Range-extending Generator kit

Range-extending Generator kit

There was a forum post that talked about putting a wind turbine in the frunk, to generate electricity while driving and extend range.
While that won't work due to physics, while we wait for the supercharge network to be built up would this be a possible solution?

A potentially removable small (gas-burning) generator kit that could fit nicely in either the frunk or the trunk that could boost range. It wouldn't have to be enough to actually drive off of, but it could add to the batteries while running.
Even something like 15 miles added per hour would add roughly 60 miles to your range if you drove non-stop for 210 miles at 70mph, which would be a significant amount.
It would be just enough to help overcome the city gaps that don't have superchargers.
It would also help with range anxiety. If you did run out of juice you wouldn't be stranded, just have to pull over for a bit.

The alternative is not making trips that exceed the range.
While obviously not a permanent addition to your car, would this be possible?

shop | 05. mars 2013

Ugh. If you are going to all that trouble, just buy a hybrid. The hybrid engine will be quieter, will store more gas and do it safely (generators aren't exactly drip free). Frankly, it's kinda fun planning long trips to figure the best way to recharge via electricity.

EVTripPlanner | 05. mars 2013

You could haul a generator any-which-way you want to feel protected, but the car won't let you drive while charging (and might not be capable of even doing that if the software would let you)

RedShift | 05. mars 2013

Aero wheels are supposed to add 10 miles of range.

Seems like generator is way too much to gain 15 hypothetical miles.

olanmills | 05. mars 2013

The ability to do this, as you mention, would require significant new electronics, not to mention a way to vent the exhaust. At that point, you might as well just build something like a Volt, in which case, the effort and/or cost would be better spent on having a bigger and better battery with a higher capacity. However, then I assume, even if there was a 500 mile battery, there would still be someone suggesting that you could add a generator to go farther.

All of this is besides the point. It's antithetical to Tesla's mission and value proposition. They are trying to convince consumers that a pure EV can meet their needs.

Tiebreaker | 05. mars 2013 range extender -- many threads

Vawlkus | 05. mars 2013

Besides, how much range would you LOOSE due to all the extra weight you're lugging around.

Go BEV or go Hybrid, make your choice.

Vawlkus | 05. mars 2013

#$%^ stuck key -.-

gasnomo | 05. mars 2013

agree that if you insert gas engine of any kind, just go buy a hybrid. What I asked both before i bought and after is why can't the two front wheel axels act as a 'turbine' of sorts to recharge the battery? I'm sure it has something to do with drag/efficiency and thus defeats the purpose, but I was just curious...

lph | 05. mars 2013

There are small yamaha or honda generators that you could keep in the car that could generate at 1.5 kW (about 3-4 mph). However as others have said these cannot be used while the car is running. The last time I.checked they only weigh about 50 lbs and they are about 1.5'x1.5'x1' in size.
This could add to peace of mind for those that are still have range anxiety.
Not somthing I would personally bother with.

Vawlkus | 06. mars 2013

Cf: have a look in the general forums, there's about a dozen threads where that's been discussed to death :)

You have the basics in your post there, between the extra drag the turbine would place on the drive motor & battery, plus the fact that no mechanical system can be 100% efficient, you basically are gonna put it more work to get less results.

Vawlkus | 06. mars 2013

"Put in"

Where's my damned edit button Tesla -.-

Brian H | 06. mars 2013

Unless towed, or carried on the roof, a generator isn't a source of drag. It's just a very ineffective DIY hybrid-ization. (Can only run when the car is stopped.) With severe exhaust risks.

Flaninacupboard | 06. mars 2013

Who says it can only run with the car stopped? DC can probably be fed directly into the battery (this is how the DIY plugin hybrid systems work, and the battery addon for the Leaf)

GoTeslaChicago | 06. mars 2013

Unless you're have terminal cancer and want to commit suicide from carbon monoxide poisoning, this is one of the least practical ideas I've ever heard of.

jchangyy | 06. mars 2013

how about a small generator that uses fuel cell. just water for exhaust--maybe you can have a water tap for drinking in your MS while driving?

Flaninacupboard | 06. mars 2013


Be easy to vent the exhaust out of the frunk wouldn't it? That's what the dinosaur cars do!

alexlchan | 06. mars 2013

I'm less concerned about generating on the go (otherwise, I'd go for a PHEV or something). I am more concerned about range loss overnight, especially in cold northeast temps. What about keeping a 1.5kw generator/battery pack to plug the car in to not lose range...

Ancillary question of course, what is the real world overnight loss of range experience of owners? The Tesla store in Westchester quoted me about 10miles...can anyone back that up?

Carefree | 06. mars 2013

I lose 12 miles in 24 hours with moderate temps. I am in AZ - we don't have freezing cold nights.

GoTeslaChicago | 06. mars 2013

Easy to vent out the frunk if you don't mind making a hole in your Model S somewhere.

Vawlkus | 06. mars 2013

Brian, re-read what CF posted. That's what I'm responding too :P

" cfriedberg | March 5, 2013

agree that if you insert gas engine of any kind, just go buy a hybrid. What I asked both before i bought and after is why can't the two front wheel axels act as a 'turbine' of sorts to recharge the battery? I'm sure it has something to do with drag/efficiency and thus defeats the purpose, but I was just curious..."

baddtz | 06. mars 2013

Vawlkus: Law of Conservation of Energy-> Energy cannot be created nor destroyed, only converted.

Vawlkus | 06. mars 2013

baddtz, I'm quoting another person's post.

peahl | 06. mars 2013

I am not thinking to use a generator to use during driving, but to take one with me on special occasions like long time parking at the airport if the battery is drained. A one hour charge with the generator would give maybe 3 miles to get to the next charging station. Has anybody tried to charge the Tesla Model S with a portable generator at all?

jeroens | 06. mars 2013

I lose 12 miles in 24 hours with moderate temps. I am in AZ - we don't have freezing cold nights.

When sleep is re-enabled you should be seeing 0.1-0.2% per hour loss in stead of 1-2%

peahl | 06. mars 2013

I will have that trip to Germany in April/May, if the sleep mode is re-enabled until then that would be great and no need for a generator.

baddtz | 06. mars 2013

sorry vawlkus.

Tiebreaker | 06. mars 2013

A beautiful brand new Model S. An exhaust pipe sticking through a hole in the frunk hood. A few jerry-cans with gasoline strapped on the roof, on top of the pano. The proud owner pulling on the starter rope. A put-put sound fills the air, the smell of semi-burned gasoline tickles the nostrils, as the proud owner wipes his greasy hands from his pants, with the unmistakable Tesla grin...


jeroens | 06. mars 2013

I meant 0.1-0.2% per DAY

ramonacosta | 06. mars 2013

I think a magnetic generator one of those were the magnets are trying constantly trying to find a "balanced field" would be a nice place in the frunk. In turn they will feed the batteries as they deplete their charge out .

Brian H | 06. mars 2013

sleep mode to be re-introduced by July, first deliveries. Same with wifi.

Superliner | 06. mars 2013

AeroVironment Did have a matching "range extender" gen set that could be towed behind the T-Zero. Not sure of the specifics or if any significant gains in range were achieved but you might check it out. Maked interesting reading. Just do an internet search for T-Zero.

Bubba2000 | 06. mars 2013

Around airports there are many private parking lots and garages. I feel that an arrangement could be made with the owner to keep the Model S plugged to the 110V that most of them have and is used for the cleaning equipment, etc. I would not want to leave a 100,000 car to cook in the heat/weather in some plain airport lot.

For long distance travel, where there are no SC, there are multiple options like MacDonald restaurants, RV sites that can charge 240V/50 Amps. Most motels will cut a deal. Got to bring a long cable.