, for half an hour" might be clearer! :)

In the case of a 60kWh battery, btw, that would only be 3.5 mi/min., or about 210 mi./hr. Its 50% charge to 105 mi. (ideal) would take half an hour, just like the 150 mi. 50% charge for an 85kWh battery. For a 60 kWh car to add 150 miles of charge would probably require 50 minutes, or even more depending on the starting SoC.

Maybe someone who has used a supercharger can correct me, but I though that the SCs could dump something like 300A at 365V; I think the 150 miles in 30 minutes for an empty battery is conservative. I think the charger can get to more than half full in less than 30 minutes, and even though it ramps down it can, in fact, do 300 miles in an hour. Anyone confirm/deny this with data?

@nickjhowe, I think the superchargers are 90 kW. At full power, that would recover 42.5 kWh in 28 minutes. There is talk of increasing the supercharger rate to 120 kW, however. Of course, most of the time the rate is less than 90 kW.

@GeekEV - the charge rate isn't constant, whether it is the supercharger, L2 charging, or something else. The intended use of the Supercharger, and what they have been saying everywhere, is that you can recover half your range in a 30 minute stop (which does imply you are pretty low on charge -- their # of stops calculator always charges at 10%). Just like all the sales that say "up to half off" or real estate signs "starting at $125k" (which means they have one house at that price and the rest starting at $200k), it is an overall statement not intended to be applied in every situation.

Great video, thanks for the link. Beautiful country, beautiful car. And despite some mis-statements, a balanced positive review.


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