Elon Musk Comments On Minimum Range For Electric Cars

APR 11 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 165

Elon Musk

Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk laid out what he believes to be the minimum range for any electric car sold to the public: 200 real-world miles.

Musk made a few comments on range during the recent Tesla press conference on Software 6.2 for the Model S.  Here’s what Musk stated:

“200 miles is minimum threshold for an electric car. We need 200+ miles in real world. Not 200 miles in ‘AC off, driving on flat road mode. Anything below 200 miles isn’t passing grade. Most people looking for 20% more than that.”

From this statement, it’s believed that Tesla’s upcoming Model 3 will have between 200 and 240 miles of range.

Musk spoke of the high limits for range too, saying that basically 400 miles of range is unnecessary, as the car is then carrying around a lot of extra, often-unused battery.

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165 Comments on "Elon Musk Comments On Minimum Range For Electric Cars"

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mutle
Guest

I wonder then why EVs with less than half the “minimum range” sell better than Tesla…

Ahldor
Guest
Ahldor

He is talking about replacing the fossil fuel car fleet with EV’s. And that is still way off even if EV’s are getting more price competitive today. EV’s won’t sell in huge numbers until the range threshold is met.

martinwinlow
Guest
martinwinlow

“EV’s won’t sell in huge numbers until the range threshold is met.”… or we change our ICEV mentality to accept that to own a car with only 100 miles works for 90% of people 90% of the time. If you don’t use a particular car for long trips, why pay (a lot) more for twice as much range than you need – not to mention paying for all the extra energy you use hauling around that 50% bigger battery? I suspect Mr Musk was referring specifically to Tesla cars rather than EVs in general.

Mikael
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Mikael

“our we change our ICE mentality”…haha… that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read.

BEVs will never outpace ICEs until the range is remotely close.

Bonaire
Guest
Bonaire
Range is solved either by dragging around a ton of batteries – or by having a more prevalent high speed DC Fast Charging infrastructure. Even though it doesn’t cost “a huge amount” to put in one DCFC station – it costs enough to do it 2000 times. If every large-scale convenience store with gas pumps (numbering 16-20) were to install just one CHAdeMO or even Tesla supercharger, you couldn’t convert the public to EVs for 2-3 decades. With 20,000 public DC FC sites in the USA, people still need to trade in, convert, change their mindsets, install at-home EVSE and so on. This is a long undertaking. 100,000 EVs a year sold in the USA will take decades to convert people over. And, if EV enthusiasts are buying their 2nd and 3rd car (ie. the Tesla trade-ins, the Volt upgraders, the Leaf owners switching to say an i3) – that spreads out the used car market but may not entirely cause a mass conversion. We have to see GM dealerships actually support plug-ins and not just talk about it from the corporate HQ. We have to see Kia dealers not try to dissuade customers from buying Soul EVs. We have… Read more »
Josh
Guest

100,000 EV sales per year will never convert the fleet to electric. It has to be 100% of sales to start converting the fleet. We are two decades away from that, IMO.

Your point is right on charging infrastructure. The problem with charging infrastructure is profit, there is none. If companies could make 30% ROI on chargers today, there would be one on every street corner. So far nobody has figured out how to make money selling charging.

Until that nut is cracked, the growth will be slow. The OEMs have a vested interest to sell their cars. But only Tesla has gone in whole hog. Nissan has been pushing the whole time, but through partnerships which has not been very effective for L3 charing.

Once “200 mile” EVs hit the market, all the L2 charing will become much less valuable.

CP
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CP

DC fast charging isn’t fast enough.

Haggy
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Haggy
That’s not how things work in the real world. Assuming a person drives the US average of 15,000 miles/year and takes one vacation by car that uses 2,000 of those miles, it comes out to somewhere near 36 miles per day. With a 200 mile range, charging at home at night will take care of most of it, and might even take care of all but that one vacation. The power grid is set up to support businesses including stores, factories, offices, AC during the hottest parts of the day, as well as homes. Many of those will have AC. But the point is that at night, the grid is so lightly utilized that even if every car were replaced with an EV tomorrow, the capacity would be there. A homeowner is likely to use more electricity during the day than at night, even when an EV is charging at night. In the real world, EV owners don’t wait for a needle to get near E before they charge. They will start each day with a complete charge. Those charging stations you talk about would be used as often as a person would take a trip starting with a full… Read more »
CP
Guest
CP
Assuming a person drives the US average of 15,000 miles/year and takes one vacation by car that uses 2,000 of those miles, it comes out to somewhere near 36 miles per day. With a 200 mile range, charging at home at night will take care of most of it, and might even take care of all but that one vacation. The average EV is driven 8,000 miles a year, while the average gas car is driven 13,000 miles a year, the difference being that EVs don’t get driven on long trips. The power grid is set up to support businesses including stores, factories, offices, AC during the hottest parts of the day, as well as homes. Many of those will have AC. But the point is that at night, the grid is so lightly utilized that even if every car were replaced with an EV tomorrow, the capacity would be there. I’ve checked the following with an electric utility guy. At night, they reduce power to the grid. If there was more charging at night, they’d need to make more electricity. I’ve done the numbers, and if the U.S. passenger fleet went all electric, we’d need about 20% more generation.… Read more »
EVJerry
Guest

Most definitely AGREE! Commendable piece of EVentful literature.

fuzzyjim
Guest
fuzzyjim

Locomotives go thousands of miles with no batteries and pull a large number cars behind them – – Toyota and Ford made vehicles in the early 70’s that worked similar to them averaging around 80 mpg

CP
Guest
CP

That’s interesting, because I’ve been driving since the ’70s and don’t remember any such vehicles. Could you tell me what models those were? Thanks.

jmollard
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jmollard

There’s no reason why every 2+ car family’s second car shouldn’t be an EV, regardless of today’s range and public charging. Like us and so many EV owners, they’ll soon learn it becomes their primary car. We live in a sizeable city and our Leaf is always used for the longer commute, and we rarely use public charging. In fact, if I could only keep one car, it would be the Leaf. With all the gas savings, I can easily rent an ICE for road trips and still come out ahead. Your common misperception Mikael is the only issue holding EVs back.

CP
Guest
CP

Today’s EVs are not mainstream vehicles because the range is too short and the price is too high, even with the tax credits. The LEAF is a good example. It compares quite closely with the Versa, and is almost double the price.

What do you get for all that money? A conversation piece that will go about 60 miles between charges (no one drives any car, gas or electric, all the way to empty), and that has the worst depreciation record of any car on the road.

Nonda Trimis
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Nonda Trimis

You EV haters bore me. Don’t buy one if it doesn’t work for you and leave those of us that choose to drive our 74 mile range cars as our first option and 99% of the time in our households alone.

CP
Guest
CP

Excuse me, but I own an EV. The difference between you and me is that I am quite realistic and candid about what EVs do and what they don’t do.

marcus
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marcus

CP it sounds like you have a bitter taste for EV owners. I don’t know which one you have, but you’re all over the place with your comments. You don’t respond with anything constructive just typical yahoo! rants.

stupid
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stupid

One day we”l charge WHILE driving on some roads, meaning the range of EV’s will be better than the ICE ones.

Fred
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Fred

The 200 mile threshold is almost a joke.

In the E.U. or the U.K. I can understand. within 200 miles you can traverse a lot of countries, while here in North America, in some instances it’s longer than that between one major city to another within the same STATE or Province!!

The minimum threshold should be raised to at least 400 real world miles to be worth investing in a pure electric vehicle. Otherwise it is simply another expensive commuter anomaly for the wealthy upper-middle and upper class.

jmollard
Guest
jmollard

I’m paying a penny a mile to drive my Leaf. Industrial electric drivetrains run for decades, and so should we expect EVs. That’s like getting two cars for the price of one. How is this unaffordable? EVs to ICEs are simply not an apples to apples comparison. Despite the higher MSRP, the TCO savings more than makes up for the difference.

CP
Guest
CP

If you’re paying a penny a mile to drive your LEAF, you must have a subsidized electric rate.

james
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james

Everything is subsidized.

CP
Guest
CP

Not my pickup truck.

Mike
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Mike

if you drive a Ford pickup, you can say that. Otherwise, you’re subsidized…as a result of bankruptcy negotiations.

CP
Guest
CP

Please tell me how a Ram pickup is subsidized. Be specific, and include links. Thanks.

Ben
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Ben

Gas is subsidized.

CP
Guest
CP

Gas is FAR less subsidized than alternative energy.

LonestarV
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LonestarV

Ever heard of solar panels?

CP
Guest
CP

Yes. What is the point of your question?

Lensman
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Lensman

martinwinlow said:

“…or we change our ICEV mentality to accept that to own a car with only 100 miles works for 90% of people 90% of the time.”

Only 90%? I dunno about you, but when I go shopping for a car, I don’t look for one which will fail to meet my needs 1 trip in 10!

For the EV revolution to move out of the 1% market, the early adopter stage it’s been stuck in for some years, we absolutely need plug-in EVs with a minimum range of at least 200 miles. Even that might be considered inadequate a few short years from now, but 200 miles is a good starting place.

DVChris
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DVChris
I certainly understood the prior comment about meeting the needs of 90% of drivers 90% of the time. It did not imply an unexpected 10% failure rate. Though I didn’t agree fully with the point, the poster was saying that a 200 mile battery is not necessary for most drivers most of the time. A much smaller battery is fine for ost drivers (90%, let’s say) in their day-to-day driving, with only the exceptional long trip requiring more. In my case, I’ve had a LEAF for just under 5 months now. We also have a Chevy Traverse. My LEAF has been our “go to” car for all of my personal driving, and for most of our family transport (around town and short trips out). Only on maybe 5 longer trips was the LEAF not the vehicle of choice. But it wasn’t as though we were caught off guard by this. Musk’s 200-240 mile battery point is well taken, but you do have to understand that he’s not only an innovator, but also a marketer. Given that he has the upper hand on battery life, of course he will say that’s critical. Unlike Musk, my only “expertise” is personal experience, but… Read more »
CP
Guest
CP

What do you means by a “100 to 150-mile battery?” The range numbers are a lot of b.s. as commonly discussed. Most often, the number is “range to empty,” which isn’t how people actually use EVs. And it’s a number that applies to mild climates, and does not represent what people get in winter.

A “125 mile battery” will go for 50 miles (and maybe less) between charges in a Chicago winter.

DVChris
Guest
DVChris

Point well-taken, and I did mean to say a “real-world measure 100-150 mile battery”.

DVChris
Guest
DVChris

Also, while I’m not in Chicago, I’m in mid-Missouri, where we, too, have winter. In morning temps around zero (F), I still got home from work and my in-town errands (running kids, etc) with a reported 60-70 miles of range (+/-) each night. Am I worried about the LEAF not working for me? Not in the least. Our kids are at driving age now, and I’m pretty sure we’ll have a second LEAF soon.

I honestly believe that it will take the the introduction of EVs with longer-range battery availability (at prices more in line with current vehicles than Tesla currently offers) to get most people to look at EVs. But at that point, and assuming the infrastructure is there to support it and the dealers are well-versed in the technology, I believe that a good number of those shoppers will buy an EV with a more limited range, if they are presented with range options appropriately discounted. Just my thoughts, of course.

CP
Guest
CP
Also, while I’m not in Chicago, I’m in mid-Missouri, where we, too, have winter. In morning temps around zero (F), I still got home from work and my in-town errands (running kids, etc) with a reported 60-70 miles of range (+/-) each night. Am I worried about the LEAF not working for me? Not in the least. Our kids are at driving age now, and I’m pretty sure we’ll have a second LEAF soon. Based on what I think I know about the LEAF, I wouldn’t want to depend on getting 60 to 70 miles between charges at all times of the year in Missouri. I used to live in Kansas City, and the first winter I was there was one of the coldest winters I’ve ever suffered — including in Wisconsin, where I grew up. I have a vivid memory of taking I-35 to Des Moines, and then two-lane roads to Milwaukee, when the temperature never broke -15 degrees even at the warmest part of the day. I don’t think a LEAF would go even 50 miles in that weather. On 80% of the battery, more like 30 or 35 miles. Now, that’s an extreme, but gas cars have… Read more »
Malcolm Scott
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Malcolm Scott

a PHEV seems best for your examples. BEVs for those where they work well for single vehicle owners and for those who have an ICE as a reserve vehicle. The planet would be happy either way.

Sivad
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Sivad

Because the Model S is in a luxury class segment where it does sell as well as its ICE competitors. The EVS with half the range that sell more also cost less than half as much.

James
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James

Because cars that cost $70-120,000 are not obtainable to the vast majority of car buyers, obviously.

The giant doughnut hole where EVs could conquer conventional cars is that $25,000-40,000 range many people gladly pay out today for a vehicle that gets 22-35MPG.

Ryan
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Ryan

You might want to look at this year’s monthly scorecard again.

will
Guest
will

“I wonder then why EVs with less than half the “minimum range” sell better than Tesla…”

If you have to stop and wonder about such a thing, then I seriously question your mental state. Why do you THINK cars a third of the price are selling faster?

ja
Guest
ja

Price ………

Philip
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Philip

Perhaps because they’re affordable to a vastly bigger audience.

EVer
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EVer

because they are the only affordable EV’s, duh

my Smart ED has 70 miles of range and thats enough for my daily tasks but in reality i am limited if i want to go somewhere else in the snap of a finger

200 is the sweet spot, nothing to worry about

i cant take no damn trip to Vegas in my Smart (cargo room is decent)

EVer
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EVer

and its NOT my only car, its niche

ja
Guest
ja

Price!

Scott
Guest
Scott

because they are 1/2 the price.
When the 3 comes out for $35k at 250 miles they will own the market.

EV Rider
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EV Rider

Of course, the less expensive EV’s sell more; that’s a normal market. OTOH, Tesla still has a waiting list even at their price. That’s a game changer.

Don
Guest
Don

Right now cost. After Model 3 that will change.

CP
Guest
CP

From everything I’ve been reading, it seems clear that the Model 3’s sticker will be more than $40K. If Musk offers an authentic “200-mile” version with a 65 kWh battery, that baby’s price will top $50K. This will not be a mainstream car.

Lensman
Guest
Lensman

mutle said:

“I wonder then why EVs with less than half the ‘minimum range’ sell better than Tesla…”

Elon Musk was talking about cars which can actually compete with gas guzzlers. Not the current “early adopter” EVs, which have only managed to capture 1% of the new car market after several years of sales.

It won’t be many years until Musk’s prediction is proven correct. 1% of sales is pretty small even for a niche product, let alone a mainstream one.

CP
Guest
CP

I believe BEV sales are about 0.6% of the market.

james
Guest
james

Location, location, location… Or price point as it were. I purchased a Leaf because of 2 things. 1 – I did not have to pay any federal tax for 1 year and considering the amount of overtime I worked that year I almost maxed the credit or subsidy depending on your point of view. I haven’t paid GA state tax for 2 years but that is sadly coming to an end for new purchases. I will be buying the Model 3 when it comes out again because of price point which is even better considering the range expansion even without the state tax credit. And I can probably get 10 for my Leaf in two years which is really just icing on the cake.

CP
Guest
CP

One thing’s obvious: You aren’t doing this to save money.

garm
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garm

Simple answer. Price

kdawg
Guest

That is an interesting comment coming from Elon, when the Model S does not meet that criteria according to Tesla enthusiasts.

Here’s a recent video of an interview at the opening of an new Supercharger in Effingham, IL. The woman being interviewed seems to be very savvy to all things Tesla, and starting at 1:40 she explains how she gets 220 miles in the summer, but only 170 miles in the winter.

Speculawyer
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Speculawyer

Tesla needs to adjust their software so you can have the car automatically pre-heat your batteries on cold morning thus getting better range (as long as you are connected to AC).

will
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will

Um, Model S already has preconditioning. Lol.

McKemie
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McKemie

No, the cabin can be pre-heated or pre-cooled, but that has very little effect on battery warming/cooling. In cold weather, you take a BIG hit on battery energy at the beginning of a trip. I agree: Tesla needs to warm the battery from grid power.

krona2k
Guest
krona2k

I thought that the pack is conditioned whenever the car is plugged in, if not that’s crazy.

Sunpowered
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Sunpowered

In most instances you are charging the car at night. In winter each morning I’ll set the charging limit higher and start the cab heat and this warms up everything while I take a shower and get my coffee. I have 61,500 miles on mine and don’t have any superchargers on my commute here in Michigan and I have no issues or range anxiety.

garm
Guest
garm

Just heat the Car and batteriets are heated atleast if you got the winter packags

Robb Stark
Guest
Robb Stark

The Model S 70 and 85 meet Elon’s stated standard.

He did not say 200 miles for every driver under every circumstance on the planet.

kdawg
Guest

I’m guessing sub 200 miles is very common in the winter in the midwest.

And this statement sort of does mean every/most situations. Winter is a typical situation.

“200 miles is minimum threshold for an electric car. We need 200+ miles in real world. Not 200 miles in ‘AC off, driving on flat road mode.”

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

I think that is precisely why he feels cars need 200 to 240 miles range… so they aren’t horse sh*t in the winter like my Leaf is

DonC
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DonC

Not sure why you restrict this to summer! Maybe we should be talking about the range after a few years, not only when the car is new.

Djoni
Guest
Djoni

I just don’t see 200 real mile in all condition impossible.
Winter ain’t typical, it’s a condition, a lifestyle, a geographical fact that are not evitable.
As state on a comment before, heating the battery at the optimal temperature would be a very good thing.
Better isolation, better HVAC and recuperation from anything that produce heat, motor, inverter, brake would also rise the range.
Typically you could also pack some more heat in the battery with the meteorological condition being known before start.
Example is’t -25c° and you have 150 miles to go, just heat the pack at the maximum tolerable temp, 25-35c° whatever it is and since the HVAC will cool it very quickly sucking heat from it to heat the cabin it woudn’t matter for the pack.
It’s just engineering work, thats’it!
Yes Leaf MY12 ain’t a winter warrior, unless you are one yourself!

Lensman
Guest
Lensman

Only 220 miles in summer, 170 in cold conditions for the Model S? Sounds like that woman is only charging to 80%, as Consumer Reports did in their range testing.

It’s not a good idea to charge your BEV to 100% on a daily basis, but if you’re trying to stretch your range, then definitely you should use 100% charge.

CP
Guest
CP

Why should she have charged it past Tesla’s own suggestions? In any case, I talk to Tesla owners all the time, and they tell me that distance between charges varies from 175 in the winter to 220 in the summer.

Lensman
Guest
Lensman

CP asked:

“Why should she have charged it past Tesla’s own suggestions?”

The suggestion of 80% is for everyday driving. Presumably people are not driving their Tesla Model S 200+ miles every day, now are they? If so, they definitely bought the wrong car.

Most sensible EV owners who plan on an extended trip, one which tests the range of their EV, will charge to 100% on those rare occasions.

CP continued:

“In any case, I talk to Tesla owners all the time, and they tell me that distance between charges varies from 175 in the winter to 220 in the summer.”

As they say: “Your mileage may vary.” 220 miles sounds about right for driving at 75 MPH on the highway. But a mix of city/highway driving should yield something much closer to the EPA estimate of 265 miles.

175 miles is 79% of 220, so that’s certainly within normal limits for range reduction in very cold weather… again assuming 100% highway driving. And again “Your mileage may vary”, but it seems reports generally show a 20 to 30 percent loss of BEV range in very cold weather.

CP
Guest
CP

The Tesla owners in Seattle get about 175 between charges in the winter, and 220 in summer. I didn’t play the video, but rather looked at the numbers only. And they match not only what I’ve been told by Tesla owners, but broadly match my own EVs performance when adjusted for battery size.

James
Guest
James

Without Tesla pulling the entire auto industry into an electric 21st Century – it would take decades and decades for those companies to build profit strategies in which building electric cars made sense to them.

BMW recently came out stating that an i5-type next-gen I Series wouldn’t be in their plans before 2020 or beyond. That whole line of thinking changes very fast once Model III appears on the market and becomes a smashing success. Then, look for the companies who are creeping towards small production 200 mile EVs to suddenly accelerate their plans to meet the competitive threat.

Cavaron
Guest
Cavaron

Well spoken. As soon as the car makers realise that sometime in 2017, they will also realise, that there is a huge battery supply gap. This will hold em back at least another 1.5 years, bevore they can produce more than 50k 200 mile BEVs a year per company (Nissan/Renault, GM, Ford, BMW and VW) worldwide – besides Tesla of course.

GeorgeS
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GeorgeS

I keep hearing these statements about Tesla’s battery manufacturing capabilities that no other manufacturer can match.

LG chem holland plant has the capacity for 3.2 gwh/ year. Your 50,000 200 mile cars are 3 gwh/year. so GM/LG chem already has the manufacturing capability.

The other thing ya’ll keep getting confused is Tesla’s giga factory. The factory they are building right now will only have 20% capacity. That amounts to around 7 gwh/yr. So GM/LG chem already have manufacturing capacity equal to 1/2 of Tesla…..and the giga factory isn’t done yet

Cavaron
Guest
Cavaron
Well, I wanted to say, that it will be very hard for the named manufacturers to exceed the 50k BEVs a year worldwide. And there will be a lot more demand than that for a 200 mile BEV. Think about it – LG Chem has a great battery available at the end of 2016. Many manufacturers made contracts for BEV-sales based on todays BEV demand (20-40k) like Renault/Nissan, GM, Daimlers next Smart and maybe more (Kia? Ford?). On the other hand, Tesla has it’s Gigafactory, the growing capacities from Panasonic and even established relations to Samsung SDI as a backup. BYD will supply the chinese market. GS Yuasa (relatively low dense batteries for mitsu) and maybe NEC can add some more capacity to the other manufacturers (who also need to put some batteries in their Hibrids and PHEVs), but who could ramp up it’s battery production to compete with Tesla + Panasonic (+ maybe Samsung) as soon as they realize, that the demand for a 200 BEV is way more than 50k a year worldwide? So my guess is, that in total battery capacity Tesla will outsell all the other manufacturers combined in 2017/2018. And that isn’t because of a… Read more »
Lindsay Patten
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Lindsay Patten

LG Chem recently opened a large new battery factory in China.

Lensman
Guest
Lensman

Cavaron said:

“So my guess is, that in total battery capacity Tesla will outsell all the other manufacturers combined in 2017/2018. And that isn’t because of a lack of demand for the others, but because they are battery supply constrained.”

…and because the other manufacturers have a strong disincentive to sell compelling, long-range EVs in large enough numbers to make a significant impact on sales of their own best-selling gas guzzlers.

CP
Guest
CP

There’s another consideration, which is that no car manufacturer makes money from EVs. Every last one of them is sold at a loss.

Lensman
Guest
Lensman

Tesla certainly isn’t selling them at a loss! Their gross profit margin is about 25%. (Investors say Tesla “isn’t profitable” only because it’s reinvesting all profits in growing the company rather than paying dividends to stockholders.)

Also, I seriously doubt Nissan is still losing money on every Leaf it sells. Not after building two additional manufacturing plants in Tennessee and the UK to avoid import costs and to take advantage of local labor. Of course, overall the Leaf program is almost certainly still a money loser, because of the capital investment needed to build those new factories. It will take some years to amortize those costs away. But the per-unit manufacturing cost of the Leaf is very likely now less than the average sales price.

CP
Guest
CP

Tesla does not earn a profit on operations, measured either by GAAP or cash flow.

CP
Guest
CP

no one knows for sure whether or not Nissan makes incremental profit on LEAF sales, but I strongly doubt it. If they sold the cars for sticker, they might have a shot, but most of those cars are leased. And it’s clear that Nissan subsidizes the hell out of the leases, offering VERY attractive terms given the price of the car and its horrible depreciation record.

Robert Weekley
Guest
Maybe I Am Missing Something here, Will Panasonic Not Still have their other Battery Factories in Production, Producing the Cells for the Model S (now the S70D, S85, S85D, and P85D, and maybe the 70 kWh Roadster Upgrade)? Do we all believe that the Cells that the Prototype for the Model 3 will use won’t arrive until this new plant is working? Will they simply be taking manufacturing equipment from their existing Battery Plants to locate it inside the GigaFactory? I for one, don’t think that will be the case, but Brand New Equipment – very likely with Flexible Building options, like Tesla’s Multi-Tasking Robots, in some way, will be all installed by Panasonic into the GF – One Step at a Time! Gradually Building out Capacity until it is filled with the new Production Lines. Maybe it is just me – but I Suspect that they will be deciding on the Cell Form Factor, and since there is some talk of maybe changing from 18650 to a bit larger (taller and bigger diameter) cell, any pre-production Proof of Concept prototypes using the 18650 Cells will be just for Styling display, and actual Cells will be built into Model 3… Read more »
GeorgeS
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GeorgeS

They already announced they are switching to a larger diameter cylindrical cell with additional length

Lensman
Guest
Lensman
Robert Weekley April 11, 2015 at 4:52 pm Maybe I Am Missing Something here, Will Panasonic Not Still have their other Battery Factories in Production, Producing the Cells for the Model S (now the S70D, S85, S85D, and P85D, and maybe the 70 kWh Roadster Upgrade)? Do we all believe that the Cells that the Prototype for the Model 3 will use won’t arrive until this new plant is working? Will they simply be taking manufacturing equipment from their existing Battery Plants to locate it inside the GigaFactory?” You can be sure that Tesla has had Panasonic make some test cells of the slightly larger size. But as I understand it, the plan is to have Panasonic’s current factories continue producing the current cell, while the new larger cell is made only at the Gigafactory. Tesla has pushed forward the plans for building out the Gigafactory so it can be producing some volume of the larger cells by the time Tesla is ready to start mass production on the Model ≡. My understanding is that Panasonic’s current battery factories will continue providing cells for the Model S and X, even after the Gigafactory is producing in volume. No telling how… Read more »
Philip
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Philip

If other battery manufacturers already have ample capacity (I haven’t done research on this) wouldn’t it already be allocated to existing products- not necessarily EVs? I can’t see all those gwh/year just sitting there waiting for someone to think of a use for them

This suggests that, if the regular car companies move quickly to large-scale EV production, they will indeed have to look at building up battery production in a meaningful way.

Lensman
Guest
Lensman

Yes, that’s a problem with all these reports that lithium ion battery makers are building new factories and that they’re going to increase their annual production by so many GWh.

No telling just how many of those GWh are gonna wind up in EVs vs. how many in cellphones, laptops, iPods and iPads, cameras, and other consumer electronic devices. Even electric shavers use li-ion batteries these days.

Lensman
Guest
Lensman
GeorgeS said: “I keep hearing these statements about Tesla’s battery manufacturing capabilities that no other manufacturer can match.” Until very recently indeed, Tesla was the only company talking about building to an annual production of 35 GWh of li-ion batteries specifically for PEVs, by 2020. “LG chem holland plant has the capacity for 3.2 gwh/ year. Your 50,000 200 mile cars are 3 gwh/year. so GM/LG chem already has the manufacturing capability.” LG Chem has recently announced plans to increase their annual production, to approximately match the amount of GWh from the Gigafactory which Tesla says will be used to power its cars. But LG Chem is supplying several auto makers, not just one. LG’s supply will have to be split between several customers. The Gigafactory’s output will all be for Tesla cars, with any leftover going to stationary energy storage. “The other thing ya’ll keep getting confused is Tesla’s giga factory. The factory they are building right now will only have 20% capacity. That amounts to around 7 gwh/yr.” You write as though Tesla is going to stop with 20% of the Gigafactory built out. That’s only the first phase of construction. Tesla’s plan is to add GWh of… Read more »
Speculawyer
Guest
Speculawyer

I certainly don’t agree that it is the minimum for EVs in general.

I understand and respect it if he wants 200 miles to be the minimum range for Tesla EVs in order to keep their high-end brand image. That is probably a great idea for them.

But for EVs in general . . . let people pick what works best for their needs and budget.

kdawg
Guest

I agree w/this. For me 200 is the min, and 250 would be better. And I’d be willing to pay for that, just not $100k. Others are fine with 100 miles of range, so they should have that option.

Robb Stark
Guest
Robb Stark

People that are fine with ~100 mile ranges represent 1% of the buying population. Fine if you want to keep BEVs in the micro niche Green car ghetto.

200 miles reaches 40% of the population and mass adoption.

350 mile range and 99% of the population is a standard for 4th or 5th gen EVs.

Khai L.
Guest
Khai L.

I’m fine with a 100-mile BEV, as long as I have a Tesla model 3 too!

Most (probably?) families have at least 2 cars (dual income earners), so having one commuter and one long-range BEV (or ICE in the worse case scenario) would work perfectly fine!

I think the short-range BEV market will explode right along-side Tesla’s model 3 sales.

Josh
Guest

There are still traps with that setup. If the 200 mile BEV is out of town, the “100 mile” BEV could leave the other person in some tight spots. I experienced that with an ICE and a LEAF. I took the ICE out of town and my wife couldn’t make a dinner after work in the LEAF.

I think a “200 mile” BEV and a 40 – 50 mile PHEV is the perfect combination.

Lensman
Guest
Lensman

Khai L. said:

“I think the short-range BEV market will explode right along-side Tesla’s model 3 sales.”

Nope. If the short-range BEV market was going to “explode”, then Nissan wouldn’t be able to build enough Leafs to satisfy demand. As it is, they have slack capacity at their assembly plants.

kdawg
Guest

I think 100 miles is more of the market share than you think. Most households have 2 cars. If you just need one of them for a commuter, you don’t need more than 100 miles. If it’s your only car, 200+ is the min. for the most part.

kdawg
Guest

‘echo … echo’

will
Guest
will

EV’s will never go mainstream if they remain in a ‘second car’ niche, especially considering only wealthy buyers own more than a single car.

Whilst there is still a large population of people who have no interest in paying extra for extra range, and are perfectly happy with 100 miles, we will eventually reach a point where the batteries will be cheap enough that you’d be stark raving mad to take a car with less than 200 miles of practical range.

Musk also realises that even if the majority of people rarely do trips beyond 30 miles, having more usable range is important for achieving the correct image EV’s will require in order to stop being ridiculed for their short range, and for achieving the point where people start to feel comfortable completely replacing their ICE vehicles (or owning an EV as a sole car without sacrificing the ability to cater to their driving needs.)

kdawg
Guest

“considering only wealthy buyers own more than a single car”
———–
Most households on the US have more than 1 car. It’s not a “wealthy” thing.

From the US DOT:

“Interestingly, while the mean number of vehicles in households is 1.9 personal vehicles, households in the United States on average have 1.8 drivers who are 15 years or older. Thus, it appears that households on average have more vehicles than drivers.”

Josh
Guest

Seeing how Will used the word “whilst”, I am guessing he is not focused on the US market. In other countries, I think a one car household is more common than the US.

kdawg
Guest

I dunno. US is #4 in the world for cars per capita. Lots of European nations on par.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_vehicles_per_capita

CP
Guest
CP

Take a closer look at the list and the U.S. is #1. The “top three” are tiny, rich enclaves that are “countries” in name only. The big European countries have significantly fewer cars per capita than we do. This makes sense, because Europe is much more congested and has much better public transit.

Robert Weekley
Guest
When EV’s can get 100 miles of range at +35C and -30C AND Workplaces have ubiquitous EV Charging, then – I think 100 miles Range will be fine for taking a big bite of Auto Sales; but if the range in Extreme Winter and Summer is so different – and still so much less than Gas Cars, Newbies are going to be Nervous – even when the Specs of the car meet and exceed their needs: It’s a ‘comfortably’ thing! (It’s not what is, but what is perceived, that matters!) I think, until Workplaces have ubiquitous EV Charging, the 200+ mile range, is the goal! Even for the 40 mile Commuter, there is the question – ‘What if I forget to Plug it in one night?’ – 200 miles range = Solved! 100 Miles Range in Summer, but 60 miles Range in Winter = Panic (In their Minds, imagining the Winter situation)! Even before Tesla had their Roadster out – When I spoke with or offered a Co-worker a ride in my EV Conversion – the questions went like this: ‘How far can it go on a charge?’, ‘How Fast Can it Go?’, and ‘What does it Cost?’ – Which… Read more »
kdawg
Guest

Obviously it depends on the person, each case is different, but I think the biggest difference in questions is how many cars they have. If you always have an ICE car as a backup, some of the ‘panic’ is gone. Personally, I only own 1 vehicle, so it needs to hit 200 miles even when its -20 in Michigan. Otherwise I’m renting a car that day.

Speculawyer
Guest
Speculawyer

You also need to factor in the price of gas. At current prices, yeah, people won’t want a 100 mile EV. But current gas prices won’t last forever.

If gas costs $5/gallon 4 year from now, a lot of people will find a 100 mile EV will do. If gas costs $6/gallon, even more people will start to love that 100 mile EV.

The 100 mile EV will become commuter car for the masses. Need to drive a longer distance? You can always do it with a fast-charger, grab a hybrid from a carshare service, rent a car, buy a PHEV if you regularly go long distances, etc.

People keep bringing up long distances but in reality people very rarely drive long distances. Most of have to move a very large thing now and then but most of us don’t buy a truck because we can borrow a truck, rent one U-Haul, rent the truck in front of Home Depot, rent a truck from rental service, etc.

will
Guest
will

The sad and hilarious thing is how cheap fuel is for you Americans. In the UK we already pay almost $6/US gallon equivalent for fuel. And despite this, EV’s are far, far less popular in the UK. We even have shorter distances to drive, as it’s a small country.

Speculawyer
Guest
Speculawyer

Will, I’ve called that the European EV paradox. You have high gas prices but people don’t seem to buy EVs which will save them lots of money on gas . . . I mean petrol. I figure that main reason is so many people live in flats where they don’t have a place where they can install a charger.

But I’d love to hear your thoughts on why EV adoption is weak in Europe considering the high price of petrol.

Priusmaniac
Guest
Priusmaniac

The reason is range. In Europe most cars are diesels that often have between 500 and 800 miles of range. So when one says an ev needs to be above 200 miles but it certainly wont have 400 miles, which is even lower than the lowest diesel, people just don’t connect.

They see 400 miles as a starting point not as an end point.

Josh
Guest

Gas prices might be high, but electricity rates are more than double the US rates. The $,$$$ saved in fuel isn’t much different in most EU countries.

Access to a home EVSE is much less common in the EU than the US, which is there reason I think adoption has started out slower.

Neil Dunn
Guest
Neil Dunn

Sales of EVs are picking up in the UK though.
Over 6,000 were sold in March, which was over 1% of the market.
(March and September see new registration plates, so we get a spike in overall car sales)

CP
Guest
CP

Last time I was in Scotland I paid about $8.50 a gallon. But the gas station guy felt sorry for me and threw in a little tin of shortbread for free. 🙂

DMW
Guest
DMW

100 miles would be acceptable to me if the charging time were only 5 minutes. I have a 60 mile round trip commute and if I have errands to run on my way home I’d have to worry about running out of power. For me it’s the charging time not necessarily the range.

CP
Guest
CP

You’re not going to see a 5-minute charge giving you 100 miles of range for a very long time.

Lensman
Guest
Lensman

It’s going to happen a lot sooner than you think. Competition will drive down charging time at least to the point of 200 miles of range added in 10 minutes, and quite possibly even faster.

CP
Guest
CP

Remember: volts (x) amps = watts, and an EV will go 3.3 miles per kWh, on average, in an area with a mild climate. To get 100 miles of range in 5 minutes (which is still slower than a gasoline fillup), you’d need to squirt 30 kWh in five minutes.

Even if the chargers existed, the grid infrastructure doesn’t. Nor will it in the foreseeable future.

koz
Guest
koz

Areed 100% and thought I was a person too until reading these synopsis of Elon’s comments. I have a Models 40/60 and am perfectly satisfied with the range for the price I paid. $15-20k more for the 2-4 times per year that I could even use the extra range but don’t need it seems pretty silly to me. I guess that’s my non-person logic talking.

James
Guest
James

Legacy automakers remind me of a college student doing the absolute minimum to pass a class. We see the move today to meet current MPG and emissions mandates by building PHEV versions of their ICE models, stuffing battery packs basically, in the trunk. It’s OK, and a few of those vehicles have a chance at becoming breakthrough products for those companies. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and Audi Q7 e-Tron come to mind. As this process moves along at a slug’s speed, Tesla is pressing ahead with it’s Gigafactory and plans for Model III.

Tesla is that “annoying” overachiever at your office who everyone hates for raising work standards for the whole department. If it weren’t for Elon Musk, the existence of EVs or Battery Electric Vehicles would stay pretty close to where it has evolved today – 80 mile city cars, severely limited by the tether of the charge cord.

Speculawyer
Guest
Speculawyer

Well . . . it is kinda hard to blame them. They’ve been doing the same thing for nearly a 100 years so change is hard.

And they also have the fact that consumers are the same way . . . scared to try something new.

But Tesla created a great car for a product class that none of them believe existed. A high-end great electric car. Any of the existing companies could have done it . . . GM, Ford, VW, Chrysler, Toyota, BMW, Mercedes, Honda, Nissan, Subaru, Mitsubishi, etc. . . . But none of them had the vision or the balls to do it.

Mister G
Guest
Mister G

Elon Musk is brilliant.

CP
Guest
CP

An “overachiever” in the stock promoter department, yes. As a car company, not exactly.

Priusmaniac
Guest
Priusmaniac

He doesn’t care of the stock market and has repeatedly said he thought the value was too high.
His Model S is great.
The only thing I would have done differently is to keep the 40 KWh model but with a small free piston generator in the frunk. That would have given versatility to it while still remaining more affordable than the 85 KWh model and allowing longer range.

Boukman
Guest
Boukman

I expect the next generation LEAF to have 2 battery choices : a 125 miles one and an optional 200 miles one. This way people who are fine with 125 miles won’t have to pay for more battery then they need.

OppChg
Guest
OppChg

+1.
Even better if they can achieve the 125/200 miles EPA by increasing efficiency through engineering (lightweighting and aerodynamics) and be able to use only 2X to 40kWh batteries to acheive this goal.

CP
Guest
CP

It depends on what you mean by 125 miles of range. If that’s full to “won’t roll” empty, then you immediately must cut 25 to 30 miles off of that figure. That would get you a year-’round average in a mild climate of 95 to 100 miles. Maybe 110 in summer, and 80 in winter. Take it to Chicago, and winter range will be 50 to 60 miles.

I don’t think it’ll be enough.

Tom Moloughney
Guest
I don’t think it’s possible to offer a single minimum electric range. That number is going to vary from person to person. I’ve been living for 6 years now with 80-100 mile EVs and have driven them about 170,000 miles. Do I wish they had more range? Definitely. How much more? Honestly, about 50 miles more would be absolutely perfect for me. I believe a great deal of the population would jump at the opportunity for an EPA rated 140 – 160 mile EV if it were available for under 40k, especially once we have a more robust DCQC infrastructure. The infrastructure is more important to me than the 200+ mile range. I agree where we’re at now (most electric cars have 60 – 90 mile range)is insufficient, but double that and add DCQC and I believe the vast majority of people could convert of they wanted to. Of course where you live geographically makes can be a big influence on how much range you find acceptable. I just don’t believe anyone can throw a single number out there as what what should be the minimum rage for an electric car. Perhaps 200 miles should be the minimum for Tesla… Read more »
Speculawyer
Guest
Speculawyer

Exactly. We all want infinite range. But every mile of range on an EV adds to the price. So what everyone really wants is the minimum amount of range that covers their real needs. And that number will vary for every person.

Is this a 2nd car that will be used as a commuter? Are you planning to take long trips in the car? Do you regularly drive long distances? Are there some fast chargers around on your regular long distance drives?

All of these factors play in.

Robert
Guest
Robert

Tom I agree with you,200 mile would be great but I would be just as happy with a EV that can drive 2 hours on the freeway (120-140 mile) before I need to start thinking about charging. That to me would be acceptable in range.

CP
Guest
CP

Sorry, but you’re an affluent EVangelist who’s way out of touch with the bulk of car buyers. For EVs to be mainstream, I think they’ll need 200 miles of range on 75%-80% of the battery, with a sticker BEFORE tax credits of under $30,000. If someone can make that vehicle, it’ll have a chance in the second-car market among people who just want to go from point A to point B and don’t otherwise care about how it gets there.

James
Guest
James

I find 120 miles perfect for urban driving. If I could have two cars it would be our Rav and the new Model S 70.

What I would love to see is a swap station in major metro areas that would swap a 40kW pack for the 85kW pack for trips. Commuting with an 85kW pack is simply a lot of wasted weight that damages infrastructure and requires more resources to produce and maintain. I would be happy to spend $100 for a battery swap for the two trips I take each year.

Rich
Guest
Rich

I’m one of those people who can’t make it on 55 miles of range in the winter. I need a 150 mile pack to start with, but like you would like the option to rent a high capacity pack for vacation trips. The only downside to a battery swap station is the swap service may not return my original pack back to me. I would be concerned about getting an abused pack back when turning in the high capacity rental pack. If the service returns my original pack back to me, I would support this service.

koz
Guest
koz

Actually, I think the ideal setup would be a two module design. One permanently installed @35kwh pack with good cycle life and 40kwh module that can be swapped. That way the car can be built the same, upgraded easily, or configured with long range from the start. Tesla could offer the base battery model for $30k if they have a shot at $35k for 200 miles.

David Murray
Guest
David Murray

I think 100 miles should be the minimum for a BEV. Granted, we have a Leaf right now that gets 85 miles. So we’re only talking about another 15 miles. But I think for low-end EVs that are affordable, 100 miles should be sufficient, especially if fast charging is available.

Having said that, I still believe the PHEV is the best solution for consumers that want to go electric right now. Our other car is a Volt and it is more versatile than a Tesla.

DonC
Guest
DonC

Everything Musk says is designed to sell the product he has. Doesn’t make what he says wrong, but it’s not an insight born of deep thought. 200 miles is a nice round number, but having driven a BEV for four years, I’m not sure 150 or even 125 miles of AER wouldn’t work equally well.

Argonne which is the center of the US battery hub, said when they talked to car manufacturers about a battery that could be used in a 400 mile BEV, all the manufacturers, as in every last one, told them what they really wanted was a cheap 80 mile battery for an EREV/hybrid.

It’s an 80/20 thing. An 80 mile AER probably covers 95% of all driving and should give you very good performance. Adding 5X the range would cost 500% more and only be used 5% of the time.

A BEV is simpler than an EREV, and doesn’t need as much technical and production know-how, but if you already have the engine technology then the cost advantages of the EREV may make that route more appealing.

Anon
Guest
Anon

I think you have it backwards…

Elon’s products are designed based on his personal driving experience, navigating between Silicon Valley and LA. Those trips are about 350 – 382ish miles (depending on specific start and stop locations).

When he updated the Roaster to be able to do this drive in one go; with no stops for charging– that was a goal based on his personal EV owning & driving experience. To insinuate that this man does not think deeply about the products he oversees, dictates specifications for, or sells world wide– is quite laughable, IMHO.

Lensman
Guest
Lensman

DonC said:

“Everything Musk says is designed to sell the product he has. Doesn’t make what he says wrong, but it’s not an insight born of deep thought.”

Tesla cars are designed by a team. Elon Musk is -on- the team, but he’s not the team by himself.

If any other auto maker gave the same deep thought to building and selling compelling EVs as Tesla does, then Tesla would be playing follow-the-leader, instead of leading the pack.

CP
Guest
CP

If I were running one of the top car companies, i.e. Mercedes, VW, BMW, GM, Toyota, I’d be happy as a clam to let Tesla take the startup losses to drive lithium-ion battery manufacturing economies of scale.

I would sit there and wait for the concept to prove out and for costs to drop. Once that happened, I would squash Tesla like a bug. And that’s exactly what I think will happen if EVs ever become ready for prime time.

Brian_Henderson
Guest

The key take-away is the 20% margin on usable miles vs. max milage A/C off, ideal conditions stuff. This speaks more to advertising than anything else. It’s all about setting expectations!

eg: TMS proves 200 usable miles from 240 mile pack.

Similarly for 100 usable miles, the pack needs to contain 120 mile capacity. (Or, 65 miles from an 80 mile pack)
It not that an 80-100 mile EV is compromise just don’t promise ideal miles for all driving conditions.

Brian_Henderson
Guest

Autocorrect (arg): proves -> provides

Stephen Hodges
Guest
Stephen Hodges

Id prefer a bit more than 20% for the “I forgot something” factor, plus of course the battery degradation which will erode it.

John Hansen
Guest
John Hansen

Gas cars today all get around 300 miles of range. The car manufacturers don’t sell any that have a 75 mile range, and they don’t sell many that have 400+ miles of range. There’s a reason for that. Gas cars have a similar set of criteria as electrics do. A smaller tank would be slightly more efficient, but inconvenient. A very large tank wouldn’t add much value because people don’t drive that far very often, and you would always be carrying around unnecessary weight. Electrics can go slightly smaller, since you have a fully charged battery in the morning, but not a lot smaller. Musk is right.

David Murray
Guest
David Murray

That range makes sense for gas cars primarily because they cannot be refueled every night at home, and because a 15 gallon gas tank doesn’t really cost that much more than a 3 gallon gas tank.

Priusmaniac
Guest
Priusmaniac

That is true for commute but not when you have a real longer distance to drive, especially when you must count a round trip with no charging possibility at destination, only when you are back.

Priusmaniac
Guest
Priusmaniac

For information no diesel car has less than 500 miles range and even a Prius has 400 + range.

David Hrivnak
Guest

We rarely got over 300 miles in our Prius. After the wife ran out of gas with 1 bar we had to fill up at 2.

Nom de Plume
Guest
Nom de Plume

What the heck Prius were you driving? My Prius has never registered “empty” under 400 miles, and after that it can easily get another 80 miles, since the last couple of gallons (considered a reserve) aren’t registered on the fuel gauge. Did you have an older model?

John Hansen
Guest
John Hansen

Like I said, “not many”.

CP
Guest
CP

My 2013 Ram 3500 diesel truck has a 510 mile range.

eco Logical
Guest

Does anyone remember the Tesla Model S 40 kWh? Nobody wanted it! Most people who bought a Model S 60 kWh regretted it and wanted the upgrade to 85 kWh. Now the Model S 70 kWh and 240 miles range is minimum. Elon Musk is speaking from experience.

CP
Guest
CP

Funny thing is that the 40 kWh Model S makes more sense than anything else. That car will go 100 miles on 80% of the battery in California, where most of the U.S. Teslas live. The 84 kWh top end battery is too big for a city commuter sled, but not big enough to be an authentic road trip vehicle, at least for people whose idea of a road trip involves getting off the main roads.

Someone out there
Guest
Someone out there

I agree that 400 miles is unnecessary but I think the car industry will go there anyway, simply because it’s a great USP. Range is where car makers will go head to head.

CP
Guest
CP

I’ve owned 10 gas cars and one EV. Other than the EV, no car I’ve owned has had a highway range of less than 400 miles.

Priusmaniac
Guest
Priusmaniac

When stating an ev range it all depends on what we talk about. If it is an ev with a rex 100 miles of range is enough, you don’t need 200 since you have your rex for those longer trips.
If it is for a pure ev, 200 miles is the bare minimum and most people will only feel comfortable when they have 400 miles. Especially if they have to migrate from 800 plus range diesel cars like in Europe. So 200 is the minimum but 400 is certainly not too much. Actually having 500 miles would be even better to be sure to keep your 400 when the combined effect of battery aging and winter driving comes along.

CP
Guest
CP
I think you’re on the right track. The EVangelists don’t understand the market. They think people care about whether it’s electric or gas. They don’t. Not the mainstream buyer. All he cares about is how much it costs and how far it’ll go, for real. Given that “range anxiety” pretty much defines the EV experience and image, if EVs are going to go mainstream, they will have to perform better than expected, i.e., have more range than what’s really required. I’d point to the pickup truck market, which is very large in the U.S. and which is chock full of vehicles that do a lot more than they have to. I own a dinky, short range EV that I drive in the city. Bought it because it was cheap (in a bankruptcy sale, as in the bankruptcy of the manufacturer, Think Global), and because I’m a car nut. I also have a Ram 3500 heavy-duty pickup. It will tow 18,000 pounds; had I picked a different transmission and wheel package, I could’ve gotten one that’d tow 30,000 pounds. Very few people need that sort of capability, but it sells pickups. Just like long range is going to sell EVs to… Read more »
Lensman
Guest
Lensman

CP said:

“Giving people what you think they ‘need’ and expecting them to buy it is a fool’s errand. Giving people what they WANT and enticing them to buy it is how you turn Tesla from a money-losing Silicon Valley promoter of Rolexes on wheels into a real car company that someday even makes a nickel.”

+10

One of the best posts I’ve ever seen on the subject. Thank you, sir.

CP
Guest
CP

I’m a poet
And I don’t even know it
But me feet show it
‘Cause they’re long, fellow

Priusmaniac
Guest
Priusmaniac

That was a notch too far for me. Tesla is not a Silicon Valley promoter of Rolexes on wheels, it simply runs the only product price reduction curve. Going from very expensive to lower prices gradually. Nissan is going the other way, so somewhere in the middle stands the sedan version of the Leaf and the Model 3.

CP
Guest
CP

Tesla has never cut a price in its corporate history. They are strictly a carriage trade vendor.

Draighven
Guest
Draighven
What I don’t get is why longer range is so bothersome for some people. Yes, you have to carry around a larger battery but, the longer you can go, the longer you can go between charges. The less you charge, the longer the battery lasts. If you have a battery that has a vehicle useful recharge number of 500 charges and your range is 1000 miles per charge… that’s 500,000 miles of battery before range loss. It’s at that point that some of these battery breakthroughs with super high density but low recharge counts can gain traction, so what if you can only recharge a battery 500 times if you get 1000 miles per charge. Let’s add in Tesla’s battery swap station to that equation. You drive the average 12000 miles a year most drivers get. So, once a month you visit a battery swap station, get a new 1000 mile range battery and drive off for another month. Chargers no longer need to be packed into an electric car at that point, and they now refuel as fast as a gas car and far less often. On top of that longer range means you don’t have to sit in… Read more »
Mutwin Kraus
Guest

If there was no price or weight penalty for longer range no one would have a problem with that. But that is not the case today or for the foreseeable future.

CP
Guest
CP

Forget about Tesla’s battery swap stations. They are a non-starter and always will be. For starters, it’s incredibly expensive. The price will work out to much more expensive than gasoline. Secondly, what’s to keep someone with an old, worn-down battery from swapping for a newer one? The second factor is overlooked by everyone, but it’ll stop the idea dead in its tracks even for people who might otherwise be willing to pay the equivalent of $6 or $7 a gallon.

Josh
Guest

The one part of the equation that hasn’t been discussed here is battery fatigue. All of the range statements here are on day 1. Every BEV will lose range over time, no exceptions. It is just the rate of loss that changes between design strategies and chemistries.

The larger pack not only gives some cushion against battery fatigue, it lowers the cycle count on each use. Tesla’s battery management system is helpful in reducing the battery fatigue, but the fact that it is 85 kWh to begin with is the real advantage.

CP
Guest
CP
I own an EV and have a pretty low opinion of Musk, so it’s rare for me to give him credit for anything. But I agree with him about a 200-mile range. I think it’s a minimum for EVs to break out of the hobbyist/EVangelist niche they now inhabit. By 200 miles, I mean on 75%-80% of the battery, as a year-’round average, in a climate with mild winters. That’s how I read Musk’s statement. This time, for a change, I don’t think he’s putting out the usual phony banter that has characterized Everything Tesla until now. To get a 200-mile range on 75%-80% of the battery, you’ll need 65 kWh capacity. I doubt the Model 3 will have that big a battery, at least in the base model. If he does offer a 65 kWh Model 3, it’ll have to be priced out of reach of the mainstream second car buyer, just as Tesla’s other cars have been. He also apparently said that 400 miles of range is unnecessary. He’s right if we’re talking about city commuter cars, but he’s wrong if we’re talking about a general purpose vehicle for a one-car family. Given the charging times for EV… Read more »
OppChg
Guest
OppChg

To put some of what you said another way, part of the best hope for true plug in car mainstream public adoption (“primary cars”) is for plug in hybrid types to continue to have 50% or more of the plug in car market, and continue to spread out in to various brands, sizes and flavors (not just the Volt and a few others but LOTS). Range, charging time, battery cost (compared to TCO) just don’t matter for these type vehicles, yet than can be designed to use zero gas daily to monthly, and electric miles 80-90%+ of driving over tens of thousands of miles, for most drivers.

CP
Guest
CP
Yep, I sure agree. I realize that the Volt has yet to take off, but I think that’s GM-specific. If Toyota stuck the Voltec system into their Priuses, I think it’d take off like a rocket. GM needs to drastically change their Volt marketing. They should call it an enhanced hybrid, and do away with anything sci-fi. Stress that, in most city driving, you’ll hardly ever use gas at all because it’ll go 50 miles if you plug it in. I think the Voltec architecture is a smash hit, but the marketing is a strikeout. This is unusual for GM, which historically has been a damned good marketer of cars. In fact, GM pretty much wrote the book on marketing passenger vehicles. But they’ve stumbled badly with the Volt, which is otherwise a great, great car. (And no, I do not own a Volt, but I routinely advise people that it’s the best electric car out there for ordinary folks.) Pure BEVs have a long hill to climb, in my opinion. EVangelists are fooling themselves when they dismiss range anxiety and/or traffic in phony numbers, or blather about public charging and battery swaps. If BEVs ever hope to make it… Read more »
OppChg
Guest
OppChg

Totally agree – and I’m an unabashed EVangelist. It’s especially helpful I think to work for folks sometimes on opposite sides of the spectrum to hopefully stop thinking about BEVs and ICEs in a sort of black/white fallacy, and rather think of plug in *electric drive* as the next major premium vehicle feature that will be desired and in demand, one that can not only improve performance and driving enjoyment, but also save consumers money long term, provide new conveniences (and reduce externalized evironmental and societal costs of petroleum, if the consumer even cares about that – polling shows that most do not). BMW, GM, and a few others seem to be on the right track with this, and make no bones about it as a future strategy. We can only hope that Toyota will “come to Jesus” (and that I can find forgiveness in my heart lol).

The good news is with respect to the realism on BEVs, the vast majority of those working on actual policy goals (as well as education, which is my main concern) at the state and federal level plus non-profits also share those pragmatic views for consumer adoption.

Priusmaniac
Guest
Priusmaniac

In the short term the BMW i3 architecture is the most interesting for global diffusion, especially if the i5 version comes along, although BMW appear as unwilling since that at least post 2020 date announcement. Toyota could even perfect it since they have a strategic free piston generator that is more efficient and above all simpler and compact like a shoebox.
In a way there is still room for research in devices that convert liquid fuel in KWh, especially direct ethanol fuel cells since these use a renewable liquid and are silent. But also thermoacoustic devices have potential or others.

CP
Guest
CP

In a way there is still room for research in devices that convert liquid fuel in KWh, especially direct ethanol fuel cells since these use a renewable liquid and are silent. But also thermoacoustic devices have potential or others.

This isn’t even coherent.

CP
Guest
CP

Myself, I wouldn’t say that I “don’t care” about the externalities of extracted fuels, which include petroleum, methane, coal, and uranium (and which generate 87% of U.S. electricity).

Rather, I’m realistic. I absolutely refuse to trade in the magical that characterizes EVangelism, and promotion of wind and solar. I am optimistic in the long run, but I also see some distinct negatives coming with them.

The irony, and all too predictable, is that the EVangelists and renewable energy crowd will show absolutely not one bit more respect for the land and the environment than the people and companies they claim to oppose. It would be hard for me to be more cynical about that than I am.