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Electric Large Pickup

Electric Large Pickup

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Its time for Tesla to make a large powerful Pickup.

Bubba2000 | January 31, 2014

I do not think the battery tech is ready for a large powerful pick-up, yet. Energy density has to increase and cost certainly has to fall significantly. Such trucks are used for business and economics play a role here. A Ford or Chrysler pick up with a Cummins Diesel is the ticket for right now.

In the near term, I could see Natural Gas/Electric solution. Natural Gas driven generator, batteries and induction electric drive. Even at current prices of $4/MBTU NG is dirt (1/8) cheap compared to Diesel and a lot cleaner.

I am surprised NG has not take off for ICE. Yes, range is an issue, and trunk space is reduced like with the NG Civic. Still, it makes sense for many people.

DTsea | January 31, 2014

362 HP (85 kWh) and 325 ft-lb of torque isnt enough? Ok how about performance power train, 416 HP and 443 ft-lb of torque?

Here are the specs for an F150 from the Ford website:

Horsepower 302 @ 6500 rpm (3.7L V6)
360 @ 5500 rpm (5.0L V8)
411 @ 5500 rpm (6.2L V8)
365 @ 5000 rpm (3.5L EcoBoost®)
Torque 278 @ 4000 rpm (3.7L V6)
380 @ 4250 rpm (5.0L V8)
434 @ 4500 rpm (6.2L V8)
420 @ 2500 rpm (3.5L EcoBoost®)

So how is the Tesla powertrain not powerful enough?

grega | January 31, 2014

I wouldn't debate the motor power itself. It's just a question of how quickly it discharges the battery.

Timo | February 1, 2014

@DTsea, Bubba2k is talking about energy, not power.

Car t man | February 1, 2014

It could easily do it, but not for really long hauls. With superchargers, it can be practical but to be honest a CNG range extender would be great..

Brian H | February 1, 2014

There will never. Ever. Be. A. Range. Extender. The Tesla is a BEV. Endit.

Pet Dinosaur | February 1, 2014

The whole article is kindof BS really. While I understand picking on the Bugatti as being a frivolous waste of resources, number three is basically a small bus. Picking on a vehicle that can seat up to 15 people for not sipping fuel like a smartcar is a bit silly.

Next year Bluebird will be on the list.

DTsea | February 1, 2014

Well, I think 'large powerful pickup' refers to power not density. He didnt mention range. Most guys with pickups used for work dont drive more than 150-200 mi per day- they dont get paid for driving.

As a road trip vehicle, yes trucks are terrible (from an energy standpoint) unless you are towing a boat or camper.... an electric truck wouldnt be suitable for that, I would agree.

DTsea | February 1, 2014

typo I meant energy (he referred to energy density in the original post). Energy density is a range limit, but IMO >250 mi range is not needed for work trucks.

Timo | February 2, 2014

Problem is that in order to get that 250 mi range you need a lot bigger battery than Model S has; worse aerodynamics, heavier car and possible heavy cargo needs to be compensated.

This means also large price tag. Everything needs to be supersized.

TV | February 2, 2014

My first Tesla will be the up-graded version of the Model S. I am still hoping for an AWD SS and no, I don't want an X.

I also want to know more about the Pickup Truck. Great Idea.

I've been starting to look at the Corvette Stingray Z06 because I am 3-6 months out from buying and while I am a HUGE Elon Fan, I'm not getting the impression Tesla is any closer to building the Faster version of the Model S.

If you go on Youtube, it is really fun to watch a Model S beat the 2014 Stingray. Dramatic footage. It should be used in a commercial!
But when the Stingray ZO6 comes out, it is going to be a big hit with the empty nesters in the 50-60 range (me). Clearly the Model S is a MUCH different car, but truthfully, I'd rather pay for a faster Model S ($125-$150K) because there is a threshold at about 550 HP that the Tesla could break through, thereby thwarting any poaching BMW, Mercedes, etc (Wannabe Teslas). I want to see the gas cars go the way of the Dinosaurs. I want Tesla to be the #1 car company in the world - in market share. To do that quickly is VERY HARD because everyone seems to want something different. I think they need to consider the Model S AWD that would be quicker than the Z06 (anticipated to be at 660 HP), because that Stingray is STILL going to be a 2 seater, getting 30 mpg (max). I hope Elon is going to build a Model SS AWD, because I'll pay a $25K Premium to own the first one, if he signs his name on the glove compartment! I mean it. Elon? Please? Tommy is waiting. Thanks.

evpro | February 2, 2014

School buses.

Used for a couple of hours in the mornings and evenings with plenty of time to be charged in between.

Currently they pump out tons of nasty carcinogenic diesel exhaust directly into the air around children, teachers and soccer Moms.

carlgo | February 2, 2014

Any vehicles that have a home base and predictable range requirements and routes are good candidates. Fleet cars, police cars, delivery trucks, buses and long haul semi trucks have home bases or truck stops where recharging could take place.

Cars and pickups seem like the most difficult way to break into the transportations system, in large part due to unpredictable range and route requirements.

Car t man | February 3, 2014

Brian, you're just completely wrong there. It will be and soon. Even if not Tesla's, an after market unit and probably soon.

Brian H | February 3, 2014

Car t;
And how will it avoid nonsense like the BMW pseudo-EV?

carlgo;
cars and trucks have the overwhelming advantage that their buyers and users are individual, granular deciders. Trying to hit "home runs" with public utility scale clients is likely to end like "Casey at the Bat". There is no joy in Mudville; The Mighty Casey has Struck Out!"

Bureaucrat clients are fickle friends.

Car t man | February 3, 2014

Brian,

CNG is quite cheap (still) and much more acceptable than diesel and many businesses still look at things based on initial investment. The generator will be cheaper than the kind of battery, many large SUV haulers would
want to see.

Businesses also will like the option of having multi fuel options,
for when power grids are down, etc.

We all agree that full EVs are what we want. But, the battery is still
expensive, you will have times when grids fall (look at some of what is
going on in parts of Europe these days), etc.

A highly efficient drive train (electric) and a relatively cheap, domestic, acceptably clean fuel also make for a good next best thing.

nikolateslas88 | February 3, 2014

This is the wiki info on silver oxide batteries, this is impressive!

"Compared to other batteries, a silver oxide battery has a higher open circuit potential than a mercury battery, and a flatter discharge curve than a standard alkaline battery.

It provides up to 40 percent more run time than lithium-ion batteries and also feature a water-based chemistry that is free from the thermal runaway and flammability problems that have plagued the lithium-ion alternatives."

This opens up more possiblity of range and battery charging and discharging. This would seem to make electric trucks possible.

Just do a simple calculation of added range. Take the 300 miles of range and add the 40%. You get another 120 miles added to range, so 420 miles theoretically for one pack. Add two layers to the battery packs instead of one to the frame and get 840 miles on a charge!! Lol. Truck would be very possible(yes i know people are gonna talk about the weight issue) just trying to think big lol.....

Brian H | February 3, 2014

For how many cycles? 1?
http://www.ehow.com/about_5605853_silver-oxide-vs_-alkaline-battery.html
Silver Oxide Battery
.
Silver oxide batteries are noted for their high energy density and ability to put out high current for their size. But they are extremely expensive because of the cost of the silver. To produce them in large sizes is not cost effective, except for some military applications. But for miniature devices where space is severely limited, like watches, hearing aids, calculators and some photographic equipment, they are ideal and will last longer. A silver oxide battery should never be placed in a charger.

Not rechargeable.

just an allusion | February 3, 2014

@juancarloz

It's coming...Just be patient.

Tesla is still largely a start-up automobile manufacturer that likely will undergo at least one or two technological innovations as it progresses along its' set plan for production and distribution that it is following.

P.A.T.I.E.N.C.E.

It IS coming.

Timo | February 4, 2014

@nikolateslas88, check that side info about silver oxide battery. In reality it has about half of current lithium-ion battery energy density. Not 40% higher. That wiki is badly outdated, and that particular quote you posted is (more than) 8 years old.

Brian H | February 4, 2014

allusion;
its (possessive) or it's (it is), but never its'. Would be like his' or hers'. :p

An EV site recently claimed TM has not begun work on trucks of any size so far.

nikolateslas88 | February 4, 2014

How do we really know what silver oxide batteries true energy density is, its class is partly only in aerospace which usually isnt public info,it has been used by nasa since the space program began, it had to be ultimate technology to beat out all the other battery technology in this century as a nasa product lol. They are rechargable i have found companies that make rechargeable ones. The chemistry seems incredibly simple and environmentally friendly. Zinc, silver, and alkaline electrolyte. Sure silver would be expensive but it can be made into thinner plates im sure.

Car t man | February 4, 2014

Nasa also uses hydrogen but don't tell Brian. He will explode :)

grega | February 4, 2014

@Car t man, I doubt we'll see an internal generator for Teslas any time soon.

If a 3rd party was going to get involved, you'd still need Tesla to approve some way of charging while driving, and the only avenue to that would seem to be an approved Tesla portable battery that fits in the trunk or frunk that requires a connector... that a 3rd party might then connect through in some way. It doesn't seem a likely path.

I do think that many hydrogen fuel cell cars will have a natural conversion to all electric in a couple of years, and that the opposite is also possible - an all electric car could add a hydrogen fuel cell. But I don't think either side would want to admit to looking at the cross over - and for Tesla it seems a more 'personal' choice. :)

That said - all the hydrogen cars seem to be talking about 80kW fuel cells. A 15 kW fuel cell could dramatically increase the Model S range in a much smaller package, so maybe there's room for thinking differently there. At 15kW it'd still be slowly using the battery but at less than half the rate, and when it ran low you'd have to either charge it, stop and have a long walk while the fuel cell charged the battery, or drive at 35mph until you can do either of the first 2 options. If you could only get a slow charger overnight the car could maximise the slow charger use and top the rest up from the fuel cell.

All of that requires Hydrogen stations too. And if an electric pickup truck uses twice the kW to run it would beg the question of whether it needed a bigger fuel cell anyway - though if it charged itself whenever you were loading or parked, and/or provided AC power for electric tools, and mainly provided peace-of-mind for never running out of power by driving home at 30mph (if you could refuel with hydrogen!) maybe it has a potential somewhere.

But I certainly don't think it's on the radar for anytime soon (and can't be really), and I can't see Elon encouraging 3rd party range extending engines, or the practicality of a HEAVY lift-out trunk battery.

Car t man | February 4, 2014

Tesla is missing out on the most sold vehicle category in US. Because the cost of the battery is prohibitive. Tesla may give in and take the smart shortcut, or may stay with the somewhat ideological pure EV stance, but it may even
circumvent that, by appointing or allowing 3rd party players to do it, without sacrificing the pure EV ideology of the company itself.

And I have no doubt whatsoever, that the software will be owned soon, modified, customized, etc. What we don't know is how Tesla will go
about dealing with that.

Any pickup maker can get decent AC drive trains on the market, couple
them with an average lithium battery pack, basically acting as the
buffer for the CNG range extender. If Tesla doesn't fill the void,
others will. It is why I hope they address it somehow and soon.

A shame to let the core of the market go to lesser competitors.
And try to explain a business owner why he would need a 50-60k
battery, as opposed to a 10k battery and a 5k generator.

grega | February 4, 2014

Do you really think adding an ICE would be an easy 3rd party opportunity? When you say they'll do it soon I presume you are talking about the S or X?

If tesla decided to make room for an ICE in a new Tesla pickup truck, making it run efficiently in a well integrated way takes effort.

A third party solution quickly becomes a DIY hybrid. Doesn't it?

Timo | February 4, 2014

HFC system takes a lot of space. nuff said.

just an allusion | February 5, 2014

@Brian H

You've just effectively outed yourself as a Grammar Nazi!! Enjoy the recriminations.

Seriously though, I attempted to contextualize " its' " (erroneously/improperly I suppose) as a noun as a way of referring back to the actual noun I was alluding to from earlier in my comment(s) without having to actually repeat myself as I find redundancy in any form other than fail safe protocols a sign of ignorance...that or I'm simply being too hard on myself.

Anyway, I never said that they've undertaken any effort at all whatsoever towards the development of a heavy duty/truck platform, I've only implied that such development is, well, inevitable...eventually...nothing more, though I would find it exciting to encounter an Tesla-specific designed EV semi carting a load of Models S's and X's and E's, and perhaps even a Roadster or two, on the highway en route to their respective owners.

just an allusion | February 5, 2014

@grega

What if it isn't a matter of preference for Tesla, as you've implied, but rather one of the recognition of preeminent technology (Electric) vs that of a subsistent one (Hydrogen), along with the reality that employing the usage of a substandard technology would only serve to regress the inevitable evolutionary potential of the superlative tech?

In otherwords, what if they recognized that if they were to employ the use of some type of extraneous/dissimilar tech, it would only serve to hamper/handicap the continued advancement of their primary goal of full EV propulsion and simply discarded any consideration of such a course of action?

just an allusion | February 5, 2014

@Car t man

The lack of Range Rovers or Escalades or Hummers or Mercedes G wagons or duallies or quad-cabs, etc., etc., at the time pickup trucks were inundating the automotive market didn't stop people from wanting them once they finally did become available, so I'm not foreseeing any potential issues with demand once the product is made available as people are going to want whatever it is that they re going to want and history has shown that it is typically the best that they can get if for no other reason than guaranteed longevity/quality.

just an allusion | February 5, 2014

Lastly, no "hybrids"! Only pure EV's!! Because if you do it right the first time, there is no need to have to do it again.

Car t man | February 5, 2014

Tesla's position is one of needing to take customers away from incumbent providers of vehicles to their demographics.

Ford Pickup drivers tend to be quite loyal I think, so if Ford gets it to
them, they won't really be looking at Tesla for many years to come.

Slapping a CNG generator, with a direct feed to the DC battery connector and
software allowing that particular "charger" to charge during driving, isn't
really a difficult thing to set in an EV.

Tesla gets customers because other's don't have competitive offerings in its
niche. It would be a very different story, if direct competitors had the same
type of cars available before Tesla did.

It needs the same approach with pickups, if it hopes to win that market. Waiting for battery prices to come way down, opens that spot to existing
players in the market. And making an EV pickup, relying mostly on that
generator to juice a mediocre battery, really isn't much of an undertaking.

In some instances, Tesla could be more proactive by engaging 3rd parties, when it can't cover something by itself completely.

For instance, Tesla isn't even really developing advanced radar/camera anti collision system for the cars yet (latest Elon's statements imply that), so
why not simply partner up with Mobileye? And do so in other fields..

Timo | February 5, 2014

CNG, HFC, ICE all tend to be so big that it counters the benefit of having it in BEV. Fisker had serial hybrid. Not smart.

Just wait couple of years, battery prices / Wh are going down fast.

Car t man | February 5, 2014

Actually, serial hybrid is the only kind of hybrid actually making sense in a car. The parallel hybrid is far less efficient.

You get a high hour life generator, purring at optimal rpms, which could
easily be placed inside the engine bay of a "pickup", along with the
tanks. Besides, recently, several manufacturers even use the roof of the car and other parts as tanks for methane.

Having a need for a hauling pickup counters the need for a BEV, because it cannot be made affordable yet. Simple as that. Then again, when superchargers
really are only 50 miles apart, that may change. And even then, having a range
extender available, would sway many buyers, especially when serving remote
areas. A BEV isn't for all uses yet, due to cost. The Tesla S is a high end, high price vehicle. We are talking about getting the average pickup hauler
on board. If we can forget the fact that probably 70% of pickup drivers don't need pickups, but still insist on them..

Any of those guzzlers being replaced by anything cleaner is a good thing. Even simple ICE with CNG is way better than gasoline or diesel.

Timo | February 5, 2014

Actually, serial hybrid is the only kind of hybrid actually making sense in a car. The parallel hybrid is far less efficient.

That's what I thought too, but it appears that this is not the case in reality. Too many inefficiencies between generator and battery/motor. Better to direct that energy directly to wheels.

Car t man | February 5, 2014

Not really the case. The series hybrid, done properly, is the efficient way to go. Just hooking up the generator directly to the battery and the battery driving the electric motor, is the most efficient way to go.

And if there is a generator, it should definitely be a CNG version.

Even the EV1 team also made a prototype of a series hybrid with a CNG
range extender. If battery weight, size or cost, are issues, such
a range extender makes sense.

BMW probably has higher battery costs, so for the i3, they figured this out
also.

Car t man | February 5, 2014

Apart from the CNG part, that is.

grega | February 5, 2014

@Timo, you're right. The THEORY on series hybrid is brilliant. Once a battery hits 20% run a generator at optimum RPM etc to charge it. The power/acceleration of the car is still based on the battery and inverter ability.

But when I tried to find real life examples, they all had quite bad MPG when using the ICE.

The main reason is unavoidable - a series hybrid is LESS efficient on highways. There's a 30% loss by converting to Electricity and then back to driving the car, but on a highway ICEs are capable of running at a close to optimum RPM. In theory this didn't matter, because mostly people aren't driving on highways. BUT the moment you put a big battery in the hybrid then general day to day driving is covered by the battery, and it's the longer trips that need an ICE.

The volt is an EV in day to day driving, series hybrid if you drive a lot in the city, then parallel hybrid on highways. It's very efficient but complicated.

Anyway, a car driving 10-35mph all day that doesn't have a big battery should be better as a series hybrid than parallel. But a big 85kWh battery can usually handle that anyway for any average customer - any development effort is better spent on improved battery technology.

But a pickup truck COULD be different :), with heavy loads and large drag, and if it does a lot of short trips where the ICE is under or over used (inefficient), and would only get 100miles a charge. Then there might be a case for hybrid. But what's the real miles driven a day with a pickup? Would they often need more than a battery provided, or is it just range anxiety?

Fuel cells remain the exception in my mind - only because I still haven't decided my thoughts on them. Fuel cells using methane seem the most interesting given existing infrastructure, greenness, and power density … but run way too hot. On the positive fuel cells are inherently series hybrids and will indirectly develop electric drive trains, and even with the 30% power loss are more efficient than internal combustion engines, and if setup as low power cells may be reasonably small (though a compressed hydrogen tank is the real problem!)

grega | February 5, 2014

@just an allusion.
Sorry had to read your comment several times to understand. I think that's because I agree, but you phrase it as if I disagree.

Yes I think BEV is a much smarter choice right now. AND even if the arguments of hydrogen vs BEV were exactly equivalent, I'm sure Elon would still choose the electric path.

If there's a market for ICE hybrid trucks, other manufacturers will be active there, so Tesla probably wouldn't change the industry mindset with one (in fact building a hybrid would legitimise the avoidance of BEVs!). If natural gas fuel cells turn out to be useful, it won't be for several years as the temperature comes down. And if a 'range extending' hydrogen fuel cell would be useful, it's only if you have a big tank of hydrogen or easy access to hydrogen fuel cells without access to superchargers… also not true today. And there's no environmental advantage to hydrogen either.

I'm not willing to comment on technology 10 years from now though.

grega | February 5, 2014

* mistyped. range extending hydrogen fuel cell is only useful if you have easy access to a hydrogen FUEL STATION and no access to fast charging.

slipdrive | February 5, 2014

Just my view... I kept the 2003 Yukon when the ModelS arrived in my garage last year. It had dropped in value, to that point of "an old pickup". The GMC is the work horse around the farm, with its high clearance and 7500lb towing capacity. The Tesla the thoroghbred. Curb weight of at least a full-size BEV pickup, and bad aero-d would surely be the issue. Maybe someday...
Does GMC have a plan for a PickUpVoltonSteroids design ?

nikolateslas88 | February 5, 2014

There is also fluride metal batteries i think someone already talked about, which can double the range, something to do with the ability of the flouride to store electrons. I think the chemistry is also very simple. Floride is a major industrial byproduct so such technology might be cheap???? Probably better in batteries than anti depressants and drinking water lol.

Tiebreaker | February 5, 2014

True work-site pickup trucks don't drive many miles. Same for delivery trucks, UPS trucks average 98 miles a day, usually in a slow pace, so aerodynamics don't mean much. As of now, the hurdle is price, not range.

Car t man | February 5, 2014

Tiebraker

price equals range with batteries.
With a series hybrid with a CNG generator,
the van could have a smaller pack and still
be quite economical.

Tiebreaker | February 5, 2014

@Car t man
Yup, but not for Tesla.

Brian H | February 6, 2014

Elon has decided, as a matter of principle (and "first priciples") and practicality, that Teslas will not have an on-board combustion or other "fuel-based" source of power, for better or worse. And is determined to make it work, without CNG, fool cell, or other distractions.

grega | February 6, 2014

So back on track, if a pickup truck is usually low mileage but otherwise far less energy efficient, is it a ripe area for Tesla in 5 years, or are their more attractive targets?

Timo | February 6, 2014

yes, and yes. :-)

Haeze | February 6, 2014

Wasn't it determined that the most efficient generator is actually a turbine jet engine due to it's high output for little fuel, but limited torque curve ?

Timo | February 6, 2014

Those things make huge noise. That alone is enough to make them impractical.

OTOH they are pretty cool things. I once saw a episode of Scrapheap Challenge where one of the teams made a jet engine out of scrap. Goal was to make rail-mounted vehicle that didn't put any momentum thru wheels. Other team used rocket-type water jet, but water is heavy, so it did work but wasn't impressive.

Point is that jet engine isn't really that complicated thing. It just required a bit out of the box thinking to invent one. Surprisingly it was only after WW2 that we had really working jet engines.

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