Elon Musk: Tesla Motors Could Do 500-Mile Electric Car “Quite Soon”

2 months ago by Eric Loveday 98

Tesla

Tesla

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Could does not equal will, but at least Tesla CEO Elon Musk is admitting that a 500-mile electric vehicle is possible and “quite soon” too.

In an interview with Auto Express (full interview here), Tesla CEO Elon Musk was asked the following question:

How far will a battery-powered car be able to go?

The response by Musk is as follows:

“It will be possible to have a 500-mile range car. In fact we could do it quite soon, but it would increase the price. Over time you could expect to have that kind of range.”

Would there be sufficient demand for an expensive 500-mile electric?  Hmm…

Musk was asked on more question that we’ll highlight here:

What about a hybrid Tesla?

“We’ll always be pure electric. We’re going to keep improving battery technology and even with Model 3 we’ll expect a range of over 200 miles with a price of around $35,000.”

Follow the link below for the full interview with Elon Musk.

Source: Auto Express

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110 responses to "Elon Musk: Tesla Motors Could Do 500-Mile Electric Car “Quite Soon”"

  1. Mark B. Spiegel says:

    Sure– it would weigh 5800 pounds (and cost an extra $20,000).

    1. Alonso Perez says:

      Musk is probably thinking in terms of the next gen battery they’ve discussed. The one with roughly 10% larger diameter and height, as well as higher energy density.

      But let’s think about this. An EPA 500 mile car would have to have a 160 kWh battery. Even with a supercharger, it would take quite a while to charge. Do you make fewer, longer stops after longer drives?

      I think the returns start to diminish quite quickly past 300 miles of EPA range. I could see a 100 or even a 120 kWh battery, but 160 seems like total overkill. It’s optimal for people who want to drive six or seven hours non-stop at high speed. That’s a tiny group.

      1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        But let’s think about this. An EPA 500 mile car would have to have a 160 kWh battery. Even with a supercharger, it would take quite a while to charge. Do you make fewer, longer stops after longer drives?

        It could also handle 600kW of motors quite handily, and charge at 250kW.

        I kinda think that that needs to be the legendary tier Tesla.

      2. sven says:

        “An EPA 500 mile car would have to have a 160 kWh battery. Even with a supercharger, it would take quite a while to charge.”

        If Tesla split the 160 kWh battery into two seperate 80 kWh battery packs, each with its own charger to plug into, the 160 kWh Tesla plugged into two Superchargers simultaneously would charge just as fast as an 80 kWh Tesla plugged into one Supercharger.

        1. Keenan says:

          thats not how superchargers work, plugging in two ports would split the current and would charge at the same rate. also, who would want a single car using two charging stalls?!? silly.

          1. Brian says:

            Then you just have to pick two stalls that aren’t sharing from the same stack of chargers. The superchargers are installed in pairs. If you have a four-stall station, they will be paired like 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B where 1A/1B and 2A/2B share. Just plug your car into 1B and 2A, and you’re good to go!

            (and no, I don’t think Tesla would build a car like this. They would simply bump the power on the superchargers to 250kW)

            1. sven says:

              I don’t know how easy it is for Tesla to bump the power to 250 kWh, and how unwieldy the cable would be with the thicker gauge copper wire and thicker insulation to safely dispense that power.

              FWIW, I also don’t think Tesla would build a car like this. I was just proposing a way to quickly charge a larger battery (split into two packs) at the current 125 kWh rate of Superchargers. Obviously, Tesla would have to redesign it’s Supercharger pedestals to accommodate dual plug charging.

              1. JakeY says:

                250kW is totally doable by cable without being excessively unwieldy. That’s the power of the Aerovironment charger for the Phoenix Motorcars SUT.

                However, that’s about the limit. The 500kW bus chargers use a robotic rail based connector. On the buses the connection is overhead, but on cars it would have to be under.

                1. Priusmaniac says:

                  If cable diameter is tight, there is still a special trick that can do the job to increase current by 8% while keeping the same section, which is switching from copper to silver for the last 2 meters of cable.
                  OK, I hear the comments already, silver is very expensive, all right, but it is not that expensive for a supercharger especially if limited to the last 2 meters.

                2. Priusmaniac says:

                  Another possibility is active cooling of the cable itself. A flow of coolant in the cable would allow an overcharge of the copper. However the coolant would take in some space by itself so you could still end up with a larger diameter. Actually it would be an interesting wild study to let a tester play with this. A 2 meter supercharger cable with Silver actively cooled just to see how far we can go on a pure amperage basis and all while keeping the present section.
                  The 8 % trick would increase the 135 KW to 145 KW but with active cooling in more it could reach 200 KW. I wonder how sophisticated a cable could be made to increase the amps. Perhaps a refrigeration gas could be evaporated inside silver conductors to keep them cool despite high amps. The silver should be placed in such way as to create a channel inside where the coolant gas can flow and evaporate. R134a for instance.
                  Since power is given by P=R I², if I goes proportionally, bar voltage, from 145 to 200, the power released will be 1.9 times higher than normally acceptable. So the coolant system need to evacuate the equivalent of what the cable does by itself through exterior surface evacuation. Actually that’s not quiet much. At most 300 Watts.
                  Since cooland systems can evacuate at least 30000 watts it would be conceivable to have a factor 100 instead of 1.9. That would bring us in the region of 1450 KW. That is interesting because this is right in the Hypercharge MW level that is so interesting to allow a five minutes charge.

            2. Bill Howland says:

              Yeah and think of the aftermarket for “Supercharger Extension cords” if you don’t happen to be in exactly right parking spot.

          2. scott franco says:

            As I have said before, go outside and look up at the power lines. The voltage on the top wires starts at 13,000 volts and goes up from there. Industrial shops and large buildings traditionally have their conversion transformers on premises. There is no real limit in sight for how much current a future supercharger could deliver.

            1. Priusmaniac says:

              Yes for sure if you place all the Model S 18650 cells in series you end up above 25000 volts instead of 400 volts, so in theory you could charge at 25000 V and reduce the sections by a factor 63, or obviously increase the power from 135 KW to 8505 KW. This being overshoot by a factor four to what is desirable for a five minute charge, you end up with a requirement of about 6000 volts instead of 25000 volts. So you would need to have the Model S batteries in 4 quarter series arrangements.

      3. krona2k says:

        ~400kw might end up being the Tesla standard for supercharging. With batteries from the gigafactories they will be able to add storage for to the busier supercharger stations so that they can build up charge during quiet times to overcome the problem of limited power availability at some sites.

      4. Priusmaniac says:

        I would rather say “the returns start to diminish quite quickly past 400 miles of EPA range”, not 300 miles.

    2. anotherleftcoaster says:

      Next gen technologies are coming that will dramatically increase the energy density of batteries. This means greater range in the same envelope with little or no weight penalty.

  2. offib says:

    But why? 350 real world miles at most would be perfect, but what’s the use of asking for more? The Model S’ 265 mile range has proven to be more than enough in everyone’s opinion.

    The only reasons I could find to justify an EV range of 500 miles would be to stand out (if you’re a very small company with a very limited production vehicle) or to compete with manufacturers with FCEVs and rub their noses in it by removing their main selling points.

    Is the latter really worth it? Especially if this were to be done by next year with current technology, the weight increase would be too much of a burden rather than something to use as an advantage.

    1. See Through says:

      This is just another PR balloon. Like the PR balloon of ‘opening up’ their useless patent portfolio.

      1. krona2k says:

        So bitter! Why not be enthusiastic about what they’re doing? You don’t have to be a fanboi to appreciate Tesla.

        1. Mint says:

          You don’t have to be bitter to see that it was a PR move.

          Tesla’s could have just as easily let people get cheap licenses while still controlling the patent. The reason they did this it this way is most definitely for their image, taking advantage of public distaste for patent wars.

          Tesla’s “fair pricing” strategy has a similar goal. They could charge more in certain regions, but are instead banking on the fact that lost revenue there is more than made up for through increased sales from a better image.

          1. krona2k says:

            So bitter! Why not be enthusiastic about what they’re doing? You don’t have to be a fanboi to appreciate Tesla.

      2. krona2k says:

        Don’t you drive a LEAF but hate Tesla? Probably just doing it for trollfun?

    2. Alan says:

      This could be a publicity move, but to make a point: it’s pretty rare that I would drive over 500 miles in a day. Therefore, you sleep while charging.

    3. Priusmaniac says:

      The weight would not increase because the size would remain the same; it is the chemistry and physics of the 18650 cells that would be different. Two third more energetic 18650 cells could be used but their price could at present be ten times more than the standard 18650 cells. So if the Model S battery is one third the price of the car, with those new cells at their present price you would end up with a model S selling for 300000 $ instead of 75000 $. Not really what one would typically want to pay in extra to go from 300 miles to 500 miles. But over times the price of those new cells will fall to a similar level as the present ones. So no mass increase but just better sells that exist but from which the price still has to fall to similar levels as the present ones.

  3. Lou Grinzo says:

    But… but… but…

    [puts fingers in ears, runs out of room yelling, "Hydrogen! Fuel cells! I can't hear you!!! La-la-la-la-la-la!!!"]

    ————————-

    On a slightly more rational footing, this kind of talk really does expose just how absurd the hydrogen boondoggle is. All it will take is another three to five years of the current rate of improvement in batteries before even Toyota, Honda, and all the other compliance credit junkies give up on hydrogen.

    Prediction: 20 years from now we’ll be looking back on hydrogen cars and laughing at the very idea of building an entirely new and hideously expensive infrastructure to dispense fuel several times more expensive per mile than electricity. We’ll also be wondering why, even with the compliance credit idiocy, it took us so long give it up.

    1. See Through says:

      Hydrogen infra is not as expensive as super charger network. One station can fill up 10 cars for 300 miles each while super charger chargers up one car for 160-170 miles.

      Tesla has already spent over $50M in these super chargers, to power up – what – like 40K cars?

      1. krona2k says:

        Did you type that with a straight face?

      2. peet365 says:

        90% of charging with EV is at home – you need only 10% of capacity as with hydrogen and gas. Supercharger is 5-10 X cheaper than hydrogen station. So hydrogen infrastructure will cost you 50-100 X more than Supercharger. Do you need any other argument?

        1. See Through says:

          peet,
          Please read my comment before starting to reply.

          1. George says:

            It’s a related point that home charging eliminates 90% of the need to drive to local charging stations, which means you don’t need as extensive a network as you otherwise might have. For longer trips, with hydrogen, there are practical limits to how a car gets “re-fueled” that are far more restrictive than electricity. You’re still thinking of the old-school model of having dedicated “gas stations” that you drive to every time you need fuel.

            With electricity, so much more is possible. It’s already everywhere, so anywhere where cars park today can potentially become a “filling station”. Malls, restaurants, outlet stores, scenic parks, etc. are all potential “refueling” stations with the addition of relatively cheap and compact electric charging stations, something hydrogen can never hope to match. So the idea of needing a single station to cover 10 cars wouldn’t be necessary if the cars can stop and recharge in so many other places along the route.

            And, in the future, there are even more possibilities. Wireless electricity and road-based induction charging (aka Solar Roadways) makes it theoretically possible to re-fuel a electric car while it’s moving (try that with hydrogen). Even if some of these technologies are still years away, powering cars primarily via electricity gives us far more future potential than the old-school “gas station” model ever could.

  4. Uromd says:

    500 miles is probably not needed but 400 mile range would be a big benefit over 265 mile range, especially when you consider lower ranges with higher speeds, headwinds, driving uphill, and heater or air conditioner use. Also, with battery degradation, 265 miles will be 10-15 miles less. Adding more batteries will impact weight too much. Energy density of the batteries are key.

    1. sven says:

      With a 400 or 500 mile battery, Tesla could eliminate the slow 80% to 100% charge at it’s Superchargers when they’re crowded, since almost no one would need a full charge.

  5. IDK says:

    Musk is still sticking with the over 200 mile range and about $35,000 for the Tesla Model 3….and it’s from July of 2014.

    1. Bonaire says:

      Musk hasn’t said $35k for a long time. simon sproule from their communications department says it will sell for about $40k. We won’t see a $35k tesla until Model S off leases come to the market in two years and you can buy a used one for $35k.

      1. TomArt says:

        If the used price comes down that far…

  6. David Murray says:

    I would honestly prefer a setup more like BMW i3 Rex.. I fee like such huge batteries are just a waste since most people will rarely use any extra capacity beyond 100 miles or so.

    1. Aaron says:

      I think that’s what Tesla’s lithium-air battery range extender is all about.

    2. sven says:

      Personally, I’d love to be able to take a ski trip without without having to charge on the road. A one-day ski trip (NYC to Hunter Mtn in the Catskill Mountains of upstate NY) is about 300 miles round trip. A multi-day ski trip (NYC to Killington Ski Area in Vermont) is about 250 mile each way, which would require a charge at the hotel/condo for the return trip back home.

      I want to get to the ski area and back home as quickly as possible, since I would be skiing/snowboarding for a full day on the days I arrive and depart. I would only stop for five minutes to grab a cup of coffee at a rest-stop/sevice-area and to stretch my legs.

      An affordable 500-mile BEV can’t come soon enough.

      1. Brian says:

        LOL

        I used to consider Hunter Mountain “upstate” too.

      2. SparkEVDriver says:

        Wouldn’t a level 2 charging station at the resort, where your car is going to sit doing nothing all day while you ski, be a much cheaper solution? I’ll bet you could donate a few charging stations to your favorite ski resorts and get them to install them for far less than the extra cost of a huge battery.

        Hauling around a 500 mile battery seems pointless for the few times it would actually be utilized.

        1. sven says:

          I guess you didn’t read the last sentence of my comment: “An AFFORDABLE 500-mile BEV can’t come soon enough.”

          I take a ski trip just about every week during ski season (late fall, winter, and spring). That works out to over 20 ski trips a year. That’s more than “a few times” in my opinion.

          I also can’t risk arriving at the mountain and finding all the L2 chargers taken by other EVs for the entire day? What am I supposed to do then? Wait till 5 PM for the other skiers with EVs to leave and then charge at L2 speeds? I wouldn’t get home til 1 AM the next morning.

          I also refuse to donate a bunch of L2 chargers to a very profitable multi-million dollar corporation that runs a ski resort, even if I would be guaranteed an L2 charger every time I went skiing/snowboarding. Besides, I also take one-day ski/snowboard trips to nearby Wyndham Mountain and other ski resorts a similar distance from where I live. What am I supposed to do, buy multiple EV chargers for every ski resort that I might want to visit?

          1. It will not be too hard to create a system of reservations for chargers. I have talked to companies working on that now for exactly the use case you are describing (e.g. Greenlots).

            1. sven says:

              A reservation system would greatly help, but I’d have to rent or own an ICE or PHEV for those busy weekends/holidays if all the chargers are already reserved.

          2. SparkEVDriver says:

            There are solutions available, sometimes a little compromise opens a world of possibilities.

            Donating a little to get what you want, vs paying a lot for the same end result? It is up to each individual to make their own choices.

            1. sven says:

              And how many L2 EV chargers have you chosen to donate to multimillion-dollar corporations?

          3. See Through says:

            Sven,
            Simple. Carry a big generator and a 5 gallon tank of gas. When you are parked at ski resort, start the generator, connect it to the charging port and go skiing. When you are back at 5 p.m, your car should be fully charged.!

            1. sven says:

              I’d worry that when I got back I would find the generator gone and my BEV on cinder blocks. This is after all the closest major ski area to NYC! ;)

        2. Brian says:

          Wyndham Mountain already has L2 chargers! It is a 10 miles from Hunter (as the crow flies), and a much better mountain to ski!

          1. sven says:

            What, you don’t like the frozen sheet of ice that is Hunter Mountain on a weekend after a gazillon skiers/snowboarders have pushed all the snow off the trail by 10 AM? The weekend crowds make you feel like you’re at Times Square on New Year’s Eve. ;)

            I definitely prefer Wyndham on a weekend, but prefer Hunter on a non-holiday weekday.

            1. Brian says:

              Full disclosure – I banged up my knee pretty badly at Hunter about 15 years ago. After 6 months of physical therapy, it still hurts regularly. So no, I don’t like skiing on a sheet of ice, particularly one with jumps that punk kids built in the middle of the trail that one cannot distinguish from the rest of the glare of ice… But I’m not bitter or anything ;)

              1. sven says:

                I’m sorry to hear about you injury. I’ve often seen them build a jump mid-mountain next to the picnic table under the main lift.

                I’ve had too many close calls at Hunter with first-time skiers who get off the bus and think it’s a good idea to go down the double black diamonds trails on the West Side on their 135cm rental skies and no ability to stop.

          2. Bonaire says:

            Two chargers are ok today. What about in three years when another 300,000 plug in vehicles are sold in the US. Far too few L2 out there and they need to triple in three years or we will be fighting to get a plug while out there in the wild. This makes Volts so much smarter than BEVs for travel.

  7. Taser54 says:

    So could every major car manufacturer. The reality is that there isn’t a market for it. Not even for luxury cars.

    1. EV says:

      thats why every car company has a killer EV out right now? ROFL

      no car company can make a good electric car except Tesla

      1. Murrysville EV says:

        “no car company can make a good electric car besides Tesla”

        Which is why Nissan has sold 110k Leafs worldwide.

  8. ultraturtle says:

    “An EPA 500 mile car would have to have a 160 kWh battery.”

    Not possible, assuming the same sort of mostly aluminum construction that Tesla currently employs.

    Range does not scale linearly. Each incremental increase in mass and volume to accomodate extra capacity requires additional structure which decreases efficiency beyond the decrease imposed by the battery weight and volume itself. Even assuming a 10% reduction in both mass specific and volume specific energy density for batteries usede in such a vehicle, it would still likely require over 200 kWh to reach 500 miles of EPA range.

    Efficiency would place such a vehicle far behind Tesla’s current bottom quarter rating (Of the 20 EPA rated 2014 EVs, there are only 4 less efficient than the two versions of the Model S) to the the very back of the pack.

    The bright side is that it would make the Model S look very efficient by comparison.

    1. Priusmaniac says:

      It is cell efficiency not weight that increase, so the battery mass would be the same.

  9. Ocean Railroader says:

    This is very good that this happening in that it will get rid of the myth that EV’s need to be recharged every ten minutes. I really wish Tesla sold a upgrade pack that you could put into a Nissan leaf or Mitsubishi i-miev.

    I think what’s going on here is Tesla might be getting new battery cells that are 10% to 25% more energy dense then the older ones. This would make sense in that it’s been at least four to five years Tesla has been using the same level of energy density battery. Also a 500 battery pack using existing cells would be two heavy. So most likely they are going to use a new type of battery.

    1. Brian says:

      “I really wish Tesla sold a upgrade pack that you could put into a Nissan leaf or Mitsubishi i-miev”

      Boy, wouldn’t that be something! And the market would be huge for these!

  10. ClarksonCote says:

    A reasonably priced (sub $30k) 500 mile EV would be reason for me to shed gas altogether, if 500 summer miles means >375 mile winter miles.

    (My 375 mile trips I take on occasion do not go near any Supercharger locations).

    1. Brian says:

      True. It would finally allow those who aren’t willing to compromise on their route or travel time the ability to go completely electric.

      But there is no way that it would cost less than $30k anytime in the near future.

    2. TomArt says:

      To my knowledge, Teslas do not have that much of a discrepancy in seasonal range…that’s what the heating/cooling system is for…

  11. Mr. M says:

    Thats not hard, the roadster is getting 400 mile battery. Just 100 more to go….

    1. Priusmaniac says:

      There should be a Model S limo; with the extra length, there could be extra battery. Since extra length increase weight slowlier than the extra energy from a longer battery, the range should increase even with present cells.

  12. Mr. M says:

    150 kWh or above usable would be wonderfull for german autobahn :) This would mean a range of 500km at a speed around 150 kph! Go Tesla Go. This is around what a typical ICE car gets you. And supercharger loading at 1000km/hour or more should be also possible with such a big battery… Nice.

  13. Francis L says:

    If Tesla was offering the Model III with different battery size, I would probably not take a 500 miles battery. It would depend of the price, but I don’t see much value. 200 seems a minimum to me. Around 300-350 seems to be a sweet point of range/price.

    Does everybody buy the 64gb iPhone? Some find it useful, others find it overkill for the price.

  14. HVACman says:

    This continuing to up the ante for EV range is getting insane.

    A 500-mile range EV would be the EV equivalent to the 1-ton dual-rear 4WD extended cab/extended bed pickup that gets 12 mpg and used 95% for commuting. Paying twice the vehicle price and killing your efficiency for a very occasional need is not smart and against the entire grain of the economic, environmental and energy-efficiency reasons for going EV at all.

    1. TomArt says:

      Agreed – particularly with current tech.

    2. Priusmaniac says:

      On a positive tone it could also be that we have higher energy 18650 cells that also weight less, in which case the range would increase because of the extra energy but also because of the lower weight. That is the win win situation that is desired.

  15. M says:

    he implies a lithium sulfur?

  16. Everyone who thinks this is not possible is forgetting that battery energy density will double at some point in the next few years as Lithium Sulfur and Lithium Air batteries become available. For the same size and weight battery as the Model S has now, you will be able to travel 500 miles on the freeway.

    No one has mentioned yet that this will also alleviate congestion at supercharger stations. You’ll be able to take a long trip and charge overnight at your destination. No waiting for refueling, possibly ever.

    It’s simply a matter of energy density and price.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Random question:

      Do you think Supercharger congestion/usage is because people really need them? Or that the Model S is still limited by its range? Or are they busy because its ‘free’ as owners have already paid for the service, and are basically recouping $8-$12 on average every time they stop?

      I would suggest if Tesla hadn’t baked in the cost of the units and power, and instead slapped a $10 per use fee on the EVSEs, you would find them utilized only a fraction of what they are today.

      1. That’s an excellent question Jay. It depends on where the supercharger is located. I haven’t talked to anyone at Corning, Harris Ranch or Tejon Ranch who was there for the free fuel. They are on the road and delighted that the car/network gives them virtually unlimited range.

        At Feemont and Hawthorn I have been astonished to hear people say that they drove 30 min or more out of their way, plus half hour refuel time, to get $6.40 worth of electricity.

        They have pre-paid for it, so they are entitled to it. But it’s still a little unnerving to hear from someone whose billing rate is $250-600 hr.

        I don’t think that is the majority, but it’s a pretty significant percentage at in-town or near-town Superchargers (Gilroy).

        The only way to avoid a “tragedy of the commons” long term is to limit use by price or some other policy, at least for in-town locations.

        When I said congestion, I should have said “future congestion”. Not a problem today, but the handwriting is on the wall. Tesla has been incredibly good about adding more SC stalls to busy locations.

        1. Jay Cole says:

          I’m always amazed people don’t put a value on their time.

          Even if you are working at the local WalMart, driving out of your way and spending time at a Supercharging station (~hour all in?) is not a net positive…let alone when you are talking about persons earning many, many times that amount. Now if the reason for going to the station is for ‘entertainment’, to show-off and/or pester other Model S owners for fun, then by all means go for it. I’d put a value on an ‘entertainment hour’ much higher than a work compensation hour.

          I actually just had a debate with my wife the other day about this topic.

          I was waiting at a little café for her and spent like $6-7 bucks on a drink and a little appetizer…anywhoo she showed up a little earlier than expected and the food just arrived as she came in. I didn’t really want to hang out there, the place was busy and I only had a $20 so I left it and we took off.

          She felt I should have waited for the change and left a more appropriate amount (which likely would have taken like 10-15 minutes – also why I never use Interac/debit at restaurants – just cash). I started to explain ‘the math’ but quickly stopped once I realized I was burying myself with it, lol.

          1. See Through says:

            And do not forget, when someone drives their $100K Model S 30 mins (say 15 miles) out of their way, the extra to-and-fro distance of 30 miles depreciates the car by $30!

            1. Jay Cole says:

              Well, a car is never a good investment. I’d put most car purchases (especially one at 100K) mostly under the ‘entertainment expense’ side of the ledger, lol

          2. sven says:

            I’m puzzled as to why more people don’t think battery swapping for $60 to $70 is a great feature on a long road trip since it would save you so much time. Battery swapping would save you two long waits charging at a Supercharger since you get a 100% charged battery pack when you first swap, then you a get your own backpack 100% charged on the return leg of your trip.

            1. See Through says:

              The problem with battery swap is its feasibility.
              - How many of these expensive (and supposedly scarce) batteries will need to be kept at that site? Certainly, it needs to be enough to cover the heave-use days, like the long weekends.
              - Can it be done in a non-industrial environment?
              - How will those spare batteries be charged quickly?
              - Will it work with the underbody shield?
              - How to distinguish between old and new batteries? Owners with 100K old battery can come and swap in a new battery for almost no cost to them. That wouldn’t be nice, would it?

              1. Ambulator says:

                As to your last point, the proposal was for you to pay an upgrade fee based on how old your battery was. You would get that back when you swapped your battery back in on the way back.

                I think it is a bit of a mess, and I’m not surprised there is still no battery swap option offered anywhere.

        2. Mike I says:

          I think the “locals” problem will be self regulating. Locals don’t want to wait in line to charge, so they will figure out times that it is not crowded. However, it may take a while and they will aggravate the travelers who are just passing through.

      2. Brian says:

        Jay,

        I know the supercharging model for the S (and presumably X) is prepaid – you pay $2k, and get unlimited access for life.

        Have we heard anything about their plan for the Model III? It is probably too early to talk about, but it seems logical to me that their more affordable / mainstream model might have to pay a nominal access fee. With 100s of 1000s of these cars hitting the road every year, it’s hard to imagine that the Superchargers will NOT get congested.

        1. Jay Cole says:

          AFAIK, Supercharger access will be an option on the car (not standard in anyway). I can’t point to any particular link to that off the top of my head though…so grain of salt and all that.

          Currently its $2,000 at time of order on the 60 kWh Model S, and $2,500 after the fact. One assumes pricing would have to stay consistent…that being said it could come down/go up in the future.

          1. MTN Ranger says:

            For the Model III I would rather have a per use supercharger fee.

            1. Brian says:

              I’m with you, and I will be in line for the Model III myself! I would rather have reliability and dependability over free if I am going to count on the network for long-range travel.

        2. Josh says:

          I have heard quotes from Musk that he wants SuperChargers to always be free to access. Stating it would need to be a requirement for any potential partner. He has made it clear that it will always be that way for Model S, but nothing as firm has been stated for future cars.

          Originally I expected there to be a small charge for every vehicle after Model S, but it is seeming more like that will not be the case. They have also never designed in any form of payment system.

          I don’t have a Model S myself, but from using public charging with the LEAF, the fob/access/payment system is really annoying. Especially when it doesn’t work. The simple plug in and it starts charging is really the best experience. I was really hoping they would build the payment into the EVSE communications protocol, but it seems like that is never going to happen.

          1. Very good points. Tesla could pretty easily automate billing through the g3 network. They know where you are, and whether or not you’re charging at that supercharger station or just visiting.

      3. Bill Howland says:

        Yes Jay, that’s true. Since there are going to be few to no superchargers within the range of any model S that I’d purchase, If I do purchase an “S” it will be the 60 kwh model WITHOUT the SC option. I would never recoup even a small fraction of the added expense. For other people who have SC’s on their vacation roadmap, the economics might be different.

        I haven’t done the business plan obviously, but my hunch is that the SC’s are operated at a LOSS currently just to help sell cars to wealthy prospective EV buyers (I’m counting as revenue the $2000 SC adder).

  17. scott franco says:

    Asking Elon if they are considering a hybrid is a supremely stupid question that should be grounds for ejecting you from press conferences.

    1. See Through says:

      Yes. Any practical or useful question should be banned in Tesla press conferences. The journalists should only ask the questions Elon and Tesla team has handed down to them.

      1. kubel says:

        Everyone knows Tesla’s position is that they have no interest in departing from pure BEVs.

        Consider a member of the press asking the Pope whether or not Catholicism will embrace the pillars of Islam. It’s a silly question to ask and it suggests the person giving the interview has absolutely no clue about the person they are interviewing (or it means they are about ready to drop a bombshell).

        1. See Through says:

          Your example doesn’t quite make sense. The question was very valid. All major automakers are making PHEVs, and PHEVs are very close to BEVs. Tesla doesn’t need to be anti-gas. Other automakers aren’t anti BEV either.
          A 100/200 mile EV with gas engine as range extender makes lot more sense than a 500 mile EV, considering Tesla claims battery supply is their bottleneck in not selling millions of Model S right now.

          1. TomArt says:

            But everybody knows that Tesla is anti-gas period. They have never waivered from that position since their “secret master plan” was “leaked” in 2006.

            That’s the point – the reporter didn’t do their homework. The answer is always going to be “no”, for at least as long as Musk is at the helm.

  18. scott franco says:

    I think one thing you have to consider here is that Elon, and I love the guy really truly, has a tendency to run off at the mouth.

    Remember hyperloop?

    I’m betting that more that a few of the execs at Tesla wish he were more reserved.

    1. EV says:

      What about the hyperloop? He didn’t say he was going to make it, he proposed his idea and released it to the public.

      He said he doesn’t have time but when he does he make it happen.

      Anything Elon says happens.

      1. sven says:

        “Anything Elon says happens.”

        Truer words have never been spoken.

        /s

  19. ffbj says:

    The press should be given a faq sheet about Tesla. In other words, please don’t ask these questions, or look at your sheet and read the answer. These FAQ should include a subset of SAQ’s Stupidly Asked Questions, such as does Tesla plan a hybrid vehicle? The answer would be NO! With citations of how many times this question has been asked and answered previously.

  20. Smeghead says:

    I wonder if this has something to do with it:

    Cheap Solid-State Batteries That Last Twice as Long as Li-On Are Coming
    http://gizmodo.com/cheap-solid-state-batteries-that-last-twice-as-long-as-1622104176

    This particular battery development may also be much further along than the seemingly endless ‘breakthroughs’ we’ve read about in the last few years. So, the timing is interesting, to say the least.

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