"Indy 500 EV"

"Indy 500 EV"

I would love to see a similar event with a couple Model Ses and Tesla's own supercharger -- only that a meager 500 miles would be rather uninteresting. Let's make that 3000 miles and teams taking turns at the wheels...! There's certainly a lesson or two to be learned from such an event:

Thumper | 27. desember 2011

How about model S as Indy pace car this year?

Robert.Boston | 27. desember 2011

It will be an interesting "story problem" to compute the optimal speed at which to drink the "EV-3000" you propose, Volker. Because charging takes time, and increased speed greatly increases drag, thereby reducing miles/charge, driving at max speeds is inefficient. On the other hand, driving at 30 mph isn't optimal given the relatively quick charging capability of the Supercharger. Some rough numbers I ran suggested speeds somewhere around 75-80 mph are the right balance, but that will depend on the as-yet unreleased performance characteristics of the Model S and the Supercharger.

Volker.Berlin | 27. desember 2011

Robert.Boston, that's precisely the kind of lesson I'm up to. Multiple teams could go for different strategies and see where it takes them in relation to other. Speed is certainly one parameter, as you mention, another one would be the recharge capacity: Does it pay off to charge from empty to full? Or is the net result better when charging more often, but only from 25% to 75% full? Would certainly be interesting (although lengthy) to watch...

Volker.Berlin | 27. desember 2011

This kind of staged marketing race seems to become the latest fad:

I assume that Tesla Motors has different priorities, but I'd still like to see a couple of Model Ses hold a race like that (with Tesla-made rules, of course).

In any case, placing the Model S Performance as a pace car on some tracks next year would be a fantastic show case to exhibit it's virtues, market it as a competitor to the M5 and crush a few EV preconceptions along the way... 2012 is The Year of the Model S after all!

Daxz | 27. desember 2011

Based on the watts per mile I estimated at:
the 90kW charger will be able to sustain around 107 mph as the best speed to travel for longer distances. 3000 miles would take about 19 hours of charging. I assumed it would take about 2 minutes to get on/off track to charging station & 107mph=554.2 Wh/mile.

To maintain highway speeds (75-80mph) you'd need at least a 35kW charger to minimize overall travel time. 20kW charger for 65mph and 10kW charger for 55mph.

Trnsl8r | 27. desember 2011

I like the pace car idea, thought about that too, but don't car makers usually pay through the nose for the privilege?

Mycroft | 27. desember 2011

Yep, so unlikely. Plus it would likely be booed off the track by the frothing gearheads in the stands.

Discoducky | 27. desember 2011

how about the 5500 mile 2012 Dakar which starts in 4 days:

and has Allister McRae running this beauty:

Here's a good article from Wired:

And there's the Baja 1000 introducing an electric vehicle category for 2012:

It will be interesting to see how many packs they bring and how effective the solar charging will be.

And don't forget EV drag racing:

mwu | 28. desember 2011

Disappointing that they were only going 50-60 mph and that they don't say in the article what the rate of charge was. I understand it was marketing, but still, a more entertaining race would definitely be better marketing as well. 50-60 might be fast compared to the original indy race they were comparing to, but we have much better tech for the rest of the car now and fans would yawn at those speeds. For a spectator race they'll need to spend less time in the pits and run the race at much higher speeds. I'm thinking something like a frame lift based quick battery swap. The car lifts up, then they roll the battery out one side of the car and the new battery in the other side. Then they can recharge the original and have it ready for the next pit.

Volker.Berlin | 28. desember 2011

mwu, I agree with regard to speed and that's part of why IMO the same stunt with Model Ses instead of iMIEVs would be much more interesting.

On the battery swap suggestion: For the Mitsubishi "race" it was the whole point to show off the mobile charging station, so charging had to be part of the race. I see a similar situation for the Model S: Actually charging up using Tesla's Superchargers must be part of the race itself, because swapping batteries is irrelevant for us who want to travel longer distances with our Model Ses.

If you think that charging is boring, you could as well go for a mere 100 mile distance and let the Model Ses race at top speeds without intermediate charging, but that's half-baked IMO.

Volker.Berlin | 28. desember 2011

Plus it would likely be booed off the track by the frothing gearheads in the stands. (Mycroft)

I'm afraid you may be making a valid point here, although I hate to admit it.

mwu | 28. desember 2011


The reason I suggested battery swapping is that while making charging a part of the race is interesting for us as buyers, it's not very interesting in a spectator sport. People are used to very quick pit action. If a car has to charge for 15 minutes in a pit, that makes it rather trivial to change tires and do other diagnostics / repairs which takes the spirit out of some of what the fans find interesting and entertaining.

Btw, while I am an American and I consider myself an auto enthusiast, I don't usually find motor sports very entertaining -- especially what most Americans call racing (Nascar & drag). I prefer Indy (not that I watch much of that either) and I find the concept behind 24h of Le Mans interesting.

jbunn | 28. desember 2011

A pit crew should be able to swap out the battery and change tires on an S in just a bit longer than a pit crew takes to fuel and change tires (15 seconds fairly typical) by making some small modifications to the battery mounting fastners.

That would be quite a site to see...

Discoducky | 28. desember 2011

IMHO, Charging is not a spectator sport, but a quick change of tires and battery swap would be super cool.

You could imagine an ICE and EV pull into the pits where the ICE is getting gas and the EV a new battery. One guy has to hold the big tank up and it takes X seconds for Y miles of range. While the EV has a guy bring in a battery jack and a guy by each wheel taking out one or two bolts, battery is free and rolled away, another comes in and is jacked into place, bolts are tightened and I expect the time is less than X and the range is greater than Y, especially year over year as battery tech improves and teams start winning races.

brianman | 28. desember 2011

Bonus points for finishing the race with less than, say, 5 battery packs... Staggering the off-car charging.

Volker.Berlin | 02. kan 2012

This one should have gone to the Model S:

Next year, possibly? Oh well, I know: Tesla doesn't have money to burn on advertising, and first of all, they don't need to. But I still like the idea!