If you haven't thought of it already... Ideas for Tesla

If you haven't thought of it already... Ideas for Tesla

I don't know if someone has already created a Thread like this but I would like to start a Ideas-Discussion about Tesla and its Products.

So for example:

Charging a Tesla Vehicle through Inductive Charging
- right now you have to charge it through the plug/port on the side of the car
- it works and its simple enough, requires to deal with a cable

Why not charge your Tesla using a inductive charging station?
Check out here what Inductive Charging means:

So the most convenient way to charge your Tesla is to put the Primary Coil (in the charging plate) on the floor of your Garage and have the Secondary coil under/or in the front bottom of the Tesla Vehicle. Once you drive over it and park your car in your Garage it will charge the Tesla, no need to plug anything in.

They have this for phones already, but you have to buy some special case for it, which makes the phone bulky. I can envision this for a Tesla Vehicle in my own Garage (if I ever have the chance to buy one :D)

So let's see if anyone has similar or new ideas, and if this community is willing to discuss ideas on here.
Have a wonderful day!

evanstumpges | October 15, 2012

Wireless induction charging does have a cool factor and may be slightly more convenient than plugging in a cable, but it would come at the expense of lower efficiency (slower charging) and higher installation cost, which are pretty large obstacles to overcome...

olanmills | October 15, 2012

and also presumabley a bigger hardware footprint on the car, but maybe not, I dunno

zGerman | October 15, 2012

If Tesla can make a 300mpc car happen they prob can make that happen too :D

I am just researching more about this technique and found that Qualcomm has tested wireless charging in London

But I did see the lower efficiency which could be improved if there is a demand for something like this. I just thought it's a cool idea.

What other ideas do you have?

aaronw2 | October 16, 2012

Inductive charging for the Tesla would be really inefficient. For the phones the coil is on the back of the phone and it is touching the pad so the gap is quite small. With a Tesla parked over the coil the gap would be far larger. Also, with a phone the loss of efficiency is no big deal since the amount of power is fairly small. With the huge amount of power required to charge the car it is a much bigger problem. Also, if there are any iron based parts of the car they would be affected also by the large magnetic field.

danielccc | October 19, 2012

The EV1 had inductive charging. You still plugged in a cable, but there was no metal to metal contact. Instead the plug was paddle shaped and had an inductive coil.

I don't know what the efficiency loss was, but it might have been small given the very close contact and precise alignment.

You might wonder what the advantage was, though. I am not sure. I can think of lack of contact wear or corrosion and higher safety (or feeling of safety), when charging in the rain. I can't say that either of these is a significant advantage in real life.

Brian H | October 19, 2012

Yes, and I would also wonder about the data link between an inductive charger and the car. Would it be as wideband and robust? Hard to imagine.

jerry3 | October 20, 2012

The main advantage of inductive charging is outside the home where the lack of a cable means copper thieves have nothing to steal. However, the logistics of having an inductive charger that could work with a wide variety of cars and the higher costs of charging due to the inefficiency of inductive charging are likely to be an insurmountable barrier for the foreseeable future.

zGerman | October 25, 2012

I was simply thinking of it as a home or parking garage addition. Where you could simply drive onto it, or up to it, or something that moves up to the bottom of the car if you roll over some kind of sensor. The car would always be topped off and a built in WiFi module can be the data link (if the GSM which is already in the car isn't enough)

it would simply be for convenience, I could see it applied at the charging stations at well.

Regarding the efficiency, the techs have to figure that one out!

RNB | October 26, 2012

I'd like a two door model S.
I'd like a pickup truck, think El Camino.

rjo71342 | October 30, 2012

Well how about this use as tinting for any ev vehicle which actually Has pv cells in the tinting to keep charging the ev vehicle

Brian H | October 30, 2012

Trivial and expensive. A few watts, when you need kilowatts.

Timo | October 30, 2012

Few watts could be enough to stop discharging while not used. Infinite time at parking lot without plugging in. For charging, especially while driving, it would be pointless effort. Real cars are not "solar racers" which are basically just mobile extremely aerodynamic lightweight solar panel movers in bicycle wheels.

kw | November 9, 2012

I know this doesn't refer to inductive charging.

I think it would be great to have "solar panels" on the top of the car, like the roof, hood and trunk lid. I see that a company "Alta Devices" now makes a 23.5% efficient solar cell, and a company "SunPowerCorp" is making solar panels with that efficiency. I see that they have a 327Watt panel that is roughly 5Ft by 3 1/2Ft. Also, they make a 435 Watt panel which is roughly 7Ft by 3 1/2Ft. So, maybe one could extend the driving range with a 400Watt solar generating panel(s) on the car (integrated into the hood, roof and trunk lid) while driving. It might add maybe $1500 (I'm guessing on the numbers) to the cost of the car, as an option, but if it gives another maybe 50 miles to the range? it might be worth it. And, help keep the battery charged or slowly charging, while sitting in a parking lot.

Brian H | November 9, 2012

lotsa threads on this. But, for example, the Karma's solar roof cost $5k or so, and generates a couple hundred watts. Shape, angle, time of day, parking in the sun, etc. all considerations. Generates maybe a couple of miles a day. Would take hundreds of years to pay off.

To get your 50 miles, park in the direct sun, all day, for 2 weeks or so. In the summer, as close as possible to the equator.

Timo | November 10, 2012

It takes 20kW to keep going at 60mph. 400W is 2% out of 20kW. 2% out of 250miles is 5 miles. 400W is overoptimistic value. You would not get that because angle of the Sun, unless you drive at noon in desert at equator. In real life in sunny day somewhere at mid-US you might get maybe two miles worth power extended range if you are lucky. Parked you might gain something like 2kWh / day with that panel.

It's just not worth it. Tiny panel that just keeps charge state constant when not plugged in could be worth the money, but anything bigger than that would be better used to put in more batteries.

jerry3 | November 10, 2012

The only thing a solar panel on the roof is good for is running a ventilating fan or some similar non-critical low power accessory. Even then it's not even remotely cost efficient. Solar panels on the roof of your house are a good idea, on a car, not so much.

Fog | November 10, 2012

here's an idea: auto drive. I would think a car with so much computer power as the Tesla, it would be great to include some of what google has been working on. also with computer auto drive, cars on the freeway that have this could link up and form a "train" (may be magnets in the bumper) and go faster with less energy.

Brian H | November 11, 2012

Not even close. Check out the gear the Google car carries.

holidayday | November 11, 2012

Ideas? More colors!

The main colors that seem to be missing from the Model S

Light Blue
Sea Green

I'm sure there are more, but these are other colors I would expect to see.

Mercedes | November 11, 2012


Timo | November 12, 2012

Chameleon? Neon green?

Isn't "sea" supposed to be blue? Sea Blue (looks like there is Sea green paint also. Weird).

Fog | November 12, 2012

the google car packs it all into a prius...a car that starts life without the kind of computer the Model S already has. sure its still going to need much more, but the Model S has lots of space throughout. the space in front of the firewall for instance. this is a long term goal, it just seems like this would be the right kind of forward thinking that would fit with such car. also there has to be a better solution to that salad spinner on the roof!

lacho614 | November 12, 2012

Inductive charging for the 'Supercharger' stations?

Timo | November 13, 2012

@Fog, I'm sure there are better and more unobtrusive systems that that "salad spinner". Google just goes with what works for now, and worries about hiding it later.

I don't think this is any more a technical challenge, we already have all kinds of sensors that are better than human eyes, and computer processing power is more than adequate to react faster than humans do. I think the problem is in software, making that tech to think as well as humans in unexpected situations is not that easy task. Making thinking "fuzzy" so that it can adapt and still do what you want it to do and not something else.

Think "Christine" combined with Hal 9000.

Brian H | November 13, 2012

Considering even the side mirrors add 5% to the S' drag, or X' drag, and regs don't even allow rearview cameras yet ... Of course, Google has way more clout to throw around and strings to pull than TM.

kw | November 14, 2012

Yes, the 400W for the 60MPH @ 20KW is small, 5%. But, if the speed is slower, say around town driving, 35MPH, say 11.6KW, then the 400W becomes a little more significant, about 3.4% and for the 250 miles it adds about 8.5 miles. But, also, if you figure driving say 20 miles a day, back and forth to work, for about 2 hours, then you have 11.6KW X 2 Hours, or 23.2KWH used. And, if you figure that the 400W is going for 10 Hours a day of sunlight, then you have 400W X 10Hours or 4KWH of power generated. Then, the 4KWH generated against the 23.2KWH used becomes about 17.2% generated of the power used.
So, for around town driving, it becomes more significant.


Timo | November 14, 2012

if you figure that the 400W is going for 10 Hours a day of sunlight

That's where your figures start to go wrong. To get max Sun power you need your panel to be facing Sun. Car surfaces rarely are pointing at the Sun. From that 400W panel you might get maybe 200W output at the best, and for daytime only fraction of the time panel is facing Sun, so that 200W shrinks even further to something like 100W if that.

for around town driving you are driving in shades of buildings most of the time.

Theoretical max and reality are not meeting here. Solar is weak, and continues to be weak even with a lot better panels than what we have now. You need big area that is facing the Sun without shades to make it useful, such as rooftops of buildings, not tiny roof of cars.

TM4Oz | December 4, 2012

Instead of adding costly paint options why not offer a "vinyl wrap" option like here where one could get as tasteful or garish in expression as one wants without impacting production costs for TM? A re-wrap service would be possible too when the time comes for a refresh...

TM4Oz | December 4, 2012

Sorry if it has been stated elsewhere here but I haven't figured out how to do a search across these forums.

Can/would TM recommend/sell an auxillary generator for emergencies or range extensions when there are no other options available?

I was thinking something similar to a Honda compact generator series like the model 20's that may fit in the front trunk or boot space for those times when range could become an issue and no overnight or side of road power source is certain.

I realize that this is treading close to being hybrid territory but may help overcome range anxiety especially for people doing long distance travel and can't risk being caught out.

Again, apologies if this is old ground as I am new on this site and very excited about the S after seeing it on a recent trip to DC. The X looks great too especially for us Down Under.

Brian H | December 4, 2012

There's a site set up called, which uses Google to search the public forums here. It (in the background) puts the string into a normal search. (That works with any search engine, and any "site:", btw.)

Make a bookmark on your toolbar, and you can use it any time.

FLsportscarenth... | December 5, 2012

Thinking about a Model S variant - Police Interceptor. Maybe in a year or so after most of the reservation holders get there Model S's. Model S has a 5 star crash rating, is as roomy as a Crown Vic or Caprice and great acceleration... good starts for a police car. Sure more expensive but will likely save law enforcement agencies a lot of money in operating costs... Add bulletproof windows and additional EM shielding. The variant would be great for FBI, VIP protection, high end taxis or even Limos for government and corporate officials that want to make a green statement and cut costs.

Fleet sales add economy of scale that helps Telsa's bottom line and all Tesla customers - more Model S on the road means more availability of parts down the road and of course less pollution of course...

Brian H | December 5, 2012

Good thinking. For taxis, just imagine the production line filled up for a few weeks with Yellow Cabs! Heh.

joey | December 5, 2012

what if instead of a supercharging station, you had 60 miles of interstate with some type coil embedded and charged by huge solar panels and your Tesla was recharged for an hour or so as you drove over the charging coil. These are placed strategically across the country so you arrive with a charged vehicle running off battery for local transport.
might as well dream big...

Timo | December 5, 2012

For cop car heavy weight is also beneficial: Pit maneuver "Don't force it, get a bigger hammer"

teddyg | December 5, 2012

A Tesla cop car would be great for stealth operations too...can sneak up for a bust, nice and quiet.

But going back to the solar panels on the car. Might be a good option for those who travel a lot.
we all know you don't want to let the batteries run down to nothing or you might "brick" the car. The solar panels could keep your state of charge fairly constant so the likelihood of "bricking" would be quite low (so long as your keep your car outside).
Not bricking your $35,000 battery might be worth the $1500 solar panel option in that respect.

RNB | December 6, 2012

I'd like to be able to order a customized seat. It's been a while since I sat in an S, but would like something more along the lines of what comes in high end Avalon- allows seat cushion to extend out. Recaro seats offer some of these bells and whistles for 2-3K .

Brian H | December 6, 2012

The minute charge from car-roof solar would be inadequate for that. It doesn't begin to cover the 'Vampire' draws.

In any case, you can only brick the battery if you try really hard or are really stupid, or both.

Timo | December 6, 2012

@Brian H The minute charge from car-roof solar would be inadequate for that. It doesn't begin to cover the 'Vampire' draws.

I don't think so. Unless the 'vampire draws' are really huge, you can keep the battery state from reaching 0 with quite small solar panel. From Roadster owners manual after 50% charge has been reached it will lose only about 5% / week. Assuming same applies to Model S, 5% out of 85kWh is only 4.25kWh divided by 7 for / day draw = 607Wh. To negate that required panel is small, less than square meter.

As option it could be useful if you live somewhere where Sun is shining more or less regularly. Not for you canucks or us Finns, but for someone living in Florida or Las Vegas with sunny parking lot probably.

Brian H | December 6, 2012

I think MS owners had found far larger draws originally: "To summarize, oweners are reporting a significant drop in indicated range when the car has not been used for some time. It appears to be in the range of at least 8% per day. Calculated power use of the model S is about 120W when not in use." The 4.0 seems to have dropped this considerably, though.

FLsportscarenth... | December 6, 2012

I would buy the optional solar panel, I live in Florida and am always parked in sunny parking lots...

Timo | December 6, 2012

@Brian H, that's with full battery. It says the same in Roadster manual. That loss slows down when batteries get closer to empty.