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Are EREVs the biggest threat to Tesla?

Are EREVs the biggest threat to Tesla?

Elons goal is to electrify transport. Which is nice, but to get decent range you need to go large on the battery pack. Or stop regularly and longly for recharges.

Big batteries are expensive.

BMW took a different approach with the i3 and stuck in 22kWh and a 650 cc bike engine they had lying around their parts department. Not particularly economical, but it gives you peace of mind that no matter what charging station issues you get, plan b on journeys longer than 75 miles is that you can stop at a gas station and top up for another 50-75 miles range.

I think theres a possiblilty the EV experience could catch more people if say BMW and other competitors to Telsa started bringing out small 20-30kWh pack cars with 50hp generators, with only final electric drive to reduce all the mess of bits that GM had in the Volt.

It looks quite feasible BMW could bring out an i4/5 for about £40,000. (i3 is £33,000) plus options. stick in a slightly bigger motor, bit more battery, make it more sedan shaped than city, and you have a car the public won't feel anxious about buying. IF it also has say a 20litre fuel tank instad of the i3 9 litres.

As much as I like Telsas approach to go for the full EV, it puts it up the price, well above an smaller Pack plus ICE well until the 2030s.

Then again, I'm pretty sure Telsa recognise this, and that frunk space has been left empty for a reason. Just in case ;)

Could be interesting times up ahead.

[Edit] An EREV is an extended range electric vehicle. Final drive electric with an auxillary power source (usually ICE). Also known as series hybrid.

Brian H | 5 november 2014

Also keep in mind that the REX part of the i3 range is NOT REAL RANGE, but only limp-home-in-an-emergency range, not advised for daily or any kind of deliberate use.

Realo.de | 5 november 2014

@Anemometer,
I fully agree with all your first statements

Concerning your spread sheet:
"The problem with predictions is that they concern the future" - I think a (more or less simple) extrapolation is not appropriate here.
Just some additional remarks:

So, without any formal references (read Wikipedia):
- the energy density of Li-ion is about 210Wh/kg (chemical/physical limit)
- a standard Li-ion accu cell is: 2.600mAh, 3,7V and 45g leading to 9,62Wh/45g=213Wh/kg. This is already "well at the limits"
- I do not have the Tesla battery figures at hand (4.000lbs=1.300kg?), that would result in 85kWh/1.300kg=65Wh/kg (30% "effectiveness"), therefore there is this still substantial potential, but in packaging, not in chemistry. According to your figure, BMW has already reached 95Wh/kg, about 50% "effectiveness".
- however, there are problems like heat dissipation making any prediction rather difficult here. I can not really judge whether big or small batteries have more potential for improvement here

--- Tesla terminology
Tesla's terminology about "energy density" is, maybe, a bit misleading: the "better battery" of the S compared to the R is not because of a better Li-ion, but rather because of a better packaging/production. Moreover, what EM is not saying, the S is much bigger than the R. I could easily foresee a Van / Pick up with a 135kWh battery - no problem, but heavy. As long as we stay we Li-ion, however, 200Wh/kg is the limit
---
So, the potential of the GF is in cheaper production as well as maybe better packaging: batteries will become lighter and cheaper, but still may have the same form factor and performance.
So, "cost decline" is a factor, precisely, but the other one should rather be "weight reduction".
But, even just to reach BMWi3's performance, Tesla has to improve the "battery effectiveness" by 50%.
good luck…

Timo | 5 november 2014

1300 lbs, not kg. About 600kg. Tesla battery pack has much higher density than BMW, and it is liquid-cooled.

Panasonic already has well over 3Ah 3.6V 46g batteries, so that 210Wh/kg "limit" has been broken a while ago. AFAIK Telsa Model S is using 3.1Ah batteries. First generation Silicon anode batteries have over 4Ah capacities but they are a bit heavier, making a gravimetric energy density less than top graphite anode Li-Ion.

However the form factor is same, so 7000 * 4Ah * 3.5V = 98kWh with small weight increase (about 100kg more).

JeffreyR | 5 november 2014

@Red Sage
Thanks for the Fiat comparison. I had seen one of your earlier posts about depopulating the battery and weight savings, and went a little pie-in-the-sky optimistic. I wonder if a newer battery, more efficient motor(s) and weight savings will mean the Model ≡ will have a smaller battery than the Model S 60. I hope so, but your Fiat comparo gives me pause.

I totally agree about the 200-mile range limit. The only way they'll go lower is if battery swap takes off and you can "rent" a bigger battery for your trips. For me a golf cart worthy range is fine day-to-day, but I need 100 miles just to get to a decent restaurant and back. Not to mention going out West to shovel some sunshine. So I'd want to get a 270-mile (plus) pack when taking a trip. But that's a ways out if ever.

Realo.de | 5 november 2014

@Timo,
latest info I have:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery

says:
- it's 100-250 Wh/kg, depending on the anode material
- specific energy: 265Wh/kg
- energy density: 730 Wh/L

ok, 200Wh/kg is too low, but I would not bet on 300Wh/kg (according to other resources)
potential is in anodes

85kWh/600kg? that's 140Wh/kg, definitively excellent! On the other hand, it's already about 50% of what I expect. So, doubling the density seems difficult to reach.

Red Sage ca us | 5 november 2014

Realo: I think I see the problem. None of the listings in the Wiki article you linked give numbers for the type of battery cells that Tesla Motors/Panasonic use. It covers iron phophate, manganese oxide, nickel manganese oxide, and lithium air (oxygen) formulations of lithium-ion batteries. Tesla uses lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide battries, which perform better in all parameters. Please check the links to Panasonic's website that I have posted.

Dec 25, 2009 - Panasonic Develops High-Capacity Lithium-Ion Battery Cells That Can Power Laptops and Electric Vehicles

Anemometer | 5 november 2014

@Brian H: Also keep in mind that the REX part of the i3 range is NOT REAL RANGE, but only limp-home-in-an-emergency range, not advised for daily or any kind of deliberate use.

I've told you twice before, that isn't correct.

That's a misconception from internet forums in the USA where the REX has been knobbled to only come on the battery is down to 6% State of Charge (SOC). It means at freeway speed in very hilly sections you can get caught out as the REX can't keep up with the motor requirement and therefore limits speed to about 55mph. Not good if big rigs are overtaking you doing 65. Hence the misconception of "limp home". You can drive it on the flat up to 75mph when the battery is flat. BMW USA has agreed to change the point at when the REX kicks in if there are mountains nearby!!?? Blame CARB BEVx rules.

The car can actually work quite happy all day long as long as you stop for gas regularly. In Europe we get the option to fire up the REX early - anything below 75% SOC so we can preserve the battery either for trips into the mountains - where battery and REX work together, or for trips into city - where using the REX is best done outside the city limits if you know you won't be able to charge when you get there, and don't want to contribute to urban air pollution. I've seen a few quotes from people who've done long distance max speed runs and got decent range from the rex ... almost as if it the REX works more efficiently when at full load, despite the air resistance.

US i3 owners have already worked out how to renable the Maintain SOC option in the menu using a laptop and the onboard diagnostics port.

Put it this way - in a Pan-America coast to coast race between a 155mph P85D and a 93mph i3, I think the i3 would win. As long as it was allowed to stick 10x 20l gerry cans of gas in the trunk. The Tesla would have to stop every hour for 40 minutes, whilst the i3 would have to stop for 60 seconds every half hour.

Red Sage ca us | 5 november 2014

Anemometer: The primary argument in favor of a REX is that 'gas can be found everywhere'. Either you believe the lie, or you know the truth.

grega | 5 november 2014

Gasoline can't be found everywhere?

Realo.de | 5 november 2014

@RS,
many thanks for your post.
I did some more research and found
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-Ionen-Akkumulator
(German)
One diagram shows the big influence of anode-technology - you are completely right; however, I would call that this is a different battery "technology" - some of these technologies are special solutions and not yet in "mass production" state.

Herewith, I withdraw my argument about the 200Wh/kg "limit".

Realo.de | 6 november 2014

@RSm grega
I would not follow that line of argumentation… I fully agree with Anemometers post as follows:
1. the technical concept of the BMWi3 is as follows: on the one hand, you have a light-weight EV, agile, good acceleration, ideal for urban drives. On the other hand, you have a "light-weight" *add-on* with high energy density (gas weights almost nothing) for "special situations". In comparison with a 40kWh EV, a 20kWh electric + 20kWh-equivalent ICE is (maybe) both cheaper and lighter.
2. the REX is NOT intended for daily use. So, if you do drive 250km every day, the i3 is not the car of choice (too small, not comfortable enough for long drives etc.)
There are tow main scenarios for the REX, as A. pointed out, eliminating/facilitating typical EV problems:
a) cutting discharge peaks: when driving in hilly roads or when using heating/air-conditioning extensively, there is a strong discharge of batteries. The REX helps here by keeping the charge on 10% (or any other number). The main argument here is not to "exchange" the range, but to keep the range even in "bad conditions", where the range of a pure EV drops down dramatically. You are able to drive 150km "independent" of external conditions. (the same argument holds for overtaking and acceleration - tests show that the battery discharges dramatically when doing "full acceleration".
b) range extension: as the name says. However, following the i3 philosophy, that should be the exception, not the rule.

In opposite to plug-in hybrids, the REX is primarily for safety, not for performance.

Realo.de | 6 november 2014

@RS - searching for gas

We have to distinguish here the situation in different countries. In Germany, you find a gas station in a radius of 10km, so that's really "everywhere"

Red Sage ca us | 6 november 2014

Well, you can blame BMW's gas guzzling history for that dilemma. ;-)

Anemometer specifically challenged a coast-to-coast BMW i3 REX vs Tesla Model S race across the US... then asked for the caveat that the BMW be allowed to carry 10 containers of extra fuel.

I find that challenge disingenuous at best.

I also know full well that if left to only its internal fuel capacity, the BMW i3 may not make it out of California. There are plenty of places in this nation where a 150 mile range would leave you stranded for hours, and often without cellular service. The BMW would have to either be towed to a gas station, or a roadside assistance driver would have to be dispatched to bring them fuel in practice, or the driver would have to walk to a service station and hope to get a ride back to his car in the tow truck.

Which means a Tesla Model S would WIN the race from Redondo Beach Pier CA to Staten Island NY.

Realo.de | 6 november 2014

@RS,
don't take Aenometer's example too serious…

On the Autobahn, I'm always faster than any of the high performance super-bikes or Ferraris. They overtake me with 250-300km/h, but then have to refill or take a breath every half an hour…
A BMWi3 is not made for a coast-to-coast ride. But if you "have to do" it, just take jerry cans with 20l extra and you can make it :-). And, as Tesla did, use highways and don't take you way through the deserts :-)
But, of course and without any doubt, I would prefer to glide with the Tesla and wait at the SCs instead to jolt with the i3…

grega | 6 november 2014

Personally, I believe that if the question is whether TODAY'S EREVs are the biggest threat to Tesla, then the answer is a resounding "no".

Any argument I've made in support of EREVs being capable of threatening Tesla is only made based on a potential future EREV. I don't think they're far off removing some big but fixable flaws.

Timo | 6 november 2014

Lithium-ion is d*mn fuzzy concept. Lithium-polymer, solid-state lithium-ion, even lithium-air, all use lithium-ions to transfer charge between anode and cathode.

For example A123 batteries and Panasonic NCR18650b have only two common components: lithium, and graphite. With Panasonic silicon anode even that graphite goes away leaving only lithium. Everything else changes between the two. Still they are both called lithium ion batteries.

If someone can define to me what makes lithium-ion battery a lithium-ion battery I would appreciate that. It's something mechanical, not chemistry, right?

blue adept | 6 november 2014

@Anemometer

If you're interested in a hybrid, then why not go out and buy yourself one and save the rest of us from having to sit through your lamenting how much better, in your opinion, one is versus an actual BEV On A BEV FORUM, hmmm?

Realo.de | 7 november 2014

@jaa,
just for your information:

"In addition to its standard function as a marketplace, a forum was a gathering place of great social significance, and often the scene of diverse activities, including political discussions and debates, rendezvous, meetings, et cetera"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forum_%28Roman%29

so, please be a bit more tolerant…

bobpaule | 7 november 2014

Greatgrandma still used the oil lamp from time to time for another 20 years after the village was electrified.

The herd instinct in the human is such that things will be done the same way just because your daddy showed you.

Or in the case of hybrids, get the condom on but also come outside:)

Brian H | 8 november 2014

Realo;
Did you write that wiki entry? It obviously has the full approval of the Wiki-masters. Heh.

blue adept | 8 november 2014

@Realo.de

I just really loathe people who half-a$$ things and tend to lump advocates of such tactics into the same category.

That's what I think of this or that auto manufacturer when they choose to only partially commit to what is known to be a necessary innovation in the conventional commuting technology instead of applying their accumulated technological know-how to fully execute their own variation of a BEV, a full BEV.

I mean seriously, sh1t or get off of the potty already, you can save those air biscuits for your alone time with your doggies or when you're visiting your grammy or gramps home (ha-ha).

Sin_Gas | 9 november 2014

Brian H

What does "200+ mi M&8801" stand for?

Sin Gas

Grinnin'.VA | 9 november 2014

@ just an allusion | November 8, 2014 new

I just really loathe people who ...

Loathing is unhealthy both people involved.

Jacqueline.gerhart | 9 november 2014

@just an allusion: If you are not interested in making relevant comments on this topic, please go to another forum. No one is forcing you to read our posts.

Brian H | 9 november 2014

Sin;
As shown in the very next post, a typo for M≡ . Duh.

Realo.de | 9 november 2014

@jaa,
you have obviously not only some potential in patience but also in politeness…

JeffreyR | 10 november 2014

@Sin Gas

Check out my how-to thread, and you'll see where it comes from:

http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/how-easily-include-model-iii-symbol

</J>

— Written on Galveston Island, TX (while California dreaming) on an iPad.

Check out the Tips & Tricks for searching, posting pictures, and other useful tidbits

Sin_Gas | 11 november 2014

M≡

Hey, I did it.

Thanks

Sin_Gas

Tiebreaker | 11 november 2014

@Anemometer

Blame CARB BEVx rules.

Yes, for i3's existence. Without those rules and incentives, BMW would have never made an i*.

blue adept | 13 november 2014

@mastaace

Your opinion is purely subjective just as is mine.

However...

The real point of contention (which also lends credence to my position on the matter as opposed to the invalidity of that of your own) lies in the irony of you posting on an actual EV forum with the highly pretentious suggestion of something as absurd as jerry-rigging "50hp generators" in the "frunk space" of the Model S like some quasi-MacGyver B.S. would be a viable alternative to Tesla's present platform because you guys, apparently, can't seem to comprehend the simple fact that there is no need for Tesla Motors to even concern itself with trying to partake of some passing trend when they are the ones setting the standard.

Your getting all bent out of shape when someone calls you on it, as have I, only stands to further highlight just how wrong you know you are for committing such a foul of conversational etiquette.

blue adept | 13 november 2014

@Realo.de

Well, I do try, though sometimes a little friendly insistence is required for the more irksome instances of farcical foolishness.

DTsea | 13 november 2014

Anemometer... you mean stop every two hours for 20 minutes.

Anemometer | 13 november 2014

@JAIIf you're interested in a hybrid, then why not go out and buy yourself one and save the rest of us from having to sit through your lamenting how much better, in your opinion, one is versus an actual BEV On A BEV FORUM, hmmm?

Lose the attitude. I've ordered an i3 and intend to purchase a Telsa Model S in 2016 after developing some apartments. I'cw gone for the i3 first as it's half the cost of the Telsa but can do a 120 mile rpound trip commute which no other pure EV can do at the moment. Ok 50+ miles of that will most likely be done on the REX, but if I want to do it all electric, I'll have to shell out £20,000 extra, minimum to get a S60. However as I need the cash in my company to build the apartments I can get going on EV ownership right away. And get the P85D in a couple of years (hopefully with a face lift and 900hp) ;-)

I think if the suggestion of Telsa having a REX as a backup strategy irks you so much then you need to get out more. I included the Telsa vs i3 race as a bit of fun... hence the i3 has to carry 200 litres of fuel to make it win.

If you read the full thread you'll see I'm not on any one side or the other but discussing what may or may not happen in future. My main conclusion has been there's no risk to Telsa... all 500,000 units a year will sell, but probably other manufacturere will sell more REX based units collectively.

DTSea.. I said every hour assuming the P85D would be doing 155 mph. Thas going to drop the range somewhat.

I'm pretty sure you could work out a strategy that even if the i3 has 200 litres of fuel on board, and could feed it to the REX without stopping, if you allow the Telsa battery swaps at service centres to even things up, it would be able to take the scenic route via the grand canyon and stop for pictures.

blue adept | 13 november 2014

@Anenometer

As I said to mastaace:

The real point of contention (which also lends credence to my position on the matter as opposed to the invalidity of that of your own) lies in the irony of you posting on an actual EV forum with the highly pretentious suggestion of something as absurd as jerry-rigging "50hp generators" in the "frunk space" of the Model S like some quasi-MacGyver B.S. would be a viable alternative to Tesla's present platform because you guys, apparently, can't seem to comprehend the simple fact that there is no need for Tesla Motors to even concern itself with trying to partake of some passing trend when they are the ones setting the standard.

Your getting all bent out of shape when someone calls you on it, as have I, only stands to further highlight just how wrong you know you are for committing such a foul of conversational etiquette.

So check your privilege and carry your 80-160 mi. one way max trip, awkward, poorly executed attempt at BEV excellence over to the Bimmer fanboi forum.

Again, the absurdity of the mere suggestion (your suggestion) that Tesla Motors should take a step backwards after accomplishing such a leap forward in automotive technological advancement is just ludicrous.

p.s. It's JAA, not "JAI"

blue adept | 13 november 2014

And, FWIW, another reason why I take so much offense at your insinuation of BMW's i3 superiority vs any Tesla model is that after years of BMW history of hyping itself as being something of an innovative technological marvel in the automotive world all that it can manage is some hobbled together, Frankensteined, eventual also ran.

BMW should be ashamed for itself!

Realo.de | 14 november 2014

@jaa,

you should think about why some call you jai…
even by repetition, your attitude does no improve :-( but we are leavin in a free world…
second: no one said that a BMWi3 IS superior to other concepts - just the question was raised.
Therefore, instead of blaming the others as being stupid etc., please either bring up your arguments or, if this thread is below your niveau, why do YOU not simply leave it?

grega | 14 november 2014

Yes the thread title makes it clear what it's about, allowing those not wanting to discuss to steer clear. Let's hope more electric miles get driven every year, whether the cars are full electric or occasionally generator-extended.

But dropping the peaceful approach, I hope the world can quickly get beyond hybrids that have no power in all-electric mode, or can only go less than 30 miles before needing gas. (Bump that to 60 miles).

Red Sage ca us | 14 november 2014

Can I see the future? No. But I can certainly extrapolate from what I have observed. People who drive hybrids love that they don't have to purchase as much gasoline anymore. People who drive plugin hybrids want more pure battery electric range.

What is likely to happen if they get more pure electric range? Well, if it is increased, from 20, 30, or 40 miles, to 40, 60, or 80 miles... Some will be satisfied, because they'll be able to drive electric for 95%-98% of their daily needs.

Oh, but the majority of them will ask for even more. If they were to get it, a car that allows 80, 120, or 160 miles of electric drive, they will certainly enjoy it tremendously. But a nagging question will come upon them, each time they have to stop for gasoline, or absentmindedly realize the generator they had all but forgotten about fires up automatically...

"Why can't I just drive electric... ALL the time?"

Traditional automobile manufacturers are fully aware of this progression. That's why they don't do it. Because it would require they work more quickly to change their entire business model. And they don't want to do that. At all.

It is because EV enthusiasts are also aware of how this transition transpires, that we are so frustrated by the current 'gimped' hybrids and 'extended range' electric vehicles. They represent the idea of having your horseless carriage trailed by a team of horses with tackle, just in case... Or having a pit crew following your Ferrari F-40, just in case...

Tesla Motors has shown those types of preparatory devices are not needed for electric cars that are designed properly from the ourset. They will only get better from here. We all know how the story is going to end. So why not just jump to the final chapter, and get it over with?

ncyg4

blue adept | 14 november 2014

@Realo.de

Anemometer open this thread saying berating Tesla Motors because...

Elons goal is to electrify transport. Which is nice, but to get decent range you need to go large on the battery pack. Or stop regularly and longly for recharges.

But...

Big batteries are expensive.

And that the only way to have...

peace of mind

...would be by including, of all things, a gas-powered generator:

I think theres a possiblilty the EV experience could catch more people if say BMW and other competitors to Telsa started bringing out small 20-30kWh pack cars with 50hp generators, with only final electric drive to reduce all the mess of bits that GM had in the Volt.

And even insinuated that Elon must've had something along those lines in mind and that that was the reason for the "frunk":

Then again, I'm pretty sure Telsa recognise this, and that frunk space has been left empty for a reason. Just in case ;)

Correct me if I am wrong, but if it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, then it must be a...

Mustn't it?!

blue adept | 14 november 2014

@grega

I'm open to discussing most any aspect of the electrified transportation movement, but the suggestion of including some piece of antiquated technology in what is the most technologically advanced commuter vehicle on this planet is simply preposterous to say the least.

Even mention of incorporating an ICE-based generator is as blasphemous as it is ludicrous! That's like suggesting that we should cut the floorboards out of the S550 Mercedes luxury sedan so we could Flintstone-it to increase the mileage/as a range extender!

It. Ain't. Gonna. Happen!

Sure, it's possible that I could have been a bit more diplomatic with my comments, but if you're going to post up a bunch of B.S., you had best expect to get called on it.

But then, diplomacy isn't one of my strong suits as I've always loathed, abhorred and detested politics anyway, lol.

Realo.de | 15 november 2014

@jaa,

it does not have to be a duck, it may be Photoshop :-)

blue adept | 20 november 2014

Lol! Oh it's a duck alright...

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