A well written article about EVs and the opinion that even bigger batteries are not needed

A well written article about EVs and the opinion that even bigger batteries are not needed

This is actually well written and is well balanced. Not negative towards anything at all.

SamO | 24. Juli 2018

Bigger batteries are a luxury not necessary for the transition to sustainable transportation.

Just effective charging.


Tesla-David | 24. Juli 2018

Yes, nice and balanced article. Tesla did it right from getgo investing in the Supercharging infrastructure, with cars and batteries that accommodate the needs of owners.

babyjocko | 24. Juli 2018

As it is today, nobody is thinking about bigger batteries. That's not forward thinking. Instead, more efficient, lighter, and quicker charging batteries are clearly in sight.

Solid-state batteries are likely several years away. But, graphene enhanced li-ion batteries are right around the corner. These batteries will be much lighter and have much quicker charging times.

jordanrichard | 24. Juli 2018

I agree that it was a nice article. What I did find rather odd is that everyone knows that EVs need a proper fast charging infrastructure and yet Tesla's SC network isn't even mentioned as a model of such a infrastructure.

Kathy Applebaum | 24. Juli 2018

"Tesla's SC network isn't even mentioned as a model of such a infrastructure."

The author was a GM exec for years and now works for Fisker. He may not be inclined to mention the competition. :)

reed_lewis | 24. Juli 2018

It actually says this:

"Even Tesla, which offers the largest batteries/range in a premium personal use product has not found the road to on-going profitability as of yet (and has self-funded its own proprietary charging network)."

and this:

"This problem requires addressing the entire ecosystem especially charging infrastructure/networks, intelligent grid technologies and specific solutions for cities vs. other regions. Perhaps Tesla’s “SuperCharger” network should partner with others adding this capacity for all plug-in cars."

I think that Tesla has offered to allow other companies to use the network, but no other company has even thought of doing this.

Kathy Applebaum | 24. Juli 2018

And now that I've finished the article, I noticed that while he doesn't specifically mention Tesla as the model, it's definitely implied. When you say the solution is for Tesla to allow other mfgs to use their network, you're basically saying "there's no need to improve on this network -- it's everything it should be."

Earl and Nagin ... | 24. Juli 2018

@Kathy Applebaum,
Or he's implying that 'nobody else should have to pay for Tesla's network but should be able to use it"

carlk | 24. Juli 2018

The two are complementary to each other. The more battery range you have the less need of densely populated charging infrastructure there is. There is a sweet spot that balance both but the sweet spot could move up with lower battery costs. Arguably Tesla has already reached the sweet spot that makes range anxiety pretty much nonexistent. No other auto company is there yet until they could either build a similar charging infrastructure or make cars to have MUCH higher range than what they are offering now.

SamO | 24. Juli 2018

Tesla funds the "other" networks with Destination Charging and their offer to install third-party hardware for 50% of the number of proprietary Tesla chargers installed.

As far as Supercharging, Tesla has first-mover advantage in the US, while EU and China have a variety of slow-charging available and the start of a fast-charging network.

Maybe we should define fast charging as over 72kW, done is under 1 hour for 250+ miles of range.

Ross1 | 26. Juli 2018

There is a Wikipedia page on him, copied here:

Tony Posawatz
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Anthony L. Posawatz
Tony Posawatz GM portrait.jpg
Born 1960 (age 57–58)
Nationality American
Alma mater Tuck School of Business, (MBA)
Occupation Fisker Automotive, (CEO)
Known for Cadillac Escalade
Chevrolet Avalanche
Chevrolet Volt
Tony Posawatz (born 1960) is an American automotive engineer, best known for his work on the Chevrolet Volt, and in 2012 becoming chief executive of Fisker Automotive. He is a State of Michigan licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.).

1 Education
2 Career
3 Personal
4 References
Posawatz graduated from Wayne State University in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, attending as a General Motors Scholar & Engineering Intern. In 1986, he obtained an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, supported by a General Motors Graduate Fellowship.

Posawatz joined General Motors in 1980. He rose through the ranks from assembly-plant foreman to the executive level as vehicle line director for several GM products, concluding as Vehicle Line Director for the Chevrolet Volt from 2006 to 2012.[1] Prior to his work on electric vehicles he was Planning Director for the Full-size Truck, responsible for development of the Cadillac Escalade and Chevrolet Avalanche.[2] He retired from GM in July 2012.[3]

Posawatz was previously Chairman of the Board of the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA).

In August 2012, he was appointed chief executive of California-based Fisker Automotive, replacing ex-Chrysler Tom LaSorda after only five months in post.

Posawatz is married to an engineer and has two sons.[4]

blue adept | 27. Juli 2018

So, basically, what you have are other car companies realizing and/or admitting that they're aware they need to get like Tesla is if they've any hope of marketing a viable product that consumers will actually want...

It's about time.

SamO | 27. Juli 2018

All other auto makers are going to be exactly like Tesla, which is why Tesla is doomed to fail. /s

SamO | 27. Juli 2018

All other auto makers are going to be exactly like Tesla, which is why Tesla is doomed to fail. /s

Ross1 | 27. Juli 2018


Remnant | 30. Juli 2018

@Ross1 (July 27, 2018)

<< ha >>

booboo | 30. Juli 2018

The MS and MX are good enough to displace their ICEV competition. But not replace them because of the range limit between charges and charging time on highway trips.

The Model 3 on the other hand with the long range battery pack goes over 200 miles between charges at highway speeds and has shorter charging time. It definitely overlaps with ICEVs on road trips which leads to replacement.

blue adept | 01. August 2018

The practicality of range or charging times overlooks how ICE emissions contribute to air pollution and are a major ingredient in the creation of smog in some large cities, causing some 53,000 early deaths per year in the United States alone:

Some of whom have been children who, in addition to a variety of respiratory conditions and ailments, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health, performed a statistical study of children listed in the California Cancer Registry born between 1998 and 2007 and their preliminary results have found that traffic pollution may be associated with a 5% to 15% increase in the likelihood of some of their cancers:

And these figures aren't even accounting for those deaths associated with diesel emissions which are actually exponentially higher!

So what some might see as beneficial in their choice of vehicle consideration should also factor in the full ramifications of their final decision and the impact it will have on their lives, their children's lives and the lives of future generations because a bit more range (which EV's are already overcoming, what with Musk's revampment of the Roadster and its markedly improved 620 mile far) and a shorter refueling time (the technology is also advancing for reduced charging/recharging times) are bare conveniences in light of all of the mortal detriments ICE use causes for our continued existence and our offspring's future livelihoods/the environment's ability to continue to flourish (which, when you think about it, is necessary for our own survival).

Just looking at the BIG picture and thinking outside of and beyond myself.

bp | 01. August 2018

Assuming overnight charging, a long distance supercharging network, and destination chargers, battery packs with rated ranges of at least 300 miles should be large enough to handle most long distance driving. For daily driving, at least 200 miles of range should be enough in most cases. The current 3 LR and S/X 100 battery packs should be large enough, which is what Musk stated when the 100 packs were introduced.

For road trips, larger batteries primarily impact the distance until the first charging stop, after that, charging time becomes the major factor - so reducing supercharging times is where the next major improvement should be made, which Tesla is already planning with their V3 superchargers.

For consumer vehicles, there are several situations where larger batteries are still needed.

When the Model X is used for towing, the addition of the trailer weight and loss of aerodynamics reduces the actual range by 30-50% (at 55 MPH). This results in more frequent and longer supercharging stops. A larger battery pack would be useful to increase the towing range to at least 200 miles (3-4 hours between stops), along with much faster charging times (especially if a 90-100% charge is needed to reach the next charging stop). Even though today's Model X supports towing, the combination of the reduced range and long charging times may limit it's usefulness, even with a 100D.

Roadster 2.0 introduces a different challenge, which is why they're planning a 200 battery pack. Sustained driving at very high speeds will use considerably more energy, which requires the larger battery pack - not to provide 600 mile range at normal highway speeds, but to support extended driving at speeds well above that.

The biggest impact will come from reducing supercharging times - which will not only reduce the time for charging stops, but also allow Tesla to charge more cars with fewer supercharger stalls.

There is also another option that isn't getting traction so far - and that is changing the EV design to extend the range. The transmission on an ICE helps to increase range at highway speeds. EVs have faster acceleration and simpler designs by eliminating a transmission. Drivers might accept some loss in acceleration if that would increase range. [Do we really need a Model X towing a trailer to do 0-60 in under 6 seconds - or would it be more useful to lose some of the acceleration - and extend the range to over 200 miles when towing?]

SUN 2 DRV | 01. August 2018

bp +1 Excellent and succinct observations.

Per your last point about increasing efficiency, do you have a link to info about how much efficiency could be gained via a transmission? A multispeed transmission is useful when the power source has a narrow power and efficiency band.

The underlying assumption would have to be that an electric motor can gain enough efficiency by running slower to overcome the losses in the transmission and still come out materially ahead. Is that actually true, or do electric motors maintain sufficient efficiency at highway speeds already?

blue adept | 01. August 2018


It's more an issue about a batteries' charge density capacity than it is about a batteries' size...

Improvements in that aspect would be most beneficial.

blue adept | 01. August 2018


And you've touched upon the very reason why transmissions aren't necessary for electric motors.

bp | 02. August 2018

From a customer perspective, the important factors are range, cost, charging time, and performance.

Other factors like density, weight, size, materials, … are also important, but mostly on their impact on the factors the customers care about.

Battery costs are still way too high for EVs to become mainstream and displace ICEs. Tesla and the other manufacturers need to reduce battery costs both to allow them to sell lower priced EVs and to generate enough profit for them to stay in business. If EVs with a range of 300-400 miles is sufficient to handle almost all customers, there will be diminishing returns for manufacturers to invest in vehicles with more range to smaller markets, except where the additional battery capacity brings value (such as sustaining high speeds in Roadster 2.0 or increasing towing range of the Model X).

Charging time is an important factor - and creates limits on battery capacity. Most consumers will use 30A or 50A circuits for charging at home - which is enough to recharge a 100 KWhr battery pack. Going higher than that will require installing higher amp circuits, which many consumers will not want to or be able to do, especially in existing homes or multi-family units.

On the road, for widescale EV adoption, charging times should approach 15 minutes for typical charging, and might be acceptable for 30 minutes to get a full 100% charge. New battery and/or charging designs will likely be needed to achieve that, assuming battery capacities don't increase significantly. The amount of power being pushed through supercharging locations also has to be taken into account - there's a practical limit of how much power can be stored and pumped from a single location. We should see improvements with the V3 Superchargers, though we don't yet know the impact on charging times or whether or not this will support existing vehicles.

Energy efficiency is mostly an untapped area for EVs. Comparing Tesla's RWD and dual motor configurations, the dual motor vehicles operate more efficiently at relatively constant highway speeds by putting one of the motors to sleep until its needed. There may be other strategies that could be used to further reduce energy consumption when driving at roughly constant speeds - and increase highway range without having to increase battery capacity.

Now that other manufacturers are going to be introducing their own EVs, it will be interesting to see how they approach vehicle design. Tesla chose one strategy to simplify the design, other manufacturers may make take a different approach and might be willing to compromise performance in exchange for increased highway range (allowing them to reduce the battery capacity - which also improves weight, size and cost).

When taking into account all of the factors, it's possible Musk and other manufacturers may be right in predicting most vehicles will have 100 KWhr or smaller battery packs...

Rocky_H | 02. August 2018

Regarding the transmissions, I remember seeing the torque curves of the electric motors with the gearing Tesla had in the rear wheel drive cars, and it is relatively flat for a very long time, hence the assertions of transmissions not being needed. But there is some drop off eventually at higher speeds. It was really solid and flat up to about 70-90 or so mph. But then the power level did decline at higher speeds, so for something like German markets, where 100 to 130 mph speeds are somewhat regular, there could be a case for a second gear to get it back in the flat part of the torque curve at the higher speed.

But I think Tesla kind of solved that a different way, by having a different gear ratio in a second motor. So it avoids the need for a transmission, and is yet another advantage added to the dual motor setup.

Remnant | 02. August 2018

@bp (August 2, 2018)

<< Energy efficiency is mostly an untapped area for EVs. Comparing Tesla's RWD and dual motor configurations, the dual motor vehicles operate more efficiently at relatively constant highway speeds by putting one of the motors to sleep until its needed. There may be other strategies that could be used to further reduce energy consumption when driving at roughly constant speeds - and increase highway range without having to increase battery capacity. >>

PMSR Motors, Mirrorless Rearview Tech, Active/Regenerative Suspension, and Elimination of Mechanical Differentials by use of a Quad Motor + Fully Electronic Torque Vectoring Power Train should help address the efficiency issues and the quest for additional range for any given battery capacity

blue adept | 08. August 2018


Everything mentioned in the videos/link you posted would all add to the overall expense of EV's, every last one of them, so while one or two of them might contribute to the aesthetics or opulence or comfort/user experience of the vehicle, they wouldn't actually contribute to the vehicle's overall 'efficiency'.

Ross1 | 12. August 2018

Mr Fisker featured in new Youtube: 150 mile charge in one minute, coming soon to a Fisker near you.

Great film. Graphene.

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