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Electric Car Range and Charge Timing Issues

Electric Car Range and Charge Timing Issues

In my mind a sports car can be driven on the open American road. Not coddled. DRIVEN. Hard. And not have to refuel every dozen minutes or so. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 114,533 gas stations in the U.S. at the end of 2012, the last year for which data is available. There is currently one (ONE) Tesla battery swap station (Harris Ranch, CA). Elon stated at a shareholder meeting (June 2015) that more are NOT coming. The problem with any battery car, with today's batteries, is battery mass. Mass matters. Batteries need more, much more, power per KG of battery mass. Significant electrical distribution system changes also need to be made to allow for faster charging times.

DISCUSSION:
Here's a battery powered car range and recharge time challenge: Using today's infrastructure (not tomorrow's), drive from Phoenix, AZ to Sunrise Park Ski Resort (215 miles and 8,000 foot elevation gain), ski six hours, and drive home - and do it in 13 or fewer hours.
Check out Tesla's web site for SuperCharger stations on this route and you'll find none. That, my friends, is why electrics are (generally) city cars, not cars for people who actually need to drive for hours on end. They may be quick, but they are not sustainably fast. Quick is not the same as fast. Acceleration does not equal velocity. Power does not equal energy. Keep total driving mileage to a low daily amount and recharge while you sleep, and electrics work great. Hit Route 66 or the open American road and it's game over. By the way, I do the Phoenix to Sunrise day trip all the time in my ICE car.
Some facts of physics, chemistry, electricity and mechanics (of course, none of this will be news to the Tesla engineering staff, or Elon):
- One gallon of gasoline contains about 33 kilowatt hours (KWH) of energy. At a weight of less than 7 pounds.
- A typical gasoline engine is about 25% efficient, thus getting about 8 KWH usable energy per gallon. The typical 15 gallon tank therefore contains about 120 KWH usable energy in about 105 pounds. If that tank is totally empty it takes about 6 minutes to refill and get another 120 KWH of usable energy.
- Considering batteries, a Tesla's 90% efficient 85 KWH battery (75 net KWH) contains about the same usable energy as 9 gallons of gasoline (63 pounds), at a weight of approximately 525 KG (1,155 pounds). Thus, a Tesla's 85 KWH battery weighs EIGHTEEN TIMES as much as the same amount of usable energy in chemical liquid energy form (gasoline). Of course, part of that mass issue is offset by the Tesla's lower mass for the total power delivery system including transmission, cooling system, etc.
- If the Tesla's 85 KWH battery is fully discharged, to recharge it in one hour, using a 240 volt single-phase charger, would take 85,000 / 240 = 354 amperes of current for one full hour. A 354 ampere, 240 volt, cable would literally be the size of a woman's forearm. 60% of the homes in the United States do not have electric service powerful enough. In other words, most homes in the USA cannot charge a fully-discharged Tesla in one hour. To get the charging time for that battery down to six minutes the voltage would need to be 2,400 volts and still require a 354 ampere rated cable.
- Even if it could be done, recharging a Tesla's battery in one hour would take at least TEN TIMES as long to recharge as a gasoline refill, and after all that the Tesla would still be left with only 75 / 120 = 63% of the total usable energy compared to the 15 gallon gasoline refill.
- In order to double the range of a car with a 15 gallon gasoline tank, you could add another 15 gallons capacity to the fuel tank and increase total weight by about 125 pounds (fuel plus additional tank materials). To double a Tesla's range, you'd have to install another 1,155 pound battery.
- One horsepower equals 746 watts. This is a scientific definition, not open to discussion. Thus, an 85 KWH battery can deliver a maximum 85 KW for one hour (H) or approximately 113 horsepower for one hour. That's about the same horsepower as a Toyota Corolla. In order to get the ridiculously high power ratings quoted for some battery cars, they literally use up the power of the battery in minutes, thereby forcing an hour (or hours) long recharge for only minutes of high power drive time. In other words, that Tesla can deliver its 500+ horsepower for just 1/5 of an hour (12 minutes) then it needs fully recharged which can take one hour, even with a SuperCharger. Drive full power for 12 minutes for every 60 minute recharge.

SUMMARY:
Mass and refuel cycles matter. Period. No one has rewritten the rules of physics, electricity or chemistry. Today's EV's simply weigh too much and take too long to recharge - if the electrical infrastructure even existed to quickly recharge them. We've gotten very good at controlling dozens (hundreds) of gasoline explosions per second, and turning that into meaningful transportation options on a global basis. The ICE powered car has set a high bar to overcome. The bottom line is that battery energy density needs to increase by at least five to ten fold, and massive electrical system upgrades need to occur, to truly compete with gasoline engines, for anything other than relatively short, daily, trips. Some day we'll probably all drive electrics, at least in the city where we can slowly recharge at night. But for now, there are serious limitations, especially for road trips.

I have been following Sion and other battery/energy storage developments with high interest. Clearly the ICE will face increasing competition. If batteries can get to much higher power densities, at lower cost, then over time the electrical infrastructure can be beefed up enough to get recharge times down to something like 10 minutes for a fully discharged battery to be recharged. The inherent advantages of electric motors versus ICE will organically push more and more people to consider electrics. It is coming, albeit at a slower pace than most realize. Electrical distribution system upgrades will take considerable time and costly effort, concurrent with addressing safety concerns related to higher voltages at the refill "stations".

The point of this post is to show that right now we have a ways to go to get to a point where batteries are energy-dense enough, and electric charging stations are ubiquitous enough, to alleviate the range and recharge time problem of electrics. It's sort a chicken-egg problem.

Tesla seems to be best positioned to make this happen. Let's hope Tesla is successful.

Rocky_H | 19 august 2015

Hmm, your well-reasoned points about why Tesla vehicles can't work for people is in some contrast to how they actually do work for thousands of owners.

"Using today's infrastructure (not tomorrow's)..."
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Uh, sure, I could find many routes around the country that are not well covered right now. What does that prove? (Hint: it means this is still being worked on, not that the technology of electric cars doesn't work.)

"Here's a battery powered car range and recharge time challenge: Using today's infrastructure (not tomorrow's), drive from Phoenix, AZ to Sunrise Park Ski Resort (215 miles and 8,000 foot elevation gain), ski six hours, and drive home - and do it in 13 or fewer hours.
Check out Tesla's web site for SuperCharger stations on this route and you'll find none."
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To humor you, I'll take that challenge. Phoenix to Holbrook to Sunrise Park. Yes, it's 60 miles more than the straightest, most direct route, but it's doable and that is where we are in these first few years of the build-out of electric car charging infrastructure.

I think this is a great opportunity to call and talk with the management at the Sunrise Park Resort to suggest to them installing a couple of 14-50 outlets or J1772 car charging stations. It's a good destination, and getting 5 or 6 hours of charging there would be a nice amenity.

"Drive full power for 12 minutes..."
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What the hell? Are you trying to accelerate to 1,500 mph? You can quote numbers like this, and they are accurate, but that's not how cars are driven. People who own these cars use them every day and find them very good. You don't have one and don't understand it yet. Yes, there are still many routes and places that are difficult because we are still at an early point in modern EV history, but people do thousand mile trips in their Teslas already, and it will continue to get better and easier in the next several years, even without gigantic increases in battery technology.

ian t.wa.us | 19 august 2015

Great points Rocky_H.

I'll add that bluebeemer42 must be an automobile magazine officianado as they really enjoy "on paper" auto comparisons. As Rocky said, in the real world people don't use them like that.

In other words, try it, you might like it! ;-)

DTsea | 19 august 2015

You can always find edge cases qhere any vehicle doesnt work.

For example i am confident bluebeemers BMW cant haul a couple cubic yards of dirt. Does that mean BMWs arent useful or practical? No, it just means BMW doesnt make a pickup truck.

He is just trolling.

Grinnin'.VA | 19 august 2015

@ Rocky_H | August 19, 2015

<<< Yes, there are still many routes and places that are difficult because we are still at an early point in modern EV history, but people do thousand mile trips in their Teslas already, and it will continue to get better and easier in the next several years, even without gigantic increases in battery technology. >>>

^^^ I'll agree that bluebeemer42 overstated limitations of BEVs vs ICE cars.

However,

Early this year I got an 85D; my wife got a new 2015 Prius.
AFAIK, there is no freeway road trip over 500 miles in the U.S. for which I can win a race in my 85D vs. my wife in her Prius. No matter what speed I drive, my driving plus charging times are longer than my wife's driving plus refueling times if she cruises at 70-75 mph on the freeways.
The 90D should do a bit better than the 85D, but I don't think it could win a road race against a Prius either.

It isn't a question of whether the MS can do road trips. The inconvenient truth is that in an MS, road trips take longer than they do in ICE cars. IMO, that's a huge problem for a 'performance sedan'. It's great as a drag racer, but few buyers care about that when their road trips take more time.

BTW, my wife's Prius is more comfortable than my 85D with air suspension on 19" wheels/tires. Consequently, my wife gave me some disappointing news: She refuses to go on a road trip with me in my wonderful 85D. Damn!

Rocky_H | 19 august 2015

@Grinnin, Who is looking to win a race on a distance road trip, besides Bjorn and Jorgen? I would think the goal is to get there in a reasonable time and reasonably comfortably. I've found charging stops to be not noticeable and not cumbersome and are a nice break every couple hours for 15-20 minutes. One of them will be a meal stop, so you end up with way more than you need there, which makes your other stops shorter. Sure, one could do the 400 miles in a Prius with a short gas stop and another 400 miles, but that is over 5 hours straight at 75mph of sitting still in the car. I don't necessarily like to have to sit that long.

Rocky_H | 19 august 2015

Oh, I should clarify, because it's you, Grinnin: When I said I don't like to have to sit that long, that doesn't mean I'm telling you what to do or shut down what you want to say or insult you.

DonS | 19 august 2015

I agree EVs do have limitations for road trips, but ICE vehicles have more limitations the rest of the time. Road trips do take some extra effort in a Tesla.
Real world experience says that for 99% of travel, multiple drivers in my house would rather drive the Tesla.

Grinnin'.VA | 19 august 2015

@ Rocky_H | August 19, 2015

<<< @Grinnin, Who is looking to win a race on a distance road trip, besides Bjorn and Jorgen? >>>

^^^ It seems to me that bluebeemer42 likes to take a mad dash on road trips as does my brother-in-law. He lives in Topeka, KS; drives a hybrid Camry; and considers the MS to be intolerable for road trips. My guess is that there are lots of people who like to drive 80 mph or faster on road trips with very few stops. I think I see several each and every time I'm on a road trip.

<<< I would think the goal is to get there in a reasonable time and reasonably comfortably. >>>

^^^ That makes sense to me. I prefer to do road trips pretty much like you described. I'm saying that lots of people don't like that.

Recall that my wife refuses to go on a road trip in my 85D because she finds it uncomfortable. I suspect that she isn't unusual in that regard.

Tesla was founded by "performance car" enthusiasts. They make cars for "performance car" enthusiasts. There is a broader market for cars, which it seems to me Tesla steadfastly ignores. There is no damn reason that Tesla couldn't make seats as comfortable as those in Lexus sedans.

IMO, they just don't want to do that, which is their right. However, I don't think they will sell millions of cars that many people regard as uncomfortable. I've made this point directly to Tesla management: Tesla needs to decide what kind of car company they want to be. Pick one: "performance car company" or "mass market car company". So far, they have tried to ignore the needs and preferences of most mass market car buyers. Making a 'supercar' that can do a 1.5-sec 0-60 with a top speed of 200 mph just will not cut it in the mass market.

Bottom Line: Tesla continues to focus on 'supercars' to their peril.

Rocky_H | 19 august 2015

Quote: "They make cars for "performance car" enthusiasts."
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They make car--singular

Quote: "steadfastly ignores"
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...in this second model ever.

Quote: "However, I don't think they will sell millions of cars that many people regard as uncomfortable."
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The uncomfortable comments are about the Model S--you know--the only car they sell right now. That is not intended to be the one that sells millions. So you are projecting something about this car to all of the cars they will ever make in the future--very illogical.

Quote: "Tesla needs to decide what kind of car company they want to be. Pick one: "performance car company" or "mass market car company"."
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Or, as they have already decided, they are going to be all of the above...eventually. Did I already mention about "second model"? Yeah, I did. Their first car they designed can't be everything for all markets. They will have many many models in the future. It bothers me when people look at the Model S and then say, "They don't ever want to do _______." That is projecting from this one thing to everything they will ever do in the future. They'll get there to other types and markets of vehicles--jeez.

Quote: "So far, they have tried to ignore the needs and preferences of most mass market car buyers."
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"So far..." Again, second car ever. Still, since battery prices still are not low enough to enable them to make a mid priced car yet, it's just going to be expensive at this point and not mass market yet until the battery factory is done, and they can design the smaller cheaper vehicle.

Quote: "Bottom Line: Tesla continues to focus on..."
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...with their second car ever.

"...'supercars' to their peril."
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Yeah, that seems to really be hurting them. (That's sarcasm.) Have you looked at the comments on their Facebook page at the people obsessing and drooling over wanting one? The amazing performance is impressing so many people, that they have tons of people loving the brand and wanting one and waiting for the very moment they can get a lower priced model that they can afford so that they can get a Tesla. That is lining up a lot of future sales. If their claim to fame was that it can drive a long distance, but didn't have the great performance, very few people would care because it would just be similar to other cars, but more expensive. Most people would see that as worse and wouldn't have that desire for them.

DTsea | 19 august 2015

No disrespect to Grinnin's wife, but my experience is that a prius is a miserable tin can and i hate to ride in it. But thats just me maybe.

Dramsey | 19 august 2015

@bluebeemer42,

You are an idiot and a troll. Please kill yourself.

bluebeemer42 | 20 august 2015

Rocky_H: All good points. Thanks. I actually got into this analysis due to a friend's purchase of a Tesla last winter. I was excited to see how it would do since we had a day trip ski outing planned. My friend said we could not do it in his new car. I said "Dude, you spent $75K on a new car and you cannot even take it on a little day trip?". I put on my professional electrical engineer's hat and determined to prove him wrong, and after doing the research I came to the conclusion he was right. A total disappointment to me since I am obviously biased to things electrical. As you can see, there are at least some people who would like to do road trips. Maybe not all, but some. Your suggestion to go through Holbrook is valid, but the "inconvenient truth" (thanks Grinnin'.VA) is that it would add one hour each way for drive time, plus one hour each way for SuperCharger charging time, making that 13 hour day trip stretch to 17 hours. Ouch! Also, the way I drive, especially when the road gets twisty (which it does a lot in the canyons and mountains of the Southwest), I am often full power, which rapidly drains the battery. Electrics are coming, but the battery density issue needs addressed and I am sure Elon's engineers and scientists are furiously working on it. Decreasing charging time is just a matter of more voltage or current, executed in a safe way. There are no real breakthroughs needed for that, just good engineering, willpower and capital. No one is better positioned than Tesla to solve these issues. Personally, I think Tesla should make a truck, one which is focused on the city market where it can be recharged every night in the shop. I can imagine construction and delivery companies snatching them up in droves. Of course, Elon doesn't ask me about what I think. I own the stock so obviously hope Tesla is successful.

DTsea: No troll. Just facts, backed by engineering and science. Also, the "beemer" in Bluebeemer42 is my motorcycle. I drive an Audi S4 Avant. I don't think my case is an "edge case". There are many locations across America where range issues and charging times come into play. Your point about not all cars meeting all needs is totally valid. Thanks.

Dramsey: A nice, tightly reasoned, professional response (NOT). When faced with cognitive dissonance about facts that you don't agree with, do you always resort to such behavior? Your mother and father must be proud. If you don't agree with the post, why not try a better comeback with some facts and science to back you up? The problems identified will be solved by people who can carry on a constructive dialog to reach solutions to get from where we are today to where we need to be in future.

Live long and prosper. < QED >

jonlivesay | 20 august 2015

I've driven my Tesla from California to Vancouver Island B.C. and didn't spend anything on gas. No ICE can or will ever be able to do that. Driven 46000 gas free miles and loved every one of them. Sure there are holes in the charging infrastructure, impossible to complete a new transportation infrastructure overnight. when I purchased my S there were 12 supercharging stations on the planet. Admit to a bit of anxiety about that, but am pleased to say I have none now. Yes the car has had some hiccups, new technology always does, they fix the issues so no big deal.

Bottom line, you don't like the Tesla don't buy one. Just don't be a Tesla hater that's a no win situation, especially as we drive by you on the road.

Grinnin'.VA | 20 august 2015

@ Rocky_H | August 19, 2015

<<< Quote: "They make cars for "performance car" enthusiasts." >>>
<<< So you are projecting something about this car to all of the cars they will ever make in the future--very illogical. >>>

^^^ I'm projecting that until/unless Tesla changes its focus I expect them to continue emphasizing "performance" at the expense of more practical considerations such as comfort and range, which happen to appeal to more car buyers.

<<< Or, as they have already decided, they are going to be all of the above...eventually. >>>

^^^ I see no (ZERO) evidence that Tesla intends to make comfortable seats ever. It's a no brainer if/when Tesla wants to make comfortable seats. Instead, their last seat option focused almost exclusively on making seats designed for road racing. Initially, they wouldn't even sell them to anyone who didn't buy a "performance" MS variant. That implies a clear priority favoring "performance car" enthusiasts.

<<< Still, since battery prices still are not low enough to enable them to make a mid priced car yet, ... >>>

^^^ This issue isn't about price. It's about Tesla's excessive focus on the concerns of "performance car" enthusiasts at the expense of all other customers.

<<< If their claim to fame was that it can drive a long distance, but didn't have the great performance, very few people would care because it would just be similar to other cars, but more expensive. Most people would see that as worse and wouldn't have that desire for them. >>>

^^^ I offer myself as a representative counterexample. I sold my Prius, which cost about $35K and replaced it with an 85D which cost $101K. The biggest motivation in my selection of which MS to get was RANGE. I did NOT get my 85D to drag race or to brag about, claiming it did an amazingly quick 0-60. BTW, I've noted that quite a few other MS owners have reported on these forums that they sold a Prius and bought an MS. Did those Prius owners, who had been driving cars with 0-60 times of about 10 seconds suddenly decide that cutting their 0-60 times in half was worth about $50K more? Possibly a few did. I suspect many more bought their MS for other reasons.
_________________________

Rocky_H, Tesla's latest innovation is a thing called "ludicrous". I rest my case.

@ DTsea | August 19, 2015

<<< No disrespect to Grinnin's wife, but my experience is that a prius is a miserable tin can and i hate to ride in it. >>>

^^^ Of course, you have every right to drive whatever car you want to buy. You even have a right to belittle any car model that you choose to. However, that's a bit of a childish thing to do.

Just for the record: My wife's 2015 Prius is a damn good car. I don't mind riding in it. I've never felt 'miserable' in it. Surprisingly, it's fit and finish are better than my 85D. IMO, it is a very appealing, practical car. Lots of new-car buyers agree. I wonder: When Tesla will build a car that can match its positive attributes?

BTW, just how many thousands of miles have you ridden in a 2015 Prius?

Earl and Nagin ... | 20 august 2015

@bluebeemer42,
I definitely don't consider you to be a troll. Your math is generally good but many of your key assumptions that lead to your conclusions are a bit off. While I will acknowledge that an ICE is still faster for a long-distance trip, the differential is not as great as your analysis shows. EVs are also is likely to improve as infrastructure grows. I hope my comments inline below help:

- One gallon of gasoline contains about 33 kilowatt hours (KWH) of energy. At a weight of less than 7 pounds.
- A typical gasoline engine is about 25% efficient, thus getting about 8 KWH usable energy per gallon. The typical 15 gallon tank therefore contains about 120 KWH usable energy in about 105 pounds. If that tank is totally empty it takes about 6 minutes to refill and get another 120 KWH of usable energy.
^^^ very few gasoline engines actually get 25% efficiency. They are lucky to get 20% efficiency in real life unless they’re a hybrid.
- Considering batteries, a Tesla's 90% efficient 85 KWH battery (75 net KWH) contains about the same usable energy as 9 gallons of gasoline (63 pounds), at a weight of approximately 525 KG (1,155 pounds). Thus, a Tesla's 85 KWH battery weighs EIGHTEEN TIMES as much as the same amount of usable energy in chemical liquid energy form (gasoline). Of course, part of that mass issue is offset by the Tesla's lower mass for the total power delivery system including transmission, cooling system, etc.
^^^ You are correct, however, that the specific energy Wh/kg of a gasoline drivetrain is higher than an electric with Li-ion batteries. This ended up being the critical factor with EVs until the invention of the NiMH battery in the 1990s. It became even less of a problem once we learned how to use Li-ion batteries safely in the late 1990s. At that time battery mass was so great that the structure to carry the mass bloomed to where it was hard to make a decent sized vehicle with any practical range. The Gen2 Lead-Acid (Pb-A) EV1 could get 80-90 miles on the highway but that was about at the apex of the Pb-A. However, once you could easily carry the battery, you find that vehicle mass doesn’t really matter that much with EVs. While moving, mass mainly affects rolling resistance, which only accounts for a small amount of the vehicle’s drag. Mass greatly affects acceleration energy required. For highway driving, however, this doesn’t matter much since you accelerate rarely. With city driving, one accelerates a lot but regenerative braking offsets deceleration losses proportionately with mass.
- If the Tesla's 85 KWH battery is fully discharged, to recharge it in one hour, using a 240 volt single-phase charger, would take 85,000 / 240 = 354 amperes of current for one full hour. A 354 ampere, 240 volt, cable would literally be the size of a woman's forearm. 60% of the homes in the United States do not have electric service powerful enough. In other words, most homes in the USA cannot charge a fully-discharged Tesla in one hour. To get the charging time for that battery down to six minutes the voltage would need to be 2,400 volts and still require a 354 ampere rated cable.
^^^ Solution: if you’re in a hurry don’t use only 240v to charge; Use a Supercharger like everyone else does. A Supercharger, using about 480 volts, can already charge about 50% of the car’s range (~130 miles) at 120 kW and the full car in 1 hour. 240v charging is convenient to use at home, at work, hotels, resorts, amusement parks, or other places where you’ll be spending time anyway.
- Even if it could be done, recharging a Tesla's battery in one hour would take at least TEN TIMES as long to recharge as a gasoline refill, and after all that the Tesla would still be left with only 75 / 120 = 63% of the total usable energy compared to the 15 gallon gasoline refill.
^^^ First of all IT CAN be charged in 1 hour at a supercharger. Second, if you don’t try to fully fill, it will only take about FIVE TIMES as long. AND: You can do something useful while it is charging like use the bathroom, buy a cold drink, or eat. I recently drove a miserable trip in a rented ICE during a business trip and absolutely hated the gas station experience. I had to wait in line for 2 other cars to fill up (one lady took 2 minutes fumbling around in her car before she even got out to start getting gas. I then had to insert my credit card, wait a bit, enter my zip code, select my octane, stand by my car as it filled, go inside to get my receipt and use the restroom. In all, that took about 45 minutes - about the same time as the average Tesla Supercharger stop.
- In order to double the range of a car with a 15 gallon gasoline tank, you could add another 15 gallons capacity to the fuel tank and increase total weight by about 125 pounds (fuel plus additional tank materials). To double a Tesla's range, you'd have to install another 1,155 pound battery.
^^^ This analysis is actually about true. It is a reason that I don’t see long-haul trucks being electric in the near term.
- One horsepower equals 746 watts. This is a scientific definition, not open to discussion. Thus, an 85 KWH battery can deliver a maximum 85 KW for one hour (H) or approximately 113 horsepower for one hour. That's about the same horsepower as a Toyota Corolla. In order to get the ridiculously high power ratings quoted for some battery cars, they literally use up the power of the battery in minutes, thereby forcing an hour (or hours) long recharge for only minutes of high power drive time. In other words, that Tesla can deliver its 500+ horsepower for just 1/5 of an hour (12 minutes) then it needs fully recharged which can take one hour, even with a SuperCharger. Drive full power for 12 minutes for every 60 minute recharge.
^^^ You are confusing max horsepower with average and miss the fact that one seldom uses the full rated horsepower of a vehicle. Even driving your Corolla up a steep grade at 70 mph will only use less than 50 hp. You may use more for short bursts while accelerating but not for very long. Driving on level ground in a Model S only uses about 20 kw on average.

Rocky_H | 20 august 2015

@bluebeemer42,

Quote: “I put on my professional electrical engineer's hat and determined to prove him wrong, and after doing the research I came to the conclusion he was right. A total disappointment to me since I am obviously biased to things electrical.”
-----------------------------------
It is good to hear that you were really wanting to look at it realistically. Your initial post sounded a bit more negative ranty.

Quote: “As you can see, there are at least some people who would like to do road trips. Maybe not all, but some.”
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And many people do take road trips. It’s not that road trips cannot be done, as you are implying. It’s that charging infrastructure is on the most heavily traveled routes first, and a lot of lesser ones are not done yet. @jonlivesay pointed out his trips, and I’ve done a few and many other people have as well. It’s just that this particular one you looked at is not well served yet.

Quote: “Your suggestion to go through Holbrook is valid, but the "inconvenient truth" (thanks Grinnin'.VA) is that it would add one hour each way for drive time, plus one hour each way for SuperCharger charging time, making that 13 hour day trip stretch to 17 hours. Ouch!”
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I’m pretty sure it would be only a half hour charging time each way, but yes, that is three extra hours. Anything has pros and cons on a balance scale compared to something else. It is inconvenient for this somewhat infrequent trip. In exchange for that, all of the rest of the year, you get great savings on gasoline. You get a vehicle that fuels itself overnight in your garage while you sleep. You get less maintenance. You get to have a vehicle that can be either really powerful or really efficient, depending on how you drive it. There are a lot of benefits in exchange for that trip being a longer day.

Quote: “Also, the way I drive, especially when the road gets twisty (which it does a lot in the canyons and mountains of the Southwest), I am often full power, which rapidly drains the battery. Electrics are coming, but the battery density issue needs addressed”
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Ah, no. This is blaming someone else for your choices. Starting off with “Also, the way I drive…” is the dead giveaway that you have made up your mind that you should not have to change anything about what you do, and the world should change to accommodate you. That is pretty immature. It is in your control how you drive and what goal you want to accomplish. If you are going to really push the performance and be “at full power”, then you are choosing to get less range and have a hard time going a long distance and making yourself have to charge longer. That is your choice to drive in a really inefficient manner and not the batteries’ fault. I suggest doing that at other times when you are not trying to minimize the time on a really long day trip.

Quote: “Decreasing charging time is just a matter of more voltage or current, executed in a safe way. There are no real breakthroughs needed for that, just good engineering, willpower and capital. No one is better positioned than Tesla to solve these issues.”
-----------------------------------
Well, the utilities might be better positioned, because I don’t know how much they can supply at all of these locations. Perhaps there is room to increase the supply quite a bit, but I don’t know.

Quote: “Personally, I think Tesla should make a truck, one which is focused on the city market where it can be recharged every night in the shop. I can imagine construction and delivery companies snatching them up in droves. Of course, Elon doesn't ask me about what I think.”
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But Musk has been asked what he thinks about a truck, and he has said multiple times in interviews that Tesla will definitely be doing a truck someday. People want everything right now, but it will have to take time. Currently, they don’t have the design and production capacity to have three or four new models out. People want Tesla to make big cars, small cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, etc. and all right now, but because they don’t have them right now, people say Tesla doesn’t want to do them. So yes, they will get to a truck, but it will have to be after the Model 3, which comes about 2017/2018, so I expect a truck around 2020 maybe. A truck will need bigger battery capacity than the current cars, so they do need it to be after they have the battery factory in place to make the cost somewhat reasonable.

Quote: “I don't think my case is an "edge case". There are many locations across America where range issues and charging times come into play.”
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It is quite definitely an edge case. It’s a small ski resort that people outside of Arizona have not heard of and with no sizeable city nearby. Why would that be one of the early Supercharger routes they build? Your second sentence is exactly correct, because the network is so young and so small that there are a lot of areas across the country that have these issues right now. Anyway, the best solution to this lies in destination charging, not on the road charging. The car is going to be sitting for several hours while you are there skiing. If you can get the resort to install some kind of charging, then this becomes much less of an issue, even if there is a $10 or $20 fee for non-overnight guests.

DTsea | 20 august 2015

Bluebeemer thanks for the followup.

Grinnin, fit and finish is ok on the prius. But it is still a small lightweight economy car and rides like one. You are so funny... you take personal offense at everything but you like to call names. It is deliciously fun to tease you.

But seriously i am glad you and your wife enjoy your prius. Have fun!

Dramsey | 20 august 2015

@Bluebeemer: If you don't agree with the post, why not try a better comeback with some facts and science to back you up?

Because I've been in online forums for decades, and I've seen your type of post innumerable times. Starting a reasoned discussion of the various issues is never the point.

You jump into an enthusiast forum on [whatever] and proceed to tell the membership how the object of their forum is stupid, bad, intrinsically flawed, or outclassed by something else. I've seen similar things since the Commodore folks trolled the Apple ][ BBS systems back in the day.

Using ICE vehicles as a benchmark, you point out all the limits of EVs in terms of range, time to recharge, availability of infrastructure for recharging, et cetera, as though members of a group of Tesla enthusiasts would be unaware of them.

You make silly points like how fast running an EV at maximum power will drain the battery (as though running an ICE at full throttle wouldn't drain the gas tank quickly), and wild-ass assertions like "battery energy density needs to increase at least five to ten-fold" for EVs to be practical.

Most of us here find our Model S cars-- with all the limitations you decry-- to be very practical and useful vehicles.

I see no point to your post other than incitement. What, precisely, was your point? That the capabilities of EVs need to evolve to become more appealing to a broader range of consumers? Well, thanks for the heads-up. We've certainly never discussed that here before.

Rocky_H | 20 august 2015

@Dramsey +1

Grinnin'.VA | 20 august 2015

@ Earl and Nagin ... | August 20, 2015

<<< ... if you’re in a hurry don’t use only 240v to charge; Use a Supercharger like everyone else does. A Supercharger, using about 480 volts, can already charge about 50% of the car’s range (~130 miles) at 120 kW and the full car in 1 hour. >>>

^^^ The last time I checked:

Tesla's website said: "Superchargers consist of multiple Model S chargers working in parallel to deliver up to 120 kW of direct current (DC) power directly to the battery."
Note "up to 120 kW". When two MS cars charge at paired stalls, which happens at heavily used SCs, they must share 135 kW, which averages 67.5 kW.
The advertised (minimum) time required to fully charge an 85-kWh battery is 75 minutes, which is one hour and 15 minutes. That's 25% longer than you claimed. When anything is less than ideal, it takes longer.

@ DTsea | August 20, 2015

<<< Grinnin, fit and finish is ok on the prius. But it is still a small lightweight economy car and rides like one. >>>

^^^ The reason my wife gives for refusing to go on road trips is that the ride of my 85D (with air suspension) is NOT nearly as smooth as the Prius. After she told me that, I compared the two and found that she was right.

Why you think the 85D provides a smoother ride?

BTW, when my wife and I have taken road trips in a Prius, we've never had a problem except:

Climbing steep grades uphill in the mountains, forces its low-power engine to strain and make quite a bit of noise.
The Prius navigation system is so bad that I refuse to use it unless I'm confused in an unfamiliar place. Yes, it has misdirected me a couple of times.

We have never had a problem getting our luggage and miscellaneous things for a trip in a Prius "trunk".

I respect your right to hold preferences that make a Prius a poor fit for you. However, when you denigrate the Prius, you are off base. It's a fine car for many people, including my wife.

Earl and Nagin ... | 20 august 2015

@Grinnin'
Thanks for digging up more numbers for folks to crunch.
I have to admit that I've been on this forum for about 8 years and don't have time to keep tracking all of the advertised performance changes. Its actually a YMMV situation.
I've also never arrived empty at a Supercharger and sat around timing how long it actually takes for a full charge. Once the charging speed drops, I leave when I've got enough juice to get to my destination unless I'm doing something else like eating a meal. I've also (being an early pioneer) never supercharged a Tesla that could charge faster than the original 90kW.
In other words: Tesla has been improving so fast I can't keep up :-)
Go Tesla!

DTsea | 20 august 2015

Well grinnin i just dont like the driving dynamics etc of the prius or any econobox.

But read above, i did say i am glad you and your wife enjoy it, and have fun. Thats not denigrating.

Are you saying your CAR feels insulted?

Grinnin'.VA | 21 august 2015

@ DTsea | August 20, 2015

<<< Well grinnin i just dont like the driving dynamics etc of the prius or any econobox. >>>

^^^ Fine.
(See I didn't take offense at "everything" like you claimed I did.)

<<< But read above, i did say i am glad you and your wife enjoy it, and have fun. Thats not denigrating. >>>

^^^ If this is sincere, I misread your post.

<<< Are you saying your CAR feels insulted? >>>

^^^ Of course not. Why do you ask such a nonsense question?

I have noted quite a few insults directed at the Prius on these forums. From the specifics of those insulting posts, I concluded that either:

1. The poster didn't have their 'facts' right, or
2. The poster just took a cheap shot at the Prius, intentionally disregarding the car's features and positive qualities.

My reading of these forums reminds me of the legendary cartoon showing three monkeys, one with hands covering its eyes, one with hands covering its ears, and one with hands covering its mouth. I'm sure many will recall the captions: "See no evil"; "hear no evil"; "speak no evil". A lot of forum participants seem to strive to abide by these as highly cherished moral principles. That, of course, is their right.

My problem is that that moral code is incompatible with my values. Consequently, I resist attempt to impose that moral code on the Tesla community. I value my independence highly.

DTsea | 21 august 2015

No Grinnin i was just trying to be funny!

bryan.whitton | 21 august 2015

I don't know but it seems to me that if you want to extol the many advantages of a Prius maybe you should do it on a Prius forum. It isn't likely that the folks here care all that much. Just sayin.

Larry@SoCal | 22 august 2015

After I load my Model S with luggage - frunk and trunk -plus large kennels for two cats and their needs, I find myself looking around for what else to take. There is still plenty of room.
So far as disadvantages, yes some, but the joy of participating in the beginning of the EV Age outweighs any. Any.
~Larry

vperl | 22 august 2015

Grinner,
back from your "(meeting)" I noticed, hope you feel better.

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Grinner, yes, you are "special".

Ankit Mishra | 22 august 2015

Hey, vperl. Why are you not posting in Model X forums these days? Guerrilla warfare, huh?

vperl | 22 august 2015

No MX

Grinner is so easy, and. "special"

Where is my HERO Brian, the spell checker.
Grew to appreciate him.

Ankit Mishra | 22 august 2015

I had few conversations with Grinnin. VA in local supercharging thread. I found out we have very strong difference of opinion. Well, Brian is not posting these days. I hope you didn't mind the counterattack you got in Model X forums. You can always adjust your jokes if someone is reacting too much.

vperl | 22 august 2015

No action in X Forum.

Need more complainers

Newquatty | 23 august 2015

There is a start up company that has an innovative system that constantly charges any EV on the Fly. Don't stop, Charge...!! It will be available on the market soon. The company is TCASZ CORPORATION.. To all naysayers, open your eyes and pay attention.. Transitional Charge Alternator System. The entire system weighs approx 40 lbs. One can either make excuses why a thing cannot work or make solutions. At the cost of the environment being destroyed further by ICE. Which do you choose?

Tstolz | 23 august 2015

This is lame. Unless you operate a courier business who cares if you stop for a few minutes on trips. Personally I like to stop for a restroom break and / or a bite to eat, stretch ... every 3 houss anyway. My trips take exactly the same amount of time they always did ... no difference at all!

Electricity is everywhere making charging easy ... I'm already finding it easier to keep my EV fueled vs an ICE 95% of the time. The ICE age for light vehicles is ending because EVs are awesome and are simply a better choice for many people. You may not 'get' it until you own one ... especially if for some reason you simply have to burn a fossil fuel.

BTW I also have a BMW Z4. It hardly gets driven anymore because the Tesla is much more fun.

A Prius comfortable?? Not! ... I've had two of them

vperl | 23 august 2015

If one has issues with range or Charging times and is fearful of life..

I have a sure fire remedy...

Buy a KIA
Be happy, and speed away....

David N | 23 august 2015

From OP
"According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 114,533 gas stations in the U.S. at the end of 2012, the last year for which data is available"

Let's keep in mind that it took 100 years to do that.

Dramsey | 23 august 2015

@Newquatty,

Google searches for "TCASZ CORPORATION" and "transitional charge alternator system" bring up nothing. Do you have a link for this company?

ian t.wa.us | 23 august 2015

Is Newquatty a friend of headgoneinc?

Newquatty | 23 august 2015

@Dramsey
Their presence will be felt soon, their emphasis has been R&D and not so much social media, websites or internet presence. It is a startup with their priorities focused on keeping "the main thing, the main thing". Please be patient, just a little while ago EV's were an experiment, Apple was just a fruit and the internet didn't exist.

They will be very relevant when power grids experience problems that more super storms will create as a result of continued destruction of the environment by ICE of all types, not just cars. They will be ready when the masses wake up and really start buying 0 emissions EV's. Percentage wise, EV sales haven't scratched the scratch yet. When the excuses, range anxiety and inconveniences are removed for ownig any EV then we will experience a paradigm shift.

Newquatty | 23 august 2015

@ian t.wa.us
Ever flew on an airplane, further yet, ever heard of Nikola Teslas, Wireless.. Madness!. What powers your home AC or DC?
Not being sarcastic just making a point.
Head gone huh?

ian t.wa.us | 23 august 2015

Newquatty - You're new here so I'll give you some links. Bottom line is that headgoneinc posted this idea and said he would present a video of this idea on March 1st of this year then disappeared because he realized that it wouldn't work. The saying, "There's no such thing as a free lunch." applies here. Trying to use an alternator will only sap energy that could have been used for propulsion. It's physics.

http://my.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/battery-charging-1

http://my.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/discouraging-general-public-getti...

To answer your questions, yes, no (but am familiar with Nikola Tesla), and AC. ;-)

ian t.wa.us | 23 august 2015

D'oh! Forgot he had a webpage!

http://www.headgone.net/driveandcharge/

Grinnin'.VA | 24 august 2015

@ bryan.whitton | August 21, 2015

<<< I don't know but it seems to me that if you want to extol the many advantages of a Prius maybe you should do it on a Prius forum. >>>

^^^ My comments abut the Prius have been, IMO, relevant to the discussion, including reactions to specific questions/challenges by other posters.

It seems to me that you think I "shouldn't" post comments comparing my 85D with my wife's Prius on Tesla's.

Is that true?
If so, why?

Dramsey | 24 august 2015

Well, isn't that interesting: TCASZ Corp was incorporated ust a few days ago.

I can't find any other information.

No offense, Newquatty, but absent any information other than what you've posted here, it sounds an awfully lot like yet another one of the many, many idiotic perpetual motion schemes we see posted here.

But if I'm wrong, we'd love to hear more about it.

Dwdnjck@ca | 24 august 2015

The fact is that most people who want to buy a Tesla, and can almost afford one, can- with very few compromises. In fact Tesla is outselling BMW 7 series by a factor of 1.6 and X model sales will surely eclipse X5. Remember, most former BMW owners such as myself would not consider " going backwards" from Tesla.. Most current BMW owners don't know what they are missing, yet. The simple truth is, "if you can afford to buy a Tesla, you should.

jordanrichard | 25 august 2015

Yes it is true that on some trips, charging will add time. However, if you added up all the time one spent during their daily lives getting gas, vs charging your EV while you eat dinner/sleep, you are actually spending more of your life refueling an ICE car. I have made two long trips from CT, to both NC and FL and had issues.

bryan.whitton | 25 august 2015

Hi Grinnin, Naw, post what you want just don't expect a lot of folks to agree with you. These guys a Tesla fans. Of varying degrees but for the most part fans. I like the Prius. I wouldn't compare it to a Tesla but it is a good car.
My Honda Fit EV is a good little car. I am not fool enough to think it is one the same level as a Tesla. If I could afford a Tesla I would. I am saving but I won't buy a car except with cash(I'd rather earn interest then pay it :-)) so I have a while to save.
Say what you want, just consider your audience and make reasonable expectations. It saves a lot of grief.

Grinnin'.VA | 26 august 2015

@ bryan.whitton | August 25, 2015

<<< Hi Grinnin, Naw, post what you want just don't expect a lot of folks to agree with you. >>>

^^^ For many months I've been aware of the Tesla-fan bias of many/most forum participants.

<<< I like the Prius. I wouldn't compare it to a Tesla but it is a good car. >>>

^^^ Well, I would. How could I avoid comparing them when my wife tells me that her Prius is more comfortable than my 85D, which happens to be true?

Both the MS and the Prius have advantages and disadvantages. The Prius matches my wife's preferences better; the 85D was/is my preferred car. (Duh, that's why I bought it.)

A year or more ago Elon said that BEVs must be far better than competing ICE cars in every way. Otherwise, typical people wouldn't find them attractive enough to want to buy them. Lots of Tsla fans here jumped on that, proclaiming that the MS was far better than any other car in every way.

That claim was/is pure hype. Not an ounce of truth in it. The MS range and recharging times make it inferior to most ICE cars for most road trips. I said so, and predictably took a lot of verbal poison arrows for daring to speak the truth.

Another concern/issue with similar results was waiting to charge at an SC. Since I have ample training and experience with queuing theory and spreadsheet analysis, I made a theoretical model of SC loads and waiting times. I posted summary results anticipating the SC situation when there are hundreds of thousands of Tesla cars in the U.S. Results:

To avoid long delays and lots of frustration for MS owners waiting to charge, the SC system needs to be sized for peak busy (holiday) periods. (I assumed that Tesla would build enough SC capacity to satisfy user demands during peak periods.)
With the system sized for peak periods, most users would see little or no congestion or waiting most of the time.
Tesla could probably finance a the SC system with a $2K fee bundled with the price of the car. This system should scale up to supporting millions of SC-equipped cars.
As more SCs are built, we should expect more SC usage by "locals" for their routine driving.

These results were in no way surprising to me. I thought the were reassuring. Guess what the response was. Read on.

I was denounced for projecting that SC stalls would sometimes fill up during peak times. Several posters claimed that Tesla would never let such a thing happen, citing their experience in 2013 and 2014 when they had visited several or many SCs without seeing anyone ever wait to charge at an SC.

More recently, we read reports about some SCs in CA being heavily used routinely with occasional waiting. (Just like my 'theoretical model' predicted.)
I was told that SC capacity sufficient to support normal usage cost far less than $2K per car. Most posters making this point cited no evidence supporting this claim. They just denounced my estimate.

Oh yes, I've been quite aware of the 'cost' of posting unpopular ideas that conflict with some Tesla-inspired hype posts here. Reality be damned! No credit for accuracy, even for predicting what happens months before it happens. Amazing.

<<< Say what you want, just consider your audience and make reasonable expectations. It saves a lot of grief. >>>

^^^ Long ago I made a choice. I use my mind to explore and discern what is real and what isn't. When I find hype conflicting with reality as I see it, I do not pretend that the hype is correct. I tell it like it is, knowing that some will not only disagree, some will treat me as an enemy to be opposed by any means, including lies and personal attacks.

To me the "grief" tolerable.

DTsea | 26 august 2015

Interesting post grinnin.

Nobody though 'tells it like it is.' None of us know everything. We are more like umpires- 'i call it like i see it.' But sometimes one umpire has a better angle and the one who made the call had it wrong. When that happens they just talk about it and figure it out. No insults.... but also no spoiling for a fight.

Grinnin'.VA | 26 august 2015

@ DTsea | August 26, 2015

<<< Nobody though 'tells it like it is.' None of us know everything. >>>

^^^ Certainly. I'm aware of my limitations, and I'm open to learning new things. Of course, in context my 'tells it like it is' really means "tell it like I believe after careful thought".

DTsea | 26 august 2015

Fair enough. Just remember even after careful thought, people may still disagree based on a lot of factors.... knowledge, data, eyc being the most rational ones.

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