December 22, 2014

At the Tesla Café...



... plug in!

78 comments:

Original Mike said...

Meh

RecChief said...

GWB dressed up as Santa Claus and delivered toys to kids in a hospital.

And he had his Secret Service Detail dress as elves.

And didn't take the media along.

that is all.

Merry Christmas leftist cult lemmings.

Gahrie said...

So basically, if you fail to maintain your Tesla properly by keeping it charged, it dies. Just as if I neglect to keep oil in my Dodge, it dies.

If I had $120,000 to spare, i'd by a Model D in a heartbeat.

I have every intention of buying one of his mass market models if they are even close in performance to what he has managed so far.

I don't understand the rightwing hate for Musk and Tesla.

Musk has fundamentally transformed four disperate industries by investing his time, abilities and fortune. He put his money where his mouth is, invested in America, and has provided thoudsands of high paying jobs.

Yes he received government loans. He has repaid those loans, with interest.

I'm bummed he can't run for president.

mccullough said...

Surprised that Tesla's heirs haven't come forward to sue for misappropriation of his name.

Gahrie said...

The Tesla Model S was Car of the Year last year, Consumer Reports loves it, and it has the highest safety ratings the government has ever awarded.

Original Mike said...

"So basically, if you fail to maintain your Tesla properly by keeping it charged, it dies."

The funny part is It doesn't just "die", the wheels won't turn. Try moving a car when the wheels won't turn (hence, "brick").

(I didn't know the "right wing" hated Musk. I don't hate him (but then, I'm not right wing)).

traditionalguy said...

Query: How well does electric drive do in winter ice and Snow? Does the battery hold a charge long enough @ -5 wind days?

Original Mike said...

I could think of a lot better uses for $120,000.

Gahrie said...

Query: How well does electric drive do in winter ice and Snow? Does the battery hold a charge long enough @ -5 wind days?

There is a guy in Europe (Norway I believe) who lives above the artic circle and owns at least half a dozen Teslas and drives them constantly.

Cold weather Teslas do require a special performance package, but it seems to work.

Jim Howard said...

I'm a right wing wacko and I don't hate Telsa, and none of my wacko friends to either.

What we do hate is the left's Big Government regulations that are designed to destroy the Teslas of the world. All over the country the government tries to punish Tesla for doing something different.

Tesla's only real enemy is the left created regulatory state.

chillblaine said...

There have been electric cars for more than a century. That's a long time trying and failing to overcome the battery limitation problem. Their business model needs gas at about ten dollars a gallon.

Original Mike said...

I do detest the tax favors handed out to Tesla from Nevada for their new factory, but I blame the Nevada government, not Tesla.

JAORE said...

One objection is the tax break for buying electrics. Hey, free market bay-bee. And energy density, slow recharging and life cycle issues are damning at this stage of development.

I do think the skate board platform technique used by Tesla is a cool concept. All the mechanical bits are at the bottom in the "flat" box. Drop whatever body configuration you want on top. Could be a winner some day.

Original Mike said...

"One objection is the tax break for buying electrics."

Yes.

Gahrie said...

There have been electric cars for more than a century. That's a long time trying and failing to overcome the battery limitation problem.

Tesla uses the same battery that is in your laptop. Identical. They just combine hundreds of them together.

The problem at this point is that there aren't enough batteries being produced, so Musk is building a multi-billion dollar factory that will take raw ores at one end, and roll out finished batteries at the other.

Original Mike said...

"Tesla uses the same battery that is in your laptop. Identical. They just combine hundreds of them together."

That doesn't fix the recharge time, does it?

Gahrie said...

That doesn't fix the recharge time, does it?

It depends on how you are recharging. Using an extension cord and 110 is going to take awhile. Using the available supercharger takes overnight. Using 220 like your washer and dryer seems to work for daily commuting. The free charging stations provided by Tesla provide hundreds of miles of charge in half an hour.

rhhardin said...

I suppose the hood is open because it breaks down a lot.

rhhardin said...

I'm not an expert but I think lithium batteries don't mind cold.

The interesting thing about stored masses of battery power is that there are unintuitive ways to explode.

People more or less understand gasoline.

David said...

Ah money.

Anonymous said...

I am from flyover country. Some days I drive 10 miles round trip to the office. Some days I drive 140 miles round trip to visit a customer site. Some days I drive 250 miles one way to another city to visit a customer site and come back a day or two later. Some days I drive 500 miles one way and 500 more miles the next day when visiting family four states away from my home city, and I carry four people and their luggage.

So far there are no electric cars that do all these things well. My gasoline-fueled car does. For the moment I plan to keep it. I choose not to buy a specialized car for every purpose.

Scott said...

I've seen Teslas on the road here in New Jersey. They are pretty cars.

It's not "big government" that's keeping Tesla from opening stores in some areas, it's laws at the state level that were written to obstruct car manufacturers from taking over their dealers. Tesla isn't the first to run into this. Ford has been trying to do the same thing for years.

Scott said...

@Grundoon: If you've got the cash to buy a Tesla, you should check out the BMW plug-in hybrids. You can drive around in all electric mode if you're feeling all ecological and shit, and fire up the engine when you need to go beyond the design range of the battery power.

sinz52 said...

For me, lack of charging infrastructure is the killer.

I don't own a home with a garage in which I could recharge my car.

All my life, I've lived in either apartments or apartment-style high-rise condos where I park my car in the street or in a parking lot.

Thus, I have no way to recharge my car overnight, unless I use a 500-foot-long extension cord.

All those who tout the benefits of electric cars seem to have forgotten about all us Americans who don't have garages in which to keep them and recharge them.

Fritz said...

62% coal powered car
6.9% renewables but about the same nuclear.

http://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=WI

iowan2 said...

interesting little experiment going on here in perception.
Why does the right hate Musk?

Well, the 'right' doesnt.

The right does disagree with the govt picking winners and losers, and artificially messing with the free market.

The
right doesnt hate ethanol either, just the govt messing with the free market to subsidize its existence.

Funny how some fail to think through their own miss perceptions.

Bob Ellison said...

Now, that's a trout.

Anonymous said...

Scott, thanks for mentioning the cost of a Tesla. The car I am using cost me about $13,000 when I bought it with 60,000 miles on the odometer. It probably gets between 30 and 35 miles to a gallon of gas.

By the way, I regularly ride in a Chevy Volt. It rides nice but it could carry more and be a lighter car if it did not need to carry around an engine, gas tank, battery pack, and electric motor.

I am not opposed to the idea of electric cars, but I am not so in love with the idea that I will cash in my retirement account when I can keep it and just buy a used car.

I do use a battery-powered lawmnower. My wife is sensitive to gas fumes. The mower cost about double what a gasoline mower would cost, the battery must be constantly charged, and the battery must be replaced about every three or four years for the price of a used gas mower. I don't own it to save money or enjoy greater convenience. (I bought it on the Althouse Amazon portal so some of the money went to support this community of news readers, photographers, gardeners, adventurers, music critics, punsters, debaters, and righters of wrongs.)

Beldar said...

If Mr. Musk's product were what the market wants at a price it will pay, Tesla wouldn't need government loans, repaid or not, and he wouldn't need continuing federal and state tax subsidies that put the taxpayers to the cost of paying for cars only driven by very rich people.

Sure, it's entirely possible that as a consequence of these government advantages, Tesla may end up being marginally more successful than the many other government-funded "clean energy" products that were more obvious scams.

But the Tesla is not a car of which free-market conservatives can approve.

rehajm said...

Took a serious look at one of those. The acceleration is serious fun. Range anxiety and build quality killed it for us. Sitting in the back seat is torture, and I couldn't see sitting half an hour during a road trip to charge. Also, what happens once there's a few more of these things in the wild- you pull into a charging station to find two of them using the charging station and two more waiting?

sykes.1 said...

Yes, direct current motors have serious torque. Back in the 60's, the MTA electric buses in Boston could out drag any car on the streets. Muy fun.

However, the Tesla only gets about 35 mpg (gasoline equivalent), and since the electricity mostly comes from fossil fuels (80% coal in the Midwest), it is a high CO2 emission car. But that's only a problem to warmists.

The energy storage capacity of gasoline and diesel is between 10 and 30 times that of the batteries used in the Tesla (depending of whether you use a volume or mass basis). That defect is no going to change. Electrochemistry was a solved problem in the late 19th Century. The voltage and storage capacity of any possible battery can be calculated, so we know there will be no breakthroughs coming.

So, Tesla is a very short range car (which cannot be fixed) with a very long refueling cycle (which cannot be fixed). If you want a low emission, long range, fuel efficient vehicle, buy a modern gasoline or diesel fueled car. If your driving is limited to city streets, a hybrid will give you enhanced mileage, but the extra costs will not be recovered. If you do long range commutes, hybrids will not provide enhanced mileage.

JHapp said...

I wouldn't mind the tax subsidies so much if it could only be used by the poor and all employees and stock holders of Tesla paid a 90% income tax.

Laslo Spatula said...

I like the quietness of the cars. You can pull up beside a strange woman on a dark empty street and she might never even hear you approach. Needs a bigger trunk, though.

I am Laslo.

Hagar said...

No, no, no!
Get another TT!

pm317 said...

Drove behind one yesterday.. lot of moneyed Obamites around here and you know what they are: Gruber-like stupid.

rhhardin said...

I bought a Yaris a year ago. It's still on its second tank of gas.

Fritz said...

Bob Ellison said...
Now, that's a trout.


Technically, it's a char and not a trout, but that is still a mighty nice one. Almost worth going ice fishing for.

Curious George said...

Curious George said...
"Gahrie said...
So basically, if you fail to maintain your Tesla properly by keeping it charged, it dies. Just as if I neglect to keep oil in my Dodge, it dies."

If there is oil in it, and you let it sit, it doesn't run out and die, does it? And what motor costs $40K?

"I don't understand the rightwing hate for Musk and Tesla."

We hate the fact that we pay for subsidies so rich lefty assholes can pay less. Does that clear it up for you Einstein?

"Gahrie said...
The Tesla Model S was Car of the Year last year, Consumer Reports loves it, and it has the highest safety ratings the government has ever awarded."

LOL Consumer Reports loves it. All you need to know about the agenda of CR. A $120,000 car can brick itself without even using it, resulting in a $40,000 repair to the consumer, and "Consumer" Reports loves it.

Bob Ellison said...

Fritz, thanks for the lesson. What an interesting family of fish!

Original Mike said...

"So basically, if you fail to maintain your Tesla properly by keeping it charged, it dies. Just as if I neglect to keep oil in my Dodge, it dies."

A more apt analogy would be having a gas tank with a small leak. If you ever let it run dry, your wheels won't turn. Brick.

Original Mike said...

If the car bricks on your garage, how in the world do you get it out?

Christopher said...

Although this particular cafe has turned into an interesting Tesla discussion, I hope no one minds if I point to this superb program on Showtime -- Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued. Bunch of Bob Dylan lyrics from those days were never set to music (that we know of), and T Bone Burnett assembled a crew to do just that, made up of Elvis Costello and a bunch of outstanding young singer songwriters.

JAORE said...

I hate ethanol.

Takes as much energy to produce as it generates. Lower performance in cars. Harmful to engines at 10% and much worse at 15. Displaces agricultural products that could produce, you know, food. Results in higher prices - hunger - in the world. Government picked winners. Mega agriculture the beneficiary of billions upon billions of subsidies from mandated usage.

Yeah, I hate ethanol in its current costume.

Original Mike said...

I guess you have Tesla come to your garage to replace the battery in situ. Of course, if you had $120k to begin with, I guess it's no big deal.

tim in vermont said...

Technically, it's a char and not a trout, but that is still a mighty nice one. Almost worth going ice fishing for.

Except they taste like crap. You have to be raised on them, kind of like eating wild duck, to enjoy it. The flesh is orange, between the color of trout and salmon.

I guess there are ways to filet them, working around the purple flesh, to get some edible pieces, but I would rather catch a salmon half the size any day.

Still, the image was pretty cool. I remember catching a nice perch, close to two pounds, through the ice, and the color of the ice was a deep blue but transparent, and the perch's yellow and green coloring seen through the ice was like the intentional coloring of a piece of art. It was beautiful.

Anonymous said...

"Gruber-like stupid."

Okay, here's my pet peeve over the whole Jonathan Gruber business:

It's the mental crossed wires that now happen when I see the name, because I'm a fan of JOHN Gruber, an independent tech journalist and podcaster. I guess I should be thankful they never shorten "Jonathan" down to "John"

I wonder what John thinks of all this. But it's probably just as well he doesn't comment on it. There's no upside for him outside of getting into fights that have nothing to do with what he covers.

tim in vermont said...

Don't get me started on ethanol. Look how much prairie has been converted to farmland to no useful purpose. Now we are talking about listing prairie chickens and sage grouse as endangered. We would have been better off to pay the farmers to play whist and build tractor pull entrants than spend it on that environmental disaster.

Skeptical Voter said...

Tesla just announced that it was going to set up an experimental station at Harris Ranch California. Instead of having to wait several hours while charging a low battery, a Tesla owner could simply exchange battery packs--the old one would be taken out, and a fresh fully charged one could be put in.

They said that they hoped to eventually be able to do the switch in three minutes. I'm not holding my breath on that one.

But if you live in California and occasionally drive I-5 between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the choice of Harris Ranch as the location of the first such "swap shop" is significant.

Harris Ranch is out in the Central Valley--there's a restaurant and a hotel and some gas stations--and one of the world's largest feed yards. Otherwise there's not much there.

I doubt that there's a Tesla owner ($120K cars are beyond the reach of your average ranch hand/field worker) within 50 miles.

So why Harris Ranch? Well it's exactly halfway between LA and San Francisco on the I-5. A Tesla is too short legged to make the trip on one battery charge. So now Mr. Tesla owner can actually drive his (or her) car from SFO to LA without having to spend several hours charging a battery in the middle of nowhere (if indeed there are any charging stations in the middle of nowhere).

Laslo Spatula said...

Would Jack Kerouac have driven an electric car?

I am Laslo.

Original Mike said...

"simply exchange battery packs--the old one would be taken out, and a fresh fully charged one could be put in."

I guess that answers my recharge question. LOL.

tim in vermont said...

Ideally, it would be nice if we had some kind of a grid that would store the energy produced by wind that often shows up when we don't need it and often dies when we do in cars and the like. But it seems sort of like kissing your elbow to get stuff like this to work.

Original Mike said...

"Ideally, it would be nice if we had some kind of a grid that would store the energy produced by wind"

All we need are Tesla battery-exchange stations as ubiquitous as gas stations are now. They would do double duty. Store the wind and keep your car running.

Wouldn't replacing the battery of a Tesla require a hoist?

chillblaine said...

"the color of the ice was a deep blue but transparent, and the perch's yellow and green coloring seen through the ice was like the intentional coloring of a piece of art. It was beautiful"

I remember passages from Hemingway that were like this.

CWJ said...

sykes.1 wrote -

"Yes, direct current motors have serious torque."

Wait. The Tesla runs on DC current, but the company is named after the inventor of AC current? I know people are historically ignorant, but that's just strange.

Curious George said...

"CWJ said...

Wait. The Tesla runs on DC current, but the company is named after the inventor of AC current? I know people are historically ignorant, but that's just strange."


Probably because of this:

"It's a sad, sad story," Larry Page, Google's co-founder, said of Tesla in a 2008 interview with Forbes magazine. "[Tesla] couldn't commercialize anything. He could barely fund his own research."

Gahrie said...

For me, lack of charging infrastructure is the killer.

Tesla is building charging stations, that anyone can use for free, along major interstates and highways.

Chances are, in the future you will plug in a work.

Gahrie said...

Wait. The Tesla runs on DC current, but the company is named after the inventor of AC current?

The engine runs on AC current, and the battery holds DC current. There is a device (an inverter?) that is actually bigger than the motor connected to the motor that coverts the DC to AC.

Gahrie said...

I couldn't see sitting half an hour during a road trip to charge

Bathroom breaks and a snack for half an hour every four hours?

tim in vermont said...

@chillblain,

Everybody gets to write one! hat tip, Andy Warhol.

Gahrie said...

They said that they hoped to eventually be able to do the switch in three minutes. I'm not holding my breath on that one.

I have seen video (available on youtube I believe) of Tesla changing the battery packs on a pair of Model S's, both took less than 3 minutes.

Gahrie said...

Wouldn't replacing the battery of a Tesla require a hoist?

Yes. It would require a bay very similar to the one at the place you get your oil changed.

Original Mike said...

"Bathroom breaks and a snack for half an hour every four hours?"

LOL. I guess if you've got $120k to blow, you've also got the time.

BrianE said...

Some new battery technologies on the future look promising, but until then the electric car is a dud.
Hybrid technology is the only answer that makes economic sense at this point.
Watch Formula 1 or LeMans P1 (which are the leading edge of hybrid technology), then watch a Formula
E race and be bored to death.
We bought a hybrid Toyota Camry a couple of years ago and love it. At the time the hybrid option cost $3,000 and has a payback of 5 years-- more now that gas prices have fallen.
About 38 mpg in city traffic (where my wife does most of her driving). The Camry uses Nicad batteries and in the winter mileage does drop to below 35 mpg city. I chose the Camry over other hybrids that use Li-on. Yes Lithium has higher energy density, but it has issues.

Original Mike said...

All of this begs the question; since electric is no cleaner than gasoline why are we doing this? I get that Tesla is a rich man's toy, and hybrids are a great idea to recover energy already expended, but what is the point of the warmist's dream of an all electric car fleet?

Rusty said...

Think fuel cells.
I seriously doubt that it uses AC motors since you get more power for the weight from a DC motor.A DC motor when coasting also generates current to recharge the battery.

Kyzernick said...

If I drain all the gasoline out of my car by putting a tiny hole in the bottom of the gas tank, I can still push it down the street to the nearest gas station. Apparently, these 'bricked' Teslas can't even be pushed or towed. So the comparison is pretty bogus.

Furthermore, even with that tiny leak, I can still take a 5-gal jerrican, pour it all into the tank, and drive at least a couple dozen miles before it leaks dry again.

Or I can just, y'know, plug the damn leak.

Can't even charge one of these batteries when it gets to 'brick' level.

I love internal combustion engines. The idea of owning and driving a 2 ton metal steed thats powered by a rapid sequence of explosions is in itself thrilling. I will always be biased against electric cars. But I am looking forward to fuel cell vehicles, which can be "gassed up" almost as fast as gasoline cars can.

Rusty said...

O M
Think fuel cells. They are no longer restricted to using just hydrogen.

Original Mike said...

Fuel cells aren't cleaner either, are they?

Gahrie said...

I seriously doubt that it uses AC motors


The Roadster is powered by a 3-Phase Alternating Current Induction Motor. Small, but strong, the motor weighs just over 115 pounds. 375 volts push up to 900 Amps of current into the motor to create magnetic fields. It delivers 288 peak horsepower and 295 lbs-ft of torque at the driver's command.

http://www.teslamotors.com/roadster/technology

Gahrie said...

but what is the point of the warmist's dream of an all electric car fleet?

Fewer emmissions to begin with. One of my few disagreements with Musk is his belief in AGW.

It should be noted he is also working on the electric production end of the problem with his solar panel company.

If a form of clean renewable elctricity does become viable, (say fusion, or more efficent fission plants) than this is the obvious way to go.

Larry J said...

Skeptical Voter said...
Tesla just announced that it was going to set up an experimental station at Harris Ranch California. Instead of having to wait several hours while charging a low battery, a Tesla owner could simply exchange battery packs--the old one would be taken out, and a fresh fully charged one could be put in.


Sounds like a great way to replace your car's battery pack when it's near its end of life. However, what about the case if you replace the batteries in your new car and get old ones? You just seriously devalued your car, at least until you get a better swap.

Original Mike said...

"If a form of clean renewable elctricity does become viable, (say fusion, or more efficent fission plants) than this is the obvious way to go."

No freaking kidding. IF. Until then, emissions are the same or worse when you consider electricity generation, which you have to do.

We are a LONG way from renewable energy. Until then, government subsidies on any electric cars are crony capitalism. That's what gets many so exercised.

Bob Ellison said...

All energy comes from somewhere. Lefties think green energy comes from nowhere; it just erupts somehow from happy unicorn thoughts.

40% of electric energy in America comes from coal.

Ethanol is a huge waste of resources and a scourge to ecology.

OK, I'll shut up now.

Gahrie said...

Until then, government subsidies on any electric cars are crony capitalism.

Given Musk's widespread successes, I'm willing to put up with a little crony capitalism.

Why single out electric cars though? Every car produced in the US receives some government support or other.

Original Mike said...

"Given Musk's widespread successes, I'm willing to put up with a little crony capitalism."

You know the argument against that. You can't base a system on "we'll just make smart "investments"."

"Why single out electric cars though? Every car produced in the US receives some government support or other."

All of its a huge problem, of course.

Scott said...

Fun fact: Harris Ranch is California's largest cattle feedlot. Wikipedia euphemistically states that they "produced" 150,000,000 pounds of beef per year as of 2010.

From the article:

The ranch is known to travelers for the "ripe, tangy odor of cow manure", described alternately as a "horrible stench" and "a good, honest, American smell"... In reference to the large number of cattle processed at its facilities, some critics have nicknamed the ranch "Cowschwitz", comparing the slaughtering of cows to the slaughtering of Jews during the Holocaust at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

All those socially conscious Tesla drivers being forced to stop at Harris Ranch for a new battery. I'm lovin' it!

Captain Curt said...

The Tesla car uses an AC induction motor, a device that Nikola Tesla invented in the 19th century, permitting Westinghouse to win the "current wars" with AC over Edison with DC. The one thing that Westinghouse had lacked was a good motor design. Once Tesla provided it, the technology game was over for Edison.

Since the batteries produce DC electrical current, this must be converted to AC form through an electronic "inverter". Properly controlled, these motors can provide full torque at zero speed, much better than a combustion engine and as good as a DC motor.

Rusty said...

OM
Much cleaner. Even the ones that run on methane or natural gas. There's a company dom Maryland that makes a fuel cell power supply that runs on the methane off grasses from landfills. It can power up 25 or 30 homes or a couple of small factories.