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German companies trying hard to compete with Tesla

Kleist | January 18, 2014

Cometing with concepts? Please tell them to put a product in my garage. And tell them to stop decorating news papers, instead get something useful done.

Kleist | January 18, 2014

Competing...

Brian H | January 18, 2014

The new Roadster will embarrass the Hölle out of them.

Dramsey | January 19, 2014

Has Tesla announced a new Roadster? Or was this ironic humor?

Timo | January 19, 2014

Nothing official, but very strong "there will be new roadster build entirely as BEV using GenIII platform".

One of the future models will be a sport car. Considering that this huge tank called Model S can do 0-60 in 4.something seconds beating old Roadster in quartermile a smaller car should be quite impressive.

Might take some time before that changes from promise to reality though. There is nothing official yet about GenIII platform, and when there is first one will be that "affordable" car.

ian t.wa.us | January 19, 2014

A new Roadster is about as real as any e-tron sports car from Audi.

PapaSmurf | January 19, 2014

I new Roadster from Tesla will likely be able to do 0-60 mph in 3 seconds and the 1/4 mile in under 11 seconds. If it is not measurably better than a Model S P+ then it will be a failure.

just an allusion | January 19, 2014

Hey, if you're gonna hate on the Germans you should hate on the French, too, what with their Renault DeZir EV concept:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3v-xfXuvqc

Though the DeZir is not their only EV offering:

http://gigaom2.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/kangoo-2.jpg?w=748

just an allusion | January 19, 2014

EDIT:

just an allusion | January 19, 2014
just an allusion | January 25, 2014

All in all though I find it invigorating that more and more auto manufacturers are delving into the EV arena with their own concepts...Now if they would only dive in with an actual EV offering of their own and not merely tantalize us with this or that 'comcept'.

Jolinar | January 27, 2014

@hpoe5

funny how they say batteries costs $1000 per kWh while Tesla is selling them for $400/kWh AND has 25% margin on it AND includes SuperChargers to it. That writer has no idea what he's talking about :D

just an allusion | January 27, 2014

EDIT: "comcept" = 'concept'

grega | January 27, 2014

The roadster is a much smaller car than the model S.
196" vs 155" long.
116.5" vs 92.5 wheelbase
86" vs 73" wide

What Tesla needs is a smaller based car... a 3rd generation of Tesla ... :) ... but instead of making it a regular car they could ALSO use the smaller base for a lighter high powered sports car, a new chassis, wheels, and perhaps a regular Model S drive train.

grega | January 27, 2014

*edit.... I'm a little brain dead today.
Sorry @Timo

just an allusion | January 27, 2014

@grega

It is already the plan to produce a low-cost Tesla model following the production of the Model X crossover (currently in the works), so I really do not understand why this issue is continually revisited when it is well known to already be in the works?!

Or is it just your intent to suggest the production of another sports car based on whatever platform devised for the mass-produced, low-cost model?

Brian H | January 28, 2014

The next roadster will be based on the Mod E platform. Maybe a couple of years later.

grega | January 28, 2014

@allusion, yes I meant to say that a future roadster should be based on gen3, as the model S chassis is too large. Tongue in cheek on the "if only there was a smaller platform" didn't work online. The Mod E could be an excellent base to a future roadster - what I didn't realise was that @Timo had said the same earlier, and that there was a general expectation of this (unofficially).

Timo | January 28, 2014

Considering that power of the batteries can reach absolutely insane figures in near future an EV sport car can easily beat all ICE counterparts in both top speed and acceleration.

Something like 100C battery is not utopistic even now which means smallish 50kWh battery pack could create insane 5000kW of power. That rivals and beats most nitrodragsters. It then becomes question how small package you can put an electric motor and controller that can handle that kind of power.

I wait electric motor where coils are made of graphene wires instead of copper. Should be a lot lighter and quite a lot more powerful. Individual motors for each wheel.

frmercado | January 28, 2014

This is a much better video of the Renault Dezir than the one posted above.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK5ya6fjL18

Brian H | January 28, 2014

800 kg? Barely heavy enough to hold the road! It would burn rubber real well, though.

Haeze | January 29, 2014

@Brian H
I was under the impression that lighter meant less burning of rubber, since it has less mass to accelerate from 0 mph.

Less mass means less inertia to overcome. Given identical coefficients of friction, the lighter car will burn out less since the car's power will more easily overcome its inertia.

Timo | January 29, 2014

Friction would not be identical, more weight makes friction higher. But also less mass would allow less power to get same acceleration so it evens up calc.

In practice lighter car handles better in both acceleration and cornering. Especially if the shape creates some downforce.

just an allusion | January 29, 2014

@frmercado

True, it is a better video...Thanks for that!

Renault should try producing one skinned in aluminum instead of the Kevlar they used for their prototype/concept to determine if the weight variances would affect the performance/functionality of the car.

Timo | January 30, 2014

With only 800kg that car doesn't have large pack.

quote from http://www.renault.com/en/innovation/l-univers-du-design/pages/concept-c...

"The vertically-mounted 24kWh lithium-ion battery is located behind the benchseat and provides the car with a range of 160km."

100 miles. It's a city car.

Quotes from other sites:

The electric motor produces 148-bhp and 167 lb-ft of torque, with power routed to the rear wheels via an automatic transmission

So it is still tied to ICE thinking.

Renault says the DeZir can accelerate from a 0 to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds....top speed of 112 mph (180 km/h)

So it is also slow (relatively speaking).

It is two-seater so equal Tesla competition would be Roadster, and Roadster would wipe the floor with it.

lph | January 30, 2014

Also the battery has vertical orientation resulting in higher center of gravity which will impact handling negatively. Also why have an automatic transmission? You don't need a gear box at all.
Seems like they have not learned anything about the real advantages of the EV, so they are doomed to failure.

Haeze | January 30, 2014

I may be wrong, but don't DC Brushless motors have a lower max RPM ? If they are using DC Brushless (like every other manufacturer) that would explain the need for a transmission.

Brian H | January 30, 2014

And they're tied to the rare earths market, too. Nikola is chuckling in his grave.

Timo | January 30, 2014

At 200mph 19inch tires are turning about 2424RPM, so DC Brushless would need really low max RPM to need transmission. Probably motor had very bad torque curve if transmission was necessary.

All indications that Renault really doesn't know anything about EV:s.

just an allusion | January 30, 2014

@Timo;@lph;@Haeze;& even @Brian H

At least they are trying, which is a lot more than what can be said for any number of other auto manufacturers around the World.

Timo | January 30, 2014

Nissan has Leaf, Mitsubishi MiEV, Ford has Focus EV, and Toyota has number of plugin-hybrids. Even Volkswagen is jumping to plugin-hybrids. Things are changing actually rather rapidly, Tesla is just the only one to make serious pure BEV this far.

Dezir is quite old concept now, it was made 2010. I bet that if Renault would make same car now it would be much better.

I should have said "All indications that Renault really didn't know anything about EV:s back then".

just an allusion | January 30, 2014

Perhaps they didn't know then, but they were trying anyway, which counts for something.

I guess you could say that they had the DESIRE to do the right thing, even if it wasn't effectively executed then, they were at least trying some 12 or 13 years ago.

Brian H | January 30, 2014

allusion;
2010 was not 12 or 13 years ago. That was 2000. Duh.

Haeze | February 2, 2014

@JAA
I completely agree. I am all for other companies trying, whether they succeed or fail. As long as they aren't forcing failure in an attempt to prove electric as non-viable. It is still rather "conspiracy-theory-ish" to think so, but as the years go by with no viable electric cars by Big Auto, it is seeming more and more possible.

Webcrawler | February 2, 2014

They all (But Nissan) stick there toe in the EV waters and run screaming that it is too cold....

Tesla and Nissan said let warm the pool up a a bit...

just an allusion | February 4, 2014

@Brian H

Yep, you're right. That's what I get for doing more than one thing at a time, though it's nice seeing you expanding your trolling beyond that of mere grammatical errors to encompass chronological nuances as well/misstatements.

just an allusion | February 4, 2014

@ Haeze

Just Google "GM EV1" and you'll readily understand the REALITY of the "conspiracy" that separates it from mere "theory".

LiTHIO | February 21, 2014

http://www.rimac-automobili.com/concept_one/introduction-20

< img http://www.rimac-automobili.com/upload/tbl_clanci/intro_conceptone7_1543...

Croatian 1088Hp all wheel drive e-car. Part of large EU battery R&D consortium for bipolar high energy density Li+ cells.

jkn | February 23, 2014

Haeze,

Permanent magnet motors have better efficiency than induction motors, but only in narrow range. So different gears are useful. Permanent magnets cause large loses even without any current, so clutch is useful.

Timo,

100C battery is certainly possible. Unfortunately you cannot get high power density and high energy density in same battery. You must choose.

Bubba2000 | February 23, 2014

They key enabling technologies for Tesla are:
1. Battery, packaging and manufacturing scale - Tesla has the best tech now. Tesla is moving quickly to build a battery gigafactory and probably used improved chemistry, electrodes, separators, electrolytes, etc. Cost in $Bs. This will give huge advantages in $/KW-hr, KW-hr/Kg and production capacity that will match or exceed the rest of the world combined. The rest of the automakers are just dabbling in BEVs with no real investment, except for Nissan and they are barking at the wrong tree with their battery tech, design, etc. By time, they wake up, it will be too late.
2. Supercharger tech and network - Within 1-2 years, Tesla will have SC networks covering most of the population in US/Canada, Western Europe, China, Japan, Australia. The network effect will drive demand for the Tesla BEVs. Nobody else is close. Their cars do not have the range or the tech for supercharging.
3. Drive train - There are kinds of motors, everything from regular DC motors, brushless DC motors, induction motors, etc. Multiple choice of controllers, inverters, software to control the inverters, current, frequency, etc. It is science, but also an art. Tesla has an impressive motor and controller/inverter. Very compact and output is 416 HP with impressive torque curve at ALL speeds! I got a 85P and that car performs at low and hi speed in terms of acceleration. It will only get better once it gets AWD with more HP, higher capacity+output batteries and lighter weight.

The rest of the auto industry has huge investments in ICE and very little in BEV. They do not have access to hi to low cost battery capacity and can not get enough capacity. So they are focussing on hybrids that only need a few KW-hr. That is what Porsche is doing along with others. It is a dead end because it adds costs, increases complexity and maintenance is still a problem. Once battery costs for Tesla drops, capacity and energy density increases, then hybrids will not be able to compete.

Timo | February 24, 2014

@jkn, even 6C would allow ~10 minute charging which is about what we would need to completely obsolete gas cars. 100C would mean 36 *seconds* recharge. I think that's a bit too fast. Like melting cables and stuff.

Since 6C is pretty commonplace even with rather high energy density batteries we should just figure out how to do the actual charging at that speed. I propose battery swap -style robotic extremely heavy duty cables with connectors in bottom of the car. Borrow docking techs from SpaceX :-)

Sin_Gas | February 24, 2014

Hello
I am surprised that no one has mentioned the BMW i3. I am probably one of the few on the planet who has driven both the MS and the i3. Invited to test drive it Saturday at a local Dealer in Sudbury, Mass.

Its a city car, but very sporty. Half the price of the MS. 180 mile range with extender(ICE) Why they did not just double the battery size, I will never know.

Can't afford an MS right now, but I would be very happy with an i3. 7 seconds to 60, 100 miles on battery only, very nice ride and handling. Where if falls short for me, is no SC stations and not marketing the existing infrastructure for recharging. Tesla definitely ahead there. Its a different cup of tea, but a big step up on the Leaf, Prius Plug in, etc.

I think it shows the way things will go in the future. And I can have delivery this April.

Gary

Timo | February 25, 2014

@bailyhill14; "Its a city car, but very sporty. Half the price of the MS. 180 mile range with extender(ICE) Why they did not just double the battery size, I will never know."

Probably because using their battery tech it would then cost same as Model S.

Anything less than 200 miles would be rather useless in road trips even with SC capability. Think of it, would you be willing to do road trip if you would need to start looking for SC every 100 or so miles? Even with extra hyper fast charging just the annoyance of going in SC station every 1.5 hours (or less) would be too much.

In my book even 200 miles is a bit too short range. I rather have 300+ mile real life range for convenient driving.

Bubba2000 | February 25, 2014

I got a 85P/Pano loaded and I like the performance and most important the range. Even without SCs in my area, it meets all my driving needs. I like the design because it is practical and does not attract attention. With SC network coming this year, there will be any limitations.

In comparison, the i3 is either a city golf car suitable for retirement communities as a second car - a lame expensive hybrid. Plus it is kind of geeky. The car could not support a higher capacity battery and its power train is weak. Not suitable for highway use and would loose power quick. Would need a second ICE car... expensive and not practical.

Using the carbon fiber construction, it would be very expensive for BMW to scale the car to have the power and range to match the 85KW-hr MS. They tried with the i8, but that is a expensive hybrid and not very practical.

Neither car is suitable for Supercharger use.

Brian H | February 25, 2014

bubba;
Agree, and the luggage capacity is small.

But I believe you meant, "With SC network coming this year, there will [NOT] be any limitations."

Heh. Lots of people reverse the meaning of their posts by forgetting "not"! ;)

jkn | February 25, 2014

Timo,

6C is possible. I believe that 6C cells have sacrificed some energy density for power density. MS is mostly charged during night, so energy density is more important. 6C would be good for those who want double motor power.

Bubba2000 | February 25, 2014

BrianH, thanks for the type fix!

The German companies have huge investments in their ICE industry. After all, they did invent the gasoline Otto Cycle ICE as well as the Diesel ICE. It is very difficult for them to make a clean break with the ICE. That is why they included the ICE even in the i3. Look at their background like the CEO, Dr. Ing, Nobert Reithoffer - Mech Engineer. Their Chief of Development same background. When they allocate their budget, where most of the money goes? ICE development and existing lines. Yes, they invested in carbon fiber plastics, but that is not specific to BEV.

Very different than Elon, a self made man, who thinks out of the box. Not afraid to take risks. Answers to no one, certainly not to a supervisory board run by the Quandt family. I am sure most of you have watched Elon Musk on the Bloomberg Risk Takes.

Tiebreaker | February 25, 2014

i3 is way too expensive for the utility that it provides.

MS60 is a bargain, compared.

Brian H | February 26, 2014

Agree. Value per dollar is far higher, as CR says.