Articles Tagged Electric
Articles tagged "Electric"
We've just achieved a significant milestone on our road to Tesla Roadster production. Our first Validation Prototype was assembled at the Hethel facility in the U.K. and was recently airlifted to our San Carlos, Calif., workshop to commence system testing.
Let me start off by apologizing to Dr. Robert Wilder, one of our customers who was slated to post here this week. You will hear from him next week, but today I want to comment on President Bush’s State of the Union speech.
Wally Rippel is a long-time proponent of electric vehicles. Prior to joining Tesla Motors, he was an engineer at AeroVironment, where he helped develop the EV1 for General Motors and was featured in the documentary movie, Who Killed the Electric Car? Wally has also worked for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on electric vehicle battery research, among other projects. In 1968, as a Caltech undergraduate student, he built an electric car (a converted 1958 Volkswagen microbus) and won the Great Transcontinental Electric Car Race against MIT.
One Size Does Not Fit All
In that odious world of gas powered vehicles, engines are not all alike. There are flat-heads, Hemis, straight, opposed, and V configurations. And on and on. One would have thought that, years ago, someone would have figured out which was best. That would have ended all the choices and thereafter only the one best engine type would be in production. Not so. There is no one best engine type, rather there are different types of engines to suit personal requirements, such as price and performance. This is also true for electric vehicle drives.
Editor's note: Our last blog, Good Vibrations, chronicled some of the safety and durability tests we've been running on the Tesla Roadster. It prompted a number of questions, particularly related to climate control. So we convinced Brian, who is fully booked during regular business hours overseeing the tests, to postpone his holiday shopping a little longer and spend some time after work explaining in more detail how we ensure satisfying climate control in the Tesla Roadster. Here are his thoughts…
By now most people know that the Tesla Roadster is powered by Lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries. But here are a few things about our batteries you might not have heard. Our battery system – or Energy Storage System, as we like to call it – is comprised of 6,831 individual Li-ion cells. It's roughly the size of a storage trunk and weighs about 900 pounds. Nestled securely in the back of the Tesla Roadster, the battery system is the secret behind our four second 0-60 mph acceleration and phenomenal driving range. To achieve this kind of performance, we were meticulous about our battery technology selection. Batteries are not perfect – no doubt about it. Though market forces continue to drive improvements in batteries, the Li-ion battery system in the Tesla Roadster represents the very best of today's commercially available battery technology. These Li-ion batteries are a whole lot better than Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) cells and lead acid cells found in EVs of yore, but they too have their limitations. One of the most difficult challenges in battery design is increasing energy density while also maximizing battery life span. Li-ion chemistries have achieved better combinations of these parameters than anything that has come before. Yet there is still a tradeoff between energy and life, even within the family of Li-ion.
Bob Bressler is a customer of Tesla Motors and owner of Bressler Vineyards, a small producer of super-premium Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. An expert in the Internet and networking technologies, Bob’s career prior to becoming a full-time vintner spanned executive positions at Sun Microsystems, 3Com and BBN. We asked Bob to share his perspective on electric cars and the Tesla Roadster.
Why did I order a Tesla Roadster? Believe me, my wife has asked me that question many times. I guess there is no single reason – but a long list of them.
Elon and Martin both recognize the synergy between solar panels and electric cars. As Martin pointed out to Gov. Schwarzenegger, a million solar rooftops in California will not reduce California’s oil dependency by one drop unless we have electric cars also.
Many of you have asked me about hybrid technologies, forcing me to gather my thoughts on the subject. Let me start off by drawing a clean distinction between today’s hybrids (like the Prius), and “Plug-in Hybrids” as proposed by James Woolsey and others.
Many of you have asked me about several alternative technologies and why they are not used in the Tesla Roadster. These technologies range from other existing battery technologies (e.g. lithium iron phosphate) to technologies that are on the horizon (e.g. ultracapacitors) to impossible technologies that ultimately boil down to perpetual motion. I will try to address as many of these questions as I can this week.