Easy way to increase the range of the Model S?

Easy way to increase the range of the Model S?

I ran across this gizmo on Wired's website.

Seems almost too good to be true. One potential issue would be with the glass pano roof, it might be hard to get the little magnets to stick in an appropriate place. Might be worth it to try. Getting a 5% increase on the 85 kWh pack would be nice.

Timo | September 11, 2012

It is too god to be true. Read the comments in that page. Pay attention especially to comment that mentions positioning those.

Volker.Berlin | September 11, 2012

Funny. From first glance, I believe it could work. Reminds me of a "golf ball surface" that, when applied to the underbelly of the car, works in a similar way to reduce air drag.

I hope (assume) that Tesla took at least the underbelly surface into consideration and found that it does not offer any significant improvement in their case. As for the "GasPods" I can easily imagine that Elon banned them as he banned the external satellite radio antenna, in favor of a clean roof line and an untainted look (remember, it's "a car" not "an electric car").

I am sure someone will try them on their Model S and let us know. 5% increase in range seems to be a popular number with aerodynamic improvements. It's the same amount that was promised for the aero wheels that were originally announced.

Timo | September 11, 2012

It could, but positioned randomly without at least computer simulations for airflows in a car that is already nearly as aerodynamic as possible probably gives -5%, not +5%. That 5% is a kind of random number, and the text is contradicting itself in that article. 5% gain in aerodynamics gives "a trip that would consume three-quarters of a tank now uses only half". Right. Of course. How could I doubt that?

Volker.Berlin | September 11, 2012

Timo, I agree the article is BS and the fins have potential for a negative effect. It is still possible as far as I can tell that if correctly placed, they may also have a positive effect.

I also agree that 5% is just a random number, meant to say: "Not much, but measurable". It was probably the same idea with the aero wheels, and BTW, even the air suspension could improve range at higher speeds by up to "5%"...

ggr | September 11, 2012

Many small airplanes have vortex generators, but they are not to increase efficiency (decrease drag)... rather they make the airflow "stickier" and give lower stall speed and better control authority.

Brian H | September 11, 2012

5% was also the benefit for using wee cameras instead of side view mirrors on the X, as I recall.

olanmills | September 11, 2012

Haha, I know this isn't exactly the same thing, but this reminds me of all of those bogus fuel additives and exhaust and fuel system fin/blade attachments that proport to boost fuel efficiency by significant amounts.

What will those snake oil salesmen do when EVs are the norm?

"Stick these RARE earth magnets to your battery to increase range!"

"Install this wind turbine* on your roof, plugged into your accessory outlet to charge your battery while you drive!"

*cheap plastic fan

Brian H | September 11, 2012

there have already been gizmos touted here that purport (note sp.) to recharge on the go so that the batteries never need to be refilled. Free energy is very popular!

Volker.Berlin | September 11, 2012

Free energy is very popular! (Brian H)

... and it was invented by Nikola Tesla! :-)