Volkswagen BUDD-e And Tesla Model S Architecture Comparison

1 year ago by Mark Kane 88

VW BUDD-e On Display At CES (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

VW BUDD-e On Display At CES (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

Volkswagen BUDD-e

Volkswagen BUDD-e

Volkswagen’s intention to use a flat battery pack in sandwich floor style in long-range electric cars has attracted a lot of comments of late.

With the Volkswagen BUDD-e unveiled at 2016 CES, we got glimpses of VW’s future with bold reference to Tesla’s architecture.

Over time, we think that most BEVs will evolve towards this more optimal setup.

Volkswagen BUDD-e includes:

  • large 101 kWh battery
  • two electric motors with total of 235 kW of peak power
  • high-power fast charging to 80% capacity in 30 minutes

Similarities to Tesla Model S (see images below) are obvious – large battery lies on the bottom and reinforces the structure. 101 kWh is so large that VW had to use the flat pack approach or it would’ve severely intruded on cargo or passenger space.

VW BUDD-e First On New MEB Platform

VW BUDD-e First On New MEB Platform

BUDD-E/MEB Cutaway

BUDD-E/MEB Cutaway

Another similarity are two motors – one per axle. Power output isn’t in Tesla range because this is a different vehicle class, but just look at the motor/single speed gearbox/power electronics. Pretty much the same concept with slightly different implementation. Of course, BUDD-e is then All-Wheel-Drive on demand, while at steady speed just one motor could work to save energy.

And the third is charging – no more 40-50 kW. Now 80% can be replenished in 30 minutes, that’s 160 kW in theory starting at 0%, but most likely this is only an indication of 150 kW CharIN CCS fast charge initiative to be considered as the next step.

150 kW is comparable to Tesla’s 120+ kW and now, unlike e-up! and e-Golf, even the Combo charging inlet is on the driver’s side, just like in Tesla.

Volkswagen BUDD-e

Volkswagen BUDD-e

Volkswagen BUDD-e

Volkswagen BUDD-e

Volkswagen BUDD-e

Volkswagen BUDD-e

Double motor Tesla Model S:

Software To Idle 2nd Motor Will Maximize Efficiency

Tesla Model S P85D

Tesla Model S P85D

Tesla Model S P85D

MEB: The new architecture for Volkswagen’s electric vehicles

With BUDD-e, Volkswagen demonstrates what electric mobility could be like by the year 2019. Volkswagen’s new MEB platform will enable a series production car to have pure electric range that is on par with today’s gasoline-powered cars by the end of the decade. The time required to charge the batteries to 80 percent of capacity is anticipated to be reduced to about 30 minutes by then, marking an operational breakthrough for EVs.

BUDD-e is the first concept car developed by the Volkswagen Group that is underpinned by the new Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB). This architecture heralds a fundamental change in electric cars and ushers in a revolution in automotive technology, leaving today’s fossil-fuel powered internal combustion engines and drivetrains in the past. This significant innovation will lead to huge changes in the development of electric-powered Volkswagens in the years to come, from body and interior design, to packaging and drive characteristics.

The new platform is designed to have the space for electric drive components and large batteries while maintaining interior space and driving dynamics. MEB will allow for spacious interiors with the smallest possible footprint to enable easy and nimble transportation. In addition to their space, MEB vehicles will offer high levels of functionality and networking thanks to the new vehicle architecture, instrumentation, and operating systems. New and enhanced assistance systems will provide passengers with safer transport.

Dynamic performance is, and will remain, a key part of Volkswagen’s DNA, and MEB vehicles will be no exception. With a focus on optimal balance, future VW vehicles based off the platform will offer the kind of agility, strong acceleration and handling that VW customers have come to expect. New battery and electric drive componentry will enable inexpensive access to e-mobility: a much longer purely electric range will allow these vehicles to become the primary transportation in many consumers’ households.

The new MEB delivers a drivetrain architecture that is specifically tailored for the integration of compact electric motors and high-performance, highly-efficient batteries. The 101 kWh battery is flat, to save space, and integrated into almost the entire vehicle floor. It powers two electric motors, one to drive each axle.

The front and rear motors power all four wheels and enable a top speed of 93 mph. The total range of up to 373 miles** (estimate based on the New European Drive Cycle (NEDC), 233 miles estimate when based on EPA drive cycle) is achieved on a full charge, putting the BUDD-e on a level playing field with today’s gasoline-powered cars. Like today’s electric vehicles, the BUDDE-e offers several levels of plugged-in charging with the added benefit of cordless inductive charging.

Another benefit of the new MEB is entirely new packaging opportunities, highlighted throughout the BUDD-e concept. One significant enhancement is illustrated by the arrangement of the heating and air conditioning unit. For instance, the innovative new heating and air conditioning unit has been completely integrated in the front end of the car which allows for significantly more available space, improves air quality (thanks to larger and more robust filters), and results in a reduction of fan noise inside the cabin for excellent acoustics.”

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88 responses to "Volkswagen BUDD-e And Tesla Model S Architecture Comparison"

  1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Much as I’m a fan of the company, Tesla did not invent the “skateboard” design used in the Models S and X. The skateboard idea was used in the 2002 GM “Hy-Wire” prototype, if not before.

    However, it may well be that Tesla is the first auto maker to use a skateboard design in a production car.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_Hy-wire

    1. Robb Stark says:

      Toyota was not the first to make a hybrid vehicle either.

      Skateboard designs were used in the first go at electric cars in the 19th century.

      But in the public mind if you are the first to mass produce it you get credit for inventing it.

    2. RexxSee says:

      Putting the batteries low was always the way to go. Only GM put them in the cabin to not sell the Volt.

      1. DonC says:

        Yes, the design was animated by not wanting to sell the car. Packaging two propulsion systems and the cell size had nothing to do with it.

        The design of the Bolt EV is actually more interesting. The pan and small height cell approach makes cooling easier and likely results in lower costs per kWh at the pack level. Overall there is more innovation on the cooling than in the skateboard design.

        1. RexxSee says:

          “Packaging two propulsion systems and the cell size had nothing to do with it.”
          All other PHEVs/hybrids do it without compromising cabin space.

          1. Dan says:

            Are there any other PHEVs that can drive 50+ miles on a charge to compare with?

            1. RexxSee says:

              No there isn’t but this also apply to the Volt 1.0
              37 miles AER
              The i3 REx has 72 miles AER and the batteries are not intrusives.

              1. Proton says:

                Sorry, my 2015 genI Volt always charges to 50 mi on 120v and delivers 48-53 AER depending on use of AC here in south Florida. Even the dealer brochure for 2015 says “38 mi per charge” which is absolutely INCORRECT.

            2. GSP says:

              Yes, but only one: the i3 Rex.

              However it’s performance and range with the gasoline range extender are nowhere near as good as any of the other PHEVs.

              GSP

              1. RexxSee says:

                GM cut the costs by using the Cruze platform and the old EV1 design for the batteries.

          2. Bill Howland says:

            I thought there were only 2 people. Now I see there are at least 3.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        RexxSee said:

        “Putting the batteries low was always the way to go. Only GM put them in the cabin to not sell the Volt.”

        That’s certainly not true. Tesla’s first car, the two-seater Roadster, had its large (10.5 cubic ft.) battery pack in the back, behind the seats. And while the Leaf did have the battery pack down low, it wasn’t on a flat layer underneath the floorboards.

        Also, the skateboard design isn’t just about putting the battery pack in a relatively thin layer below the floorboards. It’s about designing the bottom part of the car: The frame, suspension and wheels, motor(s), and battery pack, as an integrated unit; with the passenger cabin as a separate unit mounted on top.

        I doubt anybody in the era of your grandmother’s (or great-grandmother’s) electric car built them that way!

        1. Dan says:

          There are also negatives that come with the skateboard design. It is basically a body on frame design that (at least for those who can sense the difference in rigidity) drives more like an SUV than a car. I could sense the “tiny SUV” feeling even with a small car like the i3.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            I suspect it’s the difference in weight distribution that you can feel when driving a bottom-heavy BMW i3, and possibly a difference in suspension. I certainly hope there are no cars with a frame so flexible you can feel it bend when driving the car! The i3 skateboard’s frame is made of aluminum, not rubber.

            1. Dan says:

              The Model S’s torsional rigidity is 19,000 NM/deg compared to the low to mid 20,000s for similar cars in its category. Theoretically, it should be stiffer given what they claim about the design, but it isn’t.

              1. Aaron says:

                The i3 drives like a mini-ute partially because it is so tall. I drove an i3 after driving my i-MiEV to an event, and I was astounded how much higher I sat in the i3. I have a feeling it’s the height difference, not the frame, that makes the i3 drive like a mini-ute.

            2. Dan says:

              The i3 marketing materials talk about how rigid it is, but they don’t publish any stats.

      3. RexxSee says:

        Tesla is using the most gravity center efficient and obvious design for its battery pack before all other OEMs, this only goes to show that they were the only one serious about making good BEVs back in 2009

  2. heisenberght says:

    From the picture I get the impression, that the BUDD-e will have solar cells on its roof.

    I really like that! Hope that this option will not be prohibitely expensive. Are there any numbers yet?

    It has been discussed quite a lot, if solar cells on the roof make sense from an economical/enviromental viewpoint. IMO it is one option for people who cannot install solar panels on their houses/appartment dwellers/homeless people

    All this discussion on the cost of a solar roof can sound ridiculous when you see people buying expensive sound systems/lighting/air filters/doors/leather seats/rims/exhausts(oops…)

    All this discussion on the efficiency of solar cells on the car are obsolete when you take into account that that using a car – no matter if ICE or BEV or something in between is a quite inefficent method to get from A to B any way you look at it.

    For all the critics:
    http://www.solarteameindhoven.nl/stella-lux/

    While beeing expensive due to prototype status, this car shows one possible future.

    We just need to choose to go that way!

    1. RexxSee says:

      With solar cells, it doesn’t really matter if you have 20 or 25% efficiency, it’s always 100% totally free energy. Consider all the cars lizarding in parkings all day long. They will get partial or even total free recharge!
      Another solution for appartment’s dwellers.

      1. SJC says:

        Ten square feet might give them 1000 watts for 4 kWh per day, enough to go 14 miles.

        1. Khai L. says:

          That’s not what theory says. 10 square feet is ~1 square meter.

          If you live in the southern part of the US, you’ll get about 1kw of solar radiation per square meter. With solar panels that are 25% efficient ( higher efficiency = more expensive), you’d only get 250 watts per hr … at noon!

          The common calculation is to assume an average of 5hrs at peak, so you’d only get 1.25 kwh per day, which would be good for 5 miles. Less the further north you live.

          1. DonC says:

            I think the math is OK. In a year you get 1.5 kWh per installed watt. So 1000 installed watts would give you 1500 kWh or about 4 kWh per day.

            Not to say this is remotely realistic. That assumes you could get a kW installed in that area and have it be at an angle facing south and in the sun. Then of course you’d have the added weight — not to mention cost — of the panels and the electronics. Seems silly not to just install it on the roof of your house.

            1. Dan says:

              You can’t fit 1000 watts worth of solar panels on the roof of a car. There is only so much energy insolated per square meter.

              1. heisenberght says:

                Volkswagen T4: length: 4707–5107 mm width: 1840 mm => that gives us a projection area of 8.46 m². Let’s say we loose 25% due to the windshield etc. that leaves us with 6m² rooftop area 6m²*0.2*1000W/m² = 1200 W
                (0.2 is module efficiency)

                1. RexxSee says:

                  I’m curious, do you know how does this translate into an hourly rate of charging ?

                  1. 1000 Wh = ~ 3 to 4 miles driving, maybe up to 5 miles range. So – if your 1,200 Watts of Solar could get you an average in excess of 500 Wh of energy per working hour, times 4-5 house a day (Toronto, ON), equals maybe 2.0 to 2.5 kWh captured a day, or about 6 to 12 miles of free running energy a day, so not so much, but still, when you end up away from a plug, you’re not stopped, just slowed down!

                    1. FS says:

                      I have a friend that has 300 W solar panels on his Peugeot Partner EV. If he leaves it a week at the parking spot, he gets about 60–80 km of range. That is on a sunny summerday in Stockholm, Sweden.

                      The Audi Q6 E-tron Quattro has the same solar panels as the Budd-e with 300 W. The same as my friend.

                      That means if you park your car for example for two weeks at the airport, you will have about 130 km range when you come home. Which is awesome. I hope they keep the solar panels on the roof for the production version.

        2. RexxSee says:

          Multiply by 5 or 6 to get the sunny hours for your 100 watts/h.
          then multiply by two to get the actual area of this roof.

      2. jerryd says:

        Rex efficiency matter most here as power produced is little by space
        available.
        Say it is 40sq’ is about 750wt giving 3.75kwhr/day US average gives about 15 miles/day.
        If only 10% eff, low instead of 20%,high, you’d only get 50% as much or about 8 miles/day.
        But if it screws up the aero, increasing weight could take much of that back.

        1. RexxSee says:

          Solar cells can be incrusted in the roof without screwing the aero, and solar paint is at the corner too.

          1. wavelet says:

            RexxSee, sorry, but of course the efficiency matters. Given currently available cells, and the fact that placing the cars flat on the roof will never be optimal, they’ll never provide enough energy to cover their cost, or the cost of energy in manufacturing them.
            Not to mention, cars are parked under roofs a lof of the time. This is a gimmick.
            What _does_ make sense is to cover parking garages’ roofs in cells. Those can be angled appropriately.

            1. Speculawyer says:

              “they’ll never provide enough energy to cover their cost, or the cost of energy in manufacturing them.”

              That is completely false. Solar PV cells are damn cheap these days. They will pay for themselves in a year or two.

              Look, you are not going to power your commute from what you collect from your car’s roof. But it is worth a few hundred bucks for a solar PV system that make sure your battery never gets bricked. It can power some low level systems like security that operate all the time. And every little bit helps.

    2. evcarnut says:

      They Should incorporate Solar panels on all electric cars’ ., Roofs, Hoods,& trunk lids….You can Charge As You Drive!

      1. evcarnut says:

        Better yet, there is a company in Canada that has a “Solar Panel like Paint” that doubles as solar panel. They can paint the entire car with this paint & turn the whole car into a solar panel for continues Charge… Pretty Cool stuff…

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      heisenberght said:

      “It has been discussed quite a lot, if solar cells on the roof make sense from an economical/enviromental viewpoint. IMO it is one option for people who cannot install solar panels on their houses/appartment dwellers/homeless people…”

      It’s only “discussed” by people who don’t understand that sunlight doesn’t provide enough power, per square foot/meter, to adequately charge a highway-capable EV.

      Rooftop solar cells may be cost effective for running a minor accessory when the car is turned off; an accessory such as a ventilation fan to keep the car from overheating while sitting in the sun. The area of a vehicle’s roof is far too small to replace the need for plugging in to recharge.

      Consider the “SolarTaxi”, a prototype EV using expensive, advanced solar cells, which pulled a large trailer behind it to greatly increase the area covered by solar cells. Even that EV only got about half of its battery charging from solar cells. The rest it had to get from plugging in at night.

      1. heisenberght says:

        Hi Pushmi-Pullyu!

        I really like to discuss with you 😉

        “It’s only “discussed” by people who don’t understand that sunlight doesn’t provide enough power, per square foot/meter, to adequately charge a highway-capable EV.”

        Let’s see, you discuss with me, that’s nice. I assume that both of us understand that sunlight doesn’t provide enough power per square meter to power a (conventional) EV directly for highway driving. However I think that we both agree on the point, that one could use the energy stored in the battery for highway driving.

        Sunlight provides approximately 1000W (depending on where you live) per square meter in middle europe.

        The average energy provided per square meter (worldwide 24 h average (yes this calculation includes the night 😉 ) is something in the 160 W/m² range.

        “The area of a vehicle’s roof is far too small to replace the need for plugging in to recharge.”

        The area of a vehicle’s roof depends on the design of the car. As you can see in the picture of the solar taxi which you posted, the area covered with solar cells is bigger than the cars roof – which does not seem to have solar cells on it???, but not by huge means. Let’s use numbers:
        Volkswagen T4: length: 4707–5107 mm width: 1840 mm => that gives us a projection area of 8.46 m². Let’s say we loose 25% due to the windshield etc. that leaves us with 6m² rooftop area, which @ 160 W/m² gives us 960 W average power. With a conversion efficiency of let’s say 15% we have 144 W on average (day and night). Does this still sound so bad?

        “Consider the “SolarTaxi”, a prototype EV using expensive, advanced solar cells, which pulled a large trailer behind it to greatly increase the area covered by solar cells. Even that EV only got about half of its battery charging from solar cells. The rest it had to get from plugging in at night.”

        Consider that the SolarTaxi was build by a private person and that this person started that build more than 10 years ago. I’m sure you followed how the efficiency of solar cells has been increased over the last 10 years, which means that nowadays a smaller area is needed.

        Why not consider more recent examples? Let’s talk about the Stella Lux.

        And don’t take it personal, but I really like the “numbers speak louder than words” approach 😉

        1. RexxSee says:

          So, even if we can only recharge partially, we can extrapolate from 22% (new commercial panels) to 25, 30, 40% efficiency and recharge more and more in the future, of the most free, clean, eternally renewable source of energy.
          it takes only a breakthrough in solar tech.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          heisenberght said:

          “Sunlight provides approximately 1000W (depending on where you live) per square meter in middle europe.”

          …on a bright summer day with no clouds, but only if you angle the solar panel towards the sun… which isn’t likely when mounted on the roof of a car!

          And you are again ignoring the fact that solar panels are far less than 100% efficient in capturing the energy of sunlight. I know that a few years ago, very expensive solar cells were about 33% efficient (and perhaps they’re slightly better now), but the thin-film type you’re likely to see on a car are far less so. As I understand it, 21% would be an optimistic figure, and again that assumes it’s angled properly to be perpendicular to the incoming sunlight… which it won’t be.

          “And don’t take it personal, but I really like the ‘numbers speak louder than words’ approach”

          I completely agree. And when you actually start doing that, you’ll find a lot fewer people will be pointing out gross errors of fact, geometry, and physics in your posts.

          Instead, you try to pretend you haven’t been shown to be wrong; for instance, you claimed it doesn’t matter if a panel has lower efficiency, asserting it can just be larger! How are you gonna do that with the upper surfaces of a car, dude? Perhaps you think cars will be built with unfolding awnings? LOL! 😀

      2. scho says:

        it depends on how (often) you use your car. i know many people who only drive once or twice a week.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Okay, yes; solar panels on a car’s roof (and possibly hood) will make a significant range difference for those who drive their car only a short distance once a week.

          If you deliberately set out to make a car non-competitive in the very competitive new car market, aiming at such a very narrow market segment would be a great start! [/snark]

    4. Omar Sultan says:

      I think the traditional ding with solar cells on the roof is the weight penalty–does the power they generate offset the negative impact on range–perhaps less of an issue with newer technologies?

  3. jas says:

    Nissan and Commuter Cars were using the skateboard design before Tesla too.

    1. evcarnut says:

      No question about it, The skate board design is the most natural & sensible way to package the workings of EV’s . Keeping all the weight down low provides a low center of gravity for great handling ,making more available useable interior , trunk & frunk Space & Makes for a great ride.

  4. Bill Howland says:

    Solar cells on the roof of a car make sense to keep the interior cool with fan cooling, about all the power you’re going to get from a roof sized panel, as was Fisker’s Idea.

    VW has come out with so many electric vehicles, – but then to hear the horror stories about how this was so poorly executed on the e-golf, at least per one owner’s experience, that I wonder if all these concept cars just are to re-image the now scandalous company.

    Some things are downright silly – a stockbroker’s trading desk dashboard that lets me check your refrigerator – not mine, since the brand new freezer I had delivered this week has no electronics.

    At least the things in an “S” have a serious function.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Well… not everything in the Model S has a serious function.

      For those who don’t recognize it, that’s James Bond’s submarine Lotus car from “The Spy Who Loved Me”.

  5. Elroy says:

    A big 250 watt house panel will nominally yield about 1kWh in decent sunlight. (190watts x 5.5hrs avg). So if you park your car all day in ideal sunlight..you might be able to drive 3-4 miles. Helpful, but certainly won’t power your car on long trips like some people think.

    1. heisenberght says:

      3-4 miles a day would already be sufficient for some people – I know that those are not many but they could pave the way… pay the way… With other efficiency measures such as lightweight one will come closer to the approx. 100 miles summer solar range that Stella Lux already achieves

      http://www.solarteameindhoven.nl/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/graph_range_1-450×253.png

      Let it be 3-4 miles for a “conventional BEV” and 10 miles for a slightly optimized SBEV it is free recharge independent of infrastructure!

  6. goodbyegascar says:

    PP: This article does not claim that Tesla invented the skateboard chassis. And I cannot even find the word “skateboard” in any of the text.

    “It may well be that Tesla is the first auto maker to use a skateboard design in a production car.”

    No, it is a dead certainty that Tesla is the first to use this so-called skateboard design in a production car, you can be sure of that.

    And it is only because of Tesla that we see the same chassis design showing up in the latest BEV concept and production cars from around the world, including GM, and now, VW.

    1. AlphaEdge says:

      I’m wonder why people are so hung up on a fact like this. It’s a design that is practical because of the technology being used. It’s not like it’s some kind of revolutionary design that only Tesla could have thought up.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      goodbyegascar said:

      “PP: This article does not claim that Tesla invented the skateboard chassis. And I cannot even find the word ‘skateboard’ in any of the text.”

      Fair enough, but of the pictures illustrating this article, #5, 6, 7, & 8 show skateboards. It seems to me that this article is comparing skateboard designs, but if you don’t agree…. Well, as they say: “Your mileage may differ.” 🙂

  7. heisenberght says:

    Hey InsideEVs,

    can you please make a piece:

    “VW group and Tesla infrastructure comparison”

    That would be funny, wouldn’t it?

    VW: Close to nothing! In their home country!

    Tesla:

    Ultra high density of superchargers in germany (far higher than in the US), ain’t that a punch in your face VW???

    In the worst cases (Cuxhaven, Wilhelmshaven, Paderborn and Salzwedel) the next supercharger is less than 80 km away. Hey Tesla, just put 4 more please ?

    One might see that the whole “argument” of lacking infrastructure is just ridiculous. The infrastructure is already installed. The only problem is that big car is not willing to use it.

    Hey VWgroup, BMW and Mercedes, just give Tesla a call and your customers will have more than they need!!! Stop pretending that fast charging infrastructure is not yet done and you will stop loosing customers. We really hate your nonsense “arguments”.

    Hey VW, why did you spend 257,64 million € on advertising in 2015 ???(http://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/167001/umfrage/werbetreibende-mit-den-hoechsten-ausgaben-fuer-werbung/)

    With that money you could have installed approximately 500 supercharger stations, wouldn’t that be nice advertising??? You could say something like: “We have you more than covered!” Just make one last advertising saying something like: “VW decided to invest their marketing budget in a better way!” Media will do the rest for you…

    I’m patiently waiting for the

    BREAKING NEWS: “VW, BMW and MERCEDED joining SUPERCHARGER ALLIANCE. 10.000 supercharging stations will be installed by the end of the year!!!”

  8. Alan says:

    Solar panels on cars are a bit gimmicky, I remember the Nissan Leaf one barely produced enough trickle to operate one or two instruments.

    If the entire car’s bodywork including the roof was covered it would help a little but not sure it’s cost effective for the benefit ?

    1. heisenberght says:

      “it would help a little but not sure it’s cost effective for the benefit ?”

      The benefits:
      – free (partial) recharge independent of infrastructure
      – longer range on sunny days 😉
      – less stress to battery
      – possible weigh reduction due to smaller battery needed
      – providing the customer a way to get out of the fossil fuel generated electricity addiction (for those who cannot install panels on their homes or don’t have a home)

      Compare that to the benefit of an expensive sound system. Compare it to the benefit of expensive paint. Compare it to the benefit of all the luxury gimmics one can buy for a car.

      “I remember the Nissan Leaf one barely produced enough trickle to operate one or two instruments”

      I remember the 80386 one barely produced enough trickle to calculate one integral 😉

      1. Alan says:

        I stand by my comments, the benefits would be minuscule and not commercially viable to get enough people to part with that amount of money for such little benefit.

        1. heisenberght says:

          Well, I assume that we both use a different metric for benefit and cost 😉

          Benefit differs strongly from person to person. While some see enough benefit from buying a coffe machine for >1000$, some see the benefit in brewing their coffee “the old way” which will give you the following benefits:
          -no distressing noise from the motors
          -less maintenance
          -no dependency on infrastructure (water outlet, electricity) brew your coffe using a bonfire 😉
          -a beautiful view of coffee powder mixing with boiling water combined with the smell of coffee
          -the hypnotically relaxing sound of the coffee dripping slowly

          No way people will part a huge bunk of money to GET RID of that benefit 😉

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            heisenberght said:

            “Well, I assume that we both use a different metric for benefit and cost”

            Different, yes. Alan is using actual physics and math; you are applying wishful thinking in comparing solar cell tech to the swift advancement in computer tech.

            Unless you want to propose some sort of complex collapsible Fresnel lens structure which would unfold out of the car’s roof when parked, there is no magic way to use even the most efficient solar cells to suck more energy out of the sun. Even with 100% efficiency, solar cells simply can’t provide much energy when limited to the small area of a car’s upper surface.

            Furthermore, solar cells are fairly delicate, and can’t be expected to last like a coat of car paint. Possibly the biggest reason more car makers don’t put solar cells on the roof of their car, aside from them being fairly useless, is the rapid deterioration in appearance, which likely causes depreciation more rapid than necessary.

            1. heisenberght says:

              “Different, yes. Alan is using actual physics and math; you are applying wishful thinking in comparing solar cell tech to the swift advancement in computer tech.”

              I do not see any physics or math applied in Alans comment.

              The comparison of solar cell tech and the swift in computer tech of course was a bit over the edge 😉

              “Even with 100% efficiency, solar cells simply can’t provide much energy when limited to the small area of a car’s upper surface.”

              Yet another example of using a different metric 😉 please quantify “much” and “small”

              “Furthermore, solar cells are fairly delicate, and can’t be expected to last like a coat of car paint. Possibly the biggest reason more car makers don’t put solar cells on the roof of their car, aside from them being fairly useless, is the rapid deterioration in appearance, which likely causes depreciation more rapid than necessary.”

              Last time I checked those solar modules installed 10 years ago look better than the paint of my car 😉

              Among the reasons why car makers don’t put solar cells on roofs the deterioration seems quite far fetched.

              Some other reasons come to my mind long way before that.
              -which car company is actively promoting EVs with full focus? Not that many, so why should they add a solar roof???
              This leaves us with TESLA. So why does Tesla not add a solar roof to their portfolio of options? Model S => solar was too expensive, much other work to do, Model X => Fancy doors, Model 3 => extreme time pressure for the engineering team. Imagine the following: Ask a stressed engineer if one could add a cool thing, he most likely will find a “physics/math” reason why this can’t be done, because saying “Yes I’ll find a way!” will burden him with even more workload.

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                heisenberght said:

                “Last time I checked those solar modules installed 10 years ago look better than the paint of my car”

                I have no doubt that’s true.

                But if you had mounted one of those solar panels on the roof of your car, where it would be subjected to wind rushing over it at more than highway speed (due to Bernoulli’s principle) every time you drive on the highway; wind carrying sand and other abrasive road debris, not to mention the occasional pebble that might actually crack a cell; then don’t you think it would show a lot more wear than it gets on the roof of your house?

                There is a reason that car paint needs to be much harder and abrasive-resistant than paint used elsewhere.

            2. heisenberght says:

              “Unless you want to propose some sort of complex collapsible Fresnel lens structure which would unfold out of the car’s roof when parked”

              I would never propose such a ridiculous thing 😉

              But I like the idea. However, rather than a solid structure I propose a gaseous lens, it will be generated by heating and cooling the air over the car using a large array of femtosecond lasers and thus changing the refractive index of the air. Those lasers are of course powered by free energy 😉 This gaseous lens will have a size of 2 football fields to suffice with one common argument of the solar haters.

        2. Paul says:

          This vehicle is not projected to be available till 2019. By then the thin film perovskite panels are expected to be shipping with an efficiency of 20%. Even if the panels are only used to charge a sparate battery for accessories, as well as run a small air pump heated in the winter, air exchange in the summer, it would be appreciated and functional. BTW, Canadian solar’s 305W panel weighs 48lbs.and it’s not thin film.
          https://dnmsolar.com/Manuals/CanadianSolar/MaxPower_CS6X-P_en300-305.pdf

      2. Steven says:

        What was the joke?

        We are Pentium of Borg, division is futile, you will be approximated.

    2. evcarnut says:

      I understand that the solar paint is going to be very cost effective, once they get it to stage . I understand they are getting close to making it viable…..BTW.,where is that Model 3 ! That’s what I’m waiting for!

    3. Speculawyer says:

      The price of solar panels has come way down since Nissan first launched the Nissan Leaf.

      Solar PV panels are a GREAT idea for EVs. Not because you are going to drive the car any substantial distance on the solar power but:
      1) It can be a great way for the car to make sure it doesn’t ‘brick’ itself by sitting uncharged for several month.s
      2) It can power security systems, environmental control systems, and other things while the car parked.
      3) Every little bit does help. If you have 2 panels worth of sun for 8 hours at work . . . that will get you a few miles.

  9. Vexar says:

    When I drove cross-country last year in my Model S, some enthusiastic kid with ginger hair came up to me at a supercharger, very excited about the car. He had all kinds of ideas. He seemed to think that you could recharge the batteries by putting tiny windmills on the front of the car. I explained drag to this boy of eight or nine years and how it was a net loss. Then, he brought up solar panels on the roof. I explained to him that solar panels add weight (especially with all the supporting components) and are fragile, neither of which make for a good car. I did tell him that solar panels as awnings for a supercharger are already being done in California. I told him to imagine this entire parking lot (at an outlet mall) with a solar panel canopy. At this point, his parents came over and *very* politely prevented him from eating up the rest of my afternoon.
    Generally speaking, I don’t see the value in affixing solar panels into the roof of a car. The only idea I’ve seen that’s worthwhile is a solar panel sun screen for a front windshield.
    A long time ago, I got a “solar powered car” kit from some educational shop. It never moved. I’ve seen the solar racers from college campuses. I’ll expect that to be cutting edge. If that’s your idea of transportation, sure. NHTSA will never certify it, or if they do, you have to give them stars!

    1. heisenberght says:

      “I explained to him that solar panels add weight (especially with all the supporting components)”

      Wouldn’t there be a sweet spot where the added weight could be equalized by a smaller battery?

      Let’s check the spec:
      100W flexible solar module, 2 kg, 250$

      Let’s put 4 of them (size is 535 x 1150 x 5 mm) so it’s 6 kg.

      What else do we need. Cables: let’s say 10 kg if your fine with that.
      Charger electronics: let’s say 1 kg
      Adhesive: let’s say 1 kg
      I surely forgot something, but additional weight for the solar roof would be something in the 20 kg range.

      @ 100Wh/kg one would have to leave out 2 kWh of battery and @ 125$/kWh one would save 250 $ on battery cost.

      With losses that system would replenish appr. 350 W in full sunshine. Let’s assume a daily exposure of 3 hours and you have 1 kWh of charge without any hassle. Even with one hour daily exposure it would be more than 100 kWh per year, which equals 3 “tanks full for a leaf” 😉

      I really tried to calculate as conservative as possible. Many states have more than 1 hour of sunshine a day, but I wanted to correct for suboptimal angle.

      I really see the point, that added range is not too much, but people pay a lot for huge batteries, so why not pay the same amount for a free recharge facility always on board (top)?

      1. Vexar says:

        Heisenberght, thanks for doing all the maths on things. If you add 20 kilograms to the mass of the vehicle, which you’d somehow have to fit into an aerodynamic design and appropriately shield from breakage (which reduces efficiency of the panels even more), you are still forgetting that solar panels are not vibration-friendly, which means they will crack and splinter over time.

        Getting back to the VW Budd-e, the main issue I have with this is that for all the cost (not bill of materials) in design and testing, it is genuinely cheaper for a manufacturer to throw the extra 2-3 kwh of batteries on-board, and undoubtedly simpler. I also don’t think you’re remembering the efficiency in power conversion and a certain minimum to charge (my Model S goes as low as 5A @120v or about 500 watts).
        What you are making, however, is a really good argument for a solar panel car cover or tent, which would cover much more of the vehicle. I like the attention you put on this. Way better than some kid in a parking lot, mind lost in the stars. If you can price that for $750 or less and it comes with a small J-1772 cable, I’m sure it would sell.

        1. heisenberght says:

          Vexar, thankx for the appreciation!

          Somehow I have the impression that others don’t like it so much 😉

          “it is genuinely cheaper for a manufacturer to throw the extra 2-3 kwh of batteries on-board, and undoubtedly simpler.”

          You are right! It is cheaper and simpler. And that is exactly the argument why we should stay with ICE cars!

          “fit into an aerodynamic design and appropriately shield from breakage (which reduces efficiency of the panels even more), you are still forgetting that solar panels are not vibration-friendly, which means they will crack and splinter over time”

          Definetely that’s a good point to consider. I remember a story I read about a truck with solar panel coverage they also suffered from the vibration-induced degradation… However there are flexible solar cells already on the market for motorcaravans and yachts, so I guess there are viable ways to overcome those obstacles.

          http://www.ebay.de/itm/100W-Watt-Solarmodul-Semi-Flexibel-Mono-Solarpanel-SunPower-Zellen-SolarXXL-/111823337621

          The coverage most likely will be the most complicated part, but when I look at the work done by laquer/paint developers, then I’m quite confident that those will come up with a solution for that…

          For the aerodynamics part. Imagine a roof where the stamp already prepared a slight cavity in which the cells would fit.

        2. heisenberght says:

          “If you can price that for $750 or less and it comes with a small J-1772 cable, I’m sure it would sell”

          I’m not into producing something. The less I work, the more I think!

          1. mr. M says:

            Aha, soso.

        3. heisenberght says:

          One more thing: One could also just make the single cells smaller, this will reduce the mechanic impact and also problems with different thermal expansion coefficients. With those fancy pick-and-place bots a high amount of single cells wouldn’t be too much of a hassle…

        4. heisenberght says:

          “I also don’t think you’re remembering the efficiency in power conversion and a certain minimum to charge (my Model S goes as low as 5A @120v or about 500 watts).”

          I’m aware of power conversion losses. I usually take into account 0.9 for DC-DC step up. However, you are right that I do not always include it in the math I do. After all I’m just a very lazy man.

          With that minimum to charge I guess you refer to the effect that a low charging current may increase degradation as degradation is a function of charging time as well as other factors. For this problem I propose my favorite: Ultra-(Flux 😉 Capacitors. Joke aside, maybe one could add a separate energy storage aside the traction battery which is less prone to charge based degradation.

  10. Alan says:

    I think some people get confused by solar panels which can produce on average 250w (Sunpower do have a 330w panel) but the vast majority are mono crystalline with module efficiency of no more than 15% (Sunpower 21%), they weigh around 75lb.

    Thin film which is most likely more close to what could be used on cars will produce around half of those module efficiencies.

    1. heisenberght says:

      Sorry, but I don’t get the point.

      If a panel has a peak power ratio of 250W it will produce appr. 250W under standard conditions.

      Why would I care if those 250W are a result of the conversion efficiency of 15% or 21%? OK. The panel would be bigger, but as I stated above, a 100W module (flexible) has a size of 535 x 1150 x 5 mm, so one could fit 4 of them on a BUDD-e without any problem.

      I hope that it is not you being confused about what this module efficiency means, however while not being a native speaker I get the impression that you imply that a panel will produce only 15% of the rated 250W or 21% of the 250W of the Sunpower modules. This would in fact be catastrophic, but it’s not the case 😉

      1. Alan says:

        The very fact that cars are not flat wide areas facing south is one reason solar panels are not really viable, the sun moves across the sky being another and therefore only half the car at any given time will be receiving maximum photons available.

        The total square footage will be minimal, if you were foolish enough to park you car outside in the sun all day it would still be cheaper to plug it in and use electric over the useful life of the car than the outlay !

        1. heisenberght says:

          And in what way does this relate to what you said about module efficiency???

          To me it is still unclear what you are trying to say. Are you saying that module efficiency reflects the influence of angle between the light and the cell??? That’s just plain wrong.

          You said: “some people get confused by solar panels which can produce on average 250w (Sunpower do have a 330w panel) but the vast majority are mono crystalline with module efficiency of no more than 15%”

          I start getting the impression that you want to confuse the people and make them believe that a solar panel will deliver 15% of its rated peak output… You sound like someone from the anti-solar-lobby 😉

          1. Alan says:

            The point of talking about the module efficiency was to demonstrate that thin film (the most likely type to be suitable due to it’s lightweight and flexibility) typically has around half or less module efficiency than mono crystalline and therefore require twice the area to produce the same output as typical rooftop solar panels which someone appeared to be referring to earlier.

            It’s pretty obvious to most that a 250w panel has an output of 250w ! (except you obviously because you didn’t read what I wrote in it’s entirety as I went on to say that thin film only produce around half).

            1. heisenberght says:

              Thanks for the clarification. As I mentioned earlier, I am not a native speaker and therefor might not have gotten what you said exactly.

              What do you think about this semi-flexible-approach using mono-crystalline cells directly packed onto the aluminium hood?

              1. mr. M says:

                Expensive but cool.

              2. Vexar says:

                Your ideas are too much of a moving target to comment on at this point. Vibration-tolerant cells haven’t been specified for energy efficiency. If we focus on what the Budd-e design has, we can at least analyze that, which I think was at one point in ancient history the reason this got brought up.
                The Budd-e seems to have a very flat roof to accommodate the very flat solar panels. They are recessed significantly to create a slightly curved rooftop for aerodynamics. However, the wh/mile figure (around 500) provided for the vehicle suggests it is terribly not-aerodynamic or it is very heavy. I’m inclined to believe it is mass. With that in mind, the Budd-e could be significantly improved by reducing battery mass. VW could work on reducing mass, which would increase the range of the vehicle more than the 1-2 kW produced by the solar panels.
                In this day and age, buying an EV means buying a battery with wheels. Budd-e has a large battery, but it is also very heavy. I think these larger vehicles will make more sense once the gravimetric charge density comes down further. If Elon Musk’s quote of 6 1/2% per year is accurate, then a minivan (like the Chrysler Pacifica-E) can be all-electric by 2020-2022. Until then, the battery density isn’t there for the mass or the displacement of a vehicle that size.

                1. heisenberght says:

                  “Your ideas are too much of a moving target to comment on at this point. ”

                  Once ideas stop moving they end up beeing a mistake, a fact or a product.

                  “Until then, the battery density isn’t there for the mass or the displacement of a vehicle that size”

                  On this I only agree partially, as a BYD bus comes to my mind…

                  …of course all covered with solar cells 😉

  11. heisenberght says:

    Dear InsideEVs team,

    please forgive me, that I’m flooding the discussion board. My project for today is to have the last word on everything 😉

  12. Anon says:

    Weight, volume, current battery energy density… Physics already determined the best placement and form-factor for batteries in long range “skateboard” BEVs. It just took time for the automotive industry to realize the advantages and implement it.

    Tesla was the first to embrace it with a clean sheet, EV specific design. Glad others are finally implementing their versions of it. One would think this stuff was obvious. But apparently not. For example: VW’s XL 1 has one of the most retarded battery placement / packaging I’ve ever seen on a hybrid. The pack is too tall and high (bad CG), sits off axis to the wheels (imparts handling problems) and intrudes into front passenger space to the point that the seat is pushed back behind the driver. And its too small for useful EV only range.

    Physics people. Physics.

    Maybe they’ll fix it with their new platform.

    1. heisenberght says:

      Anon said: “Physics already determined the best placement”

      I doubt that “Physics” did that, usually human beings determine something using physics…

      btw. you say: “Physics people. Physics.”
      but why don’t you just use it for the sake of arguments?

      “Weight, volume, current battery energy density”
      is a good start but using a metric that consist of
      “too tall”, “too small”, “enough trickle to operate one or two instruments”, “it would help a little”, “total square footage will be minimal”
      might not work within formulas. And formulas are what matters when it comes to physics.

      Physics Anon. Physics! (It’s useless without numbers) 😉

      1. mr. M says:

        Numbrrs poepole, numbrrs 🙂

    2. mr. M says:

      Seat of passenger is pushed back because you dont need to install a passenger airbag if you head can not reach any plastic. Removal of airbar means less weight = improved efficiency.

  13. Speculawyer says:

    I would NOT assume that VW copied . . . it is just design convergence.

    A big low flat battery pack is an obvious design choice . . . keeps the internal space high and reduced the center of gravity.

    Putting motors between wheels is also an obvious design choice . . . it puts weight for traction on the wheels and it is space that would otherwise be used by the drive shafts & differential.

  14. heisenberght says:

    “they’ll never provide enough energy to cover their cost, or the cost of energy in manufacturing them.”

    My experience tells me that “never” is just a variable which can take values between 2 and 16. Unit of course is years 😉