Are EREVs the biggest threat to Tesla?

edited November 2014 in General
Elons goal is to electrify transport. Which is nice, but to get decent range you need to go large on the battery pack. Or stop regularly and longly for recharges.

Big batteries are expensive.

BMW took a different approach with the i3 and stuck in 22kWh and a 650 cc bike engine they had lying around their parts department. Not particularly economical, but it gives you peace of mind that no matter what charging station issues you get, plan b on journeys longer than 75 miles is that you can stop at a gas station and top up for another 50-75 miles range.

I think theres a possiblilty the EV experience could catch more people if say BMW and other competitors to Telsa started bringing out small 20-30kWh pack cars with 50hp generators, with only final electric drive to reduce all the mess of bits that GM had in the Volt.

It looks quite feasible BMW could bring out an i4/5 for about £40,000. (i3 is £33,000) plus options. stick in a slightly bigger motor, bit more battery, make it more sedan shaped than city, and you have a car the public won't feel anxious about buying. IF it also has say a 20litre fuel tank instad of the i3 9 litres.

As much as I like Telsas approach to go for the full EV, it puts it up the price, well above an smaller Pack plus ICE well until the 2030s.

Then again, I'm pretty sure Telsa recognise this, and that frunk space has been left empty for a reason. Just in case ;)

Could be interesting times up ahead.

[Edit] An EREV is an extended range electric vehicle. Final drive electric with an auxillary power source (usually ICE). Also known as series hybrid.


  • edited November -1
    Tesla will never put an ICE in their cars. There is no need.

    30000 miles in my model S and I havent missed ICE cars once.
  • edited November -1
    @cmcnesttt +1
    I was a BMW fan in the past 10 years (one of my car is still a BMW).
    Since I discovered the Tesla technology and tried the MS, I am now a fan of Tesla. To me this is quite clear, any mixed technology as currently proposed by the "old" brand, demonstrates a kind of "non willing to change" or "difficulty to change" their design. The full EV is one of the solution for future transport. Tesla does already provide such product.
  • edited November -1
    I think the point Im trying to get across, is theres a window in the next, say 10 years, where to get a vechile that can do the magic 300 400 miles range, its going to be cheaper to stick a small petrol motor in the car somewhere, and this puts Telsa at a weight and cost disadvantage having 85kWh of batteries to carry around. I'm a purist and would love to think everyone else would prefer a Tesla but I dont think thats the case, when it comes down to cost. You can still get the EV grin without having to have a huge battery.

    Say if other manufacturers start making cars with 100 mile real world electric range, plus another 200 on gas REX then potentially that could cut off a chunk of Telsas market, depending on how many trips people make over 100 miles regularly, They would obviously have to offer lots of power, light weight and nice styling, but that isn't impossible.I used the BMW i4/5 as an example as I'm assuming its probably on a drawing board somewhere and I know that when it comes to purchase time, say in 2018 and theres a choice between an i5 or a Model 3, it could make choosing a Tesla a little more difficult. Especially if the i5 had a 300kg weight advantage and better driving dynamics.

    The other opiton is that other manufactures start using the CCS standard and pushing the charge rates, they are rolling out with 50kW, but the standards cover up to 1000V/400Amp DC or 400kW. That will only come when the cars can take it, with their small 22kW packs Im assuming they arent capable of taking much more that this as the cell count will be low so you cant get much going in in parallel.

    I agree that by the 2030s the ICE REX wont even be an option as it will just be cheaper and probably lighter to go pure EV, but Im worried that Tesla strategy could behijacked by ICE makers in between now qnd then, assuming they coukd design a task specific motor instead of the one in the i3 which was an adaption from an existing scooter engine,
  • edited November -1
    I doubt it IMO. Once people get used to the EV part of the vehicle - the convenience of charging at home or work, the instant torque, the quiet motor, the lack of vibration & gear shifts, ease of maintenance, lower cost of ownership, etc. etc. etc. - I believe they would dread the ICE part.

    As a hybrid owner, I experience the stark difference first hand. I don't like it whenever I feel the gas engine turn on; and I surely dislike going to the gas station weekly for a fill up.

    The biggest obstacle for EVs is overcoming slow charging and range anxiety issues, as well as changing society's perspective. Battery weight should go down in the future as the technology improves, so I don't believe that will be an issue.
  • edited November -1
    What does the ER in EREV stand for?

  • edited November -1
    ER = early retirement
  • edited November -1
    ER= engineered regression
  • edited November -1
    EREV = Electric Range Extended Vehicle

    A couple of points:
    -the i3 putt-putt is NOT recommended for actual travel, only emergency return to a charge point. Do NOT count on it for daily travel, e.g.
    -charging at a mile a second is fantasy stuff, well over a MW of power continuous. Only internet dreamers dream of it. Magic is not an option.
  • edited November -1
    EREV = extended range electric vehicle
  • edited November -1
    Anemometer | NOVEMBER 2, 2014

    Is a duck the biggest threat to an eagle?
  • edited November -1
    As Brian H implied, you can run only so much current down the wires, both on-board and at the Supercharger end. The numbers are available but we are not going to get much more. Battery swap will be the next great thing.
  • edited November -1
    " theres a window in the next, say 10 years, where to get a vechile that can do the magic 300 400 miles range, its going to be cheaper to stick a small petrol motor in the car somewhere"

    Really? You're talking about Tesla should make a different type of vehicle for a short term 10 year time period? If it's cheaper to have a gas car, just have a gas car. Plenty of people can just continue to drive whatever gas cars they have for that next 10 years, while long range electric cars continue to come down in price to the point where all of the positive factors are on the side of the electric vehicles, and then it won't matter, and it's a landslide in favor of EVs.
  • edited November -1
    for those who may love the ICE as a back up to the Electric motor...I am reminded of the old electric car rally's...yes we had NY to challenge at FSEC..and wheel to wheel racing in Phoenix AZ. Where One contestant pulled a sleek trailer with a generator ? This too cowboy
  • edited November -1
    @ cmcnestt | November 2, 2014

    <i>By 2025,but probably earlier, you will be able to Supercharge at 1 mile per second or 300 miles in 5 minutes.

    Please explain.

  • edited November -1
    @Anemometer, Brian H
    I fully agree with our statements.

    BMWi3 is a niche product - a hybrid in the true sense of the word (50/50 approach). Compared to an e-Golf, it is much lighter and therefore much more agile (gives you a BMW-like feeling). In fact, the pure e-Range is "enough" for day-to-day urban drives.

    As Anemometer pointed out, there is a lot of flexibility in this approach. BMW can easily put other motors "off the shelve" or add more powerful batteries, if available.

    However, i3 is an electric car (performance values) but with an extender to give you peace of mind - no bad for an "average user". Please have in mind that this approach also gives you a safer feeling in hot summer and cold winter - the REX is not only a "range extender (in miles)" but also a "power extender (in kWh)"

    It is not intended as an alternative concept to either an i8, aiming at ICE-performance with an plug-in hybrid, nor to a full-blown S85D.
    Maybe it's a niche market, but it sells very well -> makes shareholders happy (at least in the next 10 years) :-)

    BMW currently sells gas, diesel and hybrid cars; is it unimaginable to add "true hybrids" to that model palette? Why either/or, why not compromise?
  • edited November -1
    @Rocky I'm not saying Tesla should do anything. But I think joe Public might be inclined to choose a smaller battery REX type vehicle over a BEV based on cost. Hence a threat to Telsa. Such a vehicle doesn't exist yet of course. But looking at what say - BMW have built so far in their i range, expecing a BEV only edition for an i5 might be an incorrect assumption.

    @Bikezion. Ducks and eagles??? Do Ford/GM/etc sell ducks or eagles? Maybe it's an american saying I haven't heard before.

    @Brian H : the i3 putt-putt is NOT recommended for actual travel, only emergency return to a charge point. Do NOT count on it for daily travel.

    That's only for USA as they knobbled when the REX fires up. I did a lot of reading up before ordering mine (in UK). There's people over here using them and doing long journeys at higher than legal motorway speed as we got the option to fire up the REX once the charge drops to 75%. I've currently got a 150 mile "commute" on Sun/Fri to my rented secodn home for work and am happy it will suit me. Probably at the top end of what you'd want to do on a regular basis.

    I agree with everyone - once we get the larger public to understand, and range anxiety and public charging issues are sorted then there's no problem. The problem we have a the moment and maybe even when model 3 comes along, is that it will be cheaper for say Ford/Toyota/Nissan etc to stick a small REX in along with their 22kWh packs to get the range that people fear they need. Although the model 3 will be BMW 3series priced that's still a huge part of the market untapped.

    Oh - yeah I forgot to in cluide in the post - EREV = Extended Range Electric Vehicle. Bascially an electric final drive with some kind on additional power source for the extended range. Currently ICE.

    Persoanlly I'd have preferred the i3 used the additional 100kg the REX added to stick and extra dozen kWh of batteries. But I'm not "The Market". What I have been reading is lots of issues with public charging where for example CCS chargers have let people down, and the REX has been the preference to getting stranded.

    Its very easy when taking a Tesla centric view of the world to forger that not everyone has £/$50,000+ to spend on cars (me included). I could borrow the money and pay it back, but refuse to do so because of the interest cost would buy 1/2 an i3.

    I don't think EREVs will ever hit Tesla's Model S sales, its when you get to the Model 3, that I see the risk to Telsa's current strategy. All depends of course on whether the competition go for it and start bringing out 200+ mile BEVs. In that scenarion the competition will be more balanced on cost and weight. But a bit in Telsa's favour ;-)

    I think Telsa will probably sell all of their 500,000 units a year, if there's enough people like me who are happy enough with a 200 mile BEV. However EREVs could eat up the market that could have seen Telsa expand that to 5,000,000 a year.

    Just as an example - the i3 has been selling in the UK about 60/40 in favour of the REX. Not much use as a comparison as that not a comparison to a 150 mile BEV - which is the range of the i3 REX. No one sells one yet. A real comparison would be say a £40,000 i5 REX vs a £40,000 Tesla Model 3. Will have to wait to find out.
  • edited November -1
    PS I seem a bit of a BMW fan boy reading that back. It's only because the like of Audi / Nissan are bringing to market with the BEV is not a threat to Tesla with their limited 75 mile range. It's BMW REX range that concerms me... becuase I'd like to see Tesla be a success.
  • edited November -1
    An Electric Vehicle with Extended Range may have general appeal. I drive my EVer purely on Battery 70-80% of the time. With 40-50 mile range and three levels of regen, I only add 10 gallons of gas every 2-3 months (130MPG). That gives the freedom of never having range issues. If the new model extends the old 2010 battery technology to 100 miles, it could be a game changer. The only draw back is the price -- still $100K.

    If the Chevy Volt -- ER/EV can keep the price down and extend its range and keep the $35-40K price range, it would be a contender for the model 3. So will be others in development.

    I enjoy driving on battery, zooming around on $1.00 at 400 HP electric motors.

    I will not expect to win the debate here. Not anti-Tesla, I have a Model X on order, so I too support all that TESLA is doing and stands for. Elon Musk and Hendrik Fisker debated this years ago before departing ways.

    I merely suggest keeping an open mind to other EV solutions that the general public, not just early adopters, may ultimately embrace.
  • edited November -1
    Maybe I'm not evolved enough to deal with it casually, but rampant misspelling and poor grammar on these threads have become a nonsensical obstacle to smooth communication. It would only take a couple of minutes to the authors to scan the texts they've produced and fix such problems. The text one posts should not become a puzzle for the readers. Besides, to keep spelling Telsa instead of Tesla is even disrespectful, IMO.

    But to return to range extenders (REX's), to be be appropriate to the principle and purpose of BEV's, a REX must be silent and non-polluting. Only chemical generators can do this. Hydrogen FC's can, at a prohibitive cost and horrendous pollution behind the Hydrogen production.

    However, there are other chemical generators, such as the Metal-Air ones that can do the job properly. You can keep such a REX on your garage shelf and only load it in your Tesla on the rare occasions when a very long trip makes it impractical to rely on grid recharging.

    By the way, Tesla did obtain a patent for such a REX a while back. The Alcoa-Phinergy Aluminum-Air "battery" is an example of current technology that can be used for a REX. The only thing you would need beside the REX itself is a DC charge connector in the frunk.
  • edited November -1
    A really good EREV is a threat to EVs in general.

    We have a significant gasoline infrastructure, significant experience using and servicing ICEs, a need for occasional long range, and a long range tank costs the same as a short range tank. Plus big batteries are expensive and in limited supply.

    So done right an EREV threatens to avoid pure ev need entirely. A good EREV needs to function brilliantly in EV mode and cover over 90% of your needs, preferably much more. The performance needs to stay the same even in range extending mode (probably meaning the generator just charges the battery). . And preferably the generator should be as small as possible and very fuel efficient.

    The challenge here is battery technology and CARB. Small batteries limit performance and regen. An almost depleted battery has low performance too - but CARB wants the generator switched on as late as possible, which reduces performance OR requires a bigger generator. And CARB forces a small gas tank.

    Which leads us to the 2 potentials today: i3 (low performance in extended mode and small tank) and the volt (bigger generator, also still used to power car directly). But get a better power output (add a 1kWh capacitor?) and large tank and many city drivers won't see why you'd look at pure EV.
  • edited November -1
    Edit :)
    .... But get a better battery power output (add a 1kWh capacitor?) then performance increases, a small generator doesnt reduce performance at all, and a large gas tank is there for occasional long trips... ICE servicing is expected and gas stations are everywhere.... and many city drivers won't see why you'd look at pure EV.
  • edited November -1
    @remnant - sorry my spelling and gmamma us much better when I'm on the pc instead of teh ipad which ois rearlly. ;-)

    The text is so small and the window you get to type in on the forum means it's almost impossible to see any mistakes till you hit submit. That and the auto replace working against you. A forum edit post would help no end!
  • edited November -1
    @Remnant, you wrote <i>"to be be appropriate to the principle and purpose of BEV's, a REX must be silent and non-polluting"</i>

    I don't think that's right, whether as a Tesla competitor, or to be appropriate to the purpose of BEVs - particularly if the EREV is truly using electricity 90-99% of the time.

    Selling twice as many EREVs as EVs would be less polluting in the short to mid term. And while I am certain that in general creating and refurbing batteries instead of using gasoline is better for the environment, for the average user I'm not sure whether a smaller battery + ICE vs big battery is more eco-friendly (when the second half of the battery, or the generator, is very rarely used).

    As EV technology matures, an EREV should also be theoretically cheaper than an EV (less battery cost, + ICE experience making generators cheap).

    It is a "dangerous" path though, in the sense that it may halve our pollution more quickly than the pure EV path, and yet it holds the umbilical cord... it still discourage the development of a common supercharging network and thus retain a reliance on gasoline. And rarely used generators will need more servicing.

    On the positive - it would still encourage a battery development path and related technologies, and long range EVs would still have to be designed for pollution free driving (an EREV in principle is a city vehicle with occasional longer trips), plus every city EREV could theoretically have the ICE removed and an extra battery inserted.
  • edited November -1
    Brian H
    EREV = Electric Range Extended Vehicle ;

    Is this like a stove in a limo?
  • edited November -1
    Does it mean you get an EREVTION?
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