Best Easter Egg ever? Tesla Model S control panel shows James Bond’s (now Elon Musk’s) Underwater Lotus

#onlyelonmusk would think of allowing this as an OEM #tesla #models #fathoms #goingdown #hilarious #teslamotors

A photo posted by Michael Donahue (@great.white.buffalo) on

Musk bought the Lotus at auction and it now sits at Tesla’s headquarters and apparently does double duty as model for easter eggs. This one appears to be part of the suspension control panel.

WSJ says electric vehicles lose value faster than ICE vehicles but ignore subsidies, falling EV prices


Kind of a strange story today from the WSJ. In a post a Titled “Resale Prices Tumble on Electric Cars
Tax credits on new models, worries about battery life undercut efforts to peddle used Nissan Leaf” the Wall Street Journal at once admits its pricing is flawed – Take $7500-$10,000 off the price of the Electric car to start with since it has been a federal subsidy since electric cars began being offered in 2012.  That Chevy Volt was really a $34K car to buy new. That Leaf was under $30K.

No one ever paid $42,021 for a Chevy Volt. Ever.

Then factor in that prices of electric cars have dropped as demand and therefore production has increased. A new 2015 Nissan Leaf is $21,000. That’s the same price as the Chevy Cruze above. Used prices are going to drop accordingly.

Sure temporary price drops in gas haven’t helped electric vehicle sales (as well as the perception of long term battery capacity drops) but the graph and premise above from the WSJ is misleading and curious.  Read more

Audi’s R8 e-Tron will have a bigger battery (92kWh) than Tesla’s Model S (85kWh) but mostly a stunt

Audi R8 V10

Audi just announced some of its eTron R8 specs and detail nuts like me will note some pretty impressive numbers starting at the huge 92kWh battery that has 7kWh more storage than Tesla’s top end option. Tesla has said on numerous occasions that it *could* build a bigger more dense battery in the same space (perhaps as a later upgrade), but hasn’t because of cost constraints.

Also the e-Tron has a Drag coefficient of .28 — .04 higher than the Model S. It should be noted that the e-Tron is a theoretical sports car and the Model S is a 7 seat family sedan that has been on the road for almost 3 years. But Audi clearly is keeping a lot of the petrol edition’s drag-inducing air intakes for the electric edition.

That takes a toll on range with the Audi sports car tallying just under 280 mile range compared to the Model S 85D range of 285 miles. The e-Tron’s speed is also a bit behind Tesla with a reported 3.9 second 0-62 and top speed of 130. That’s almost a full second behind the P85D and 20 mph slower. Torque is also impressive, but still far behind Tesla.

On the other hand it looks like a sports car inside and out which will certainly appeal to some folks.

But for Tesla, this is a win. Audi’s just announced R8 doesn’t beat Tesla’s 3 year old Model S in any relevant space with speed or range and holds 5 fewer passengers.

Relevant from press release below: Read more

Tesla Model S is Consumer Reports 2015 top pick…again

Consumer Reports love affair with the Model S continues unabated.

For all of the impressive new vehicles released in 2014, none was able to eclipse the innovation, magnificence, and sheer technological arrogance of the Tesla. That’s why it’s our best overall pick for the second consecutive year. Through the course of their life cycles, cars become obsolete quickly as newer models appear with updated gizmos. But with Tesla’s over-the-air software updates, a Model S that came off the line in 2013 has many of the same new features as one built today. Despite the Tesla’s teething problems at launch, our subscriber reports showed average reliability. The Model S is a technological tour de force, a high-performance electric vehicle with usable real-world range, wrapped in a luxury package.

Samsung just bought a rumored Apple Car partner’s battery unit


Samsung has acquired the battery pack business of leading automotive parts supplier Magna International. The move, according to a statement from the companies, will “enhance Samsung SDI’s capabilities in batteries for electric vehicles.”

While Samsung producing batteries and energy storage solutions for vehicles isn’t exactly new—it already supplies batteries for Tesla and others—there is an Apple Car connection in its latest acquisition… Read more

Chinese Tesla owner goes straight to the source to charge Model S

I shouldn’t have to tell you that this type of action is extremely dangerous and likely won’t work with the high power going through industrialized power lines. But in less organized parts of the world, smart people have to make due with what is available.

It appears s/he’s got some sort of transformer there at the end to step down the power to 240V but, again, obviously not for the newbies. Via Weibo

New Tesla factory floor images show P85Ds being built [Gallery]

These were taken from the LATimes review of the P85D which found it similar to other reviews.

The car’s neck-snapping hole shot stuns passengers. Mashing the accelerator from a dead stop can induce dizziness, loss of breath and heart palpitations. One passenger briefly shed tears. Others giggled uncontrollably.

The story here are the high quality images including access to the rotor diagnostic room. The author does make a good point about Tesla’s growing inability to meet its own deadlines. I think this is probably Musk calibrating his reality distortion field.

Average Wh/mile readings from all over US show temperate warm climates excel, extremes lag


In a new paper in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, Tugce Yuksel and Jeremy Michalek at Carnegie Mellon University have shown the average energy usage per mile of electric cars across the US.  You’ll note that warm but temperate climates like the California Coast and the Deep South especially Florida fare the best. Very hot desert areas like Arizona don’t do well because of the energy required to cool off bith the batteries and cabin. The North does poorly because batteries lose power as weather gets cooler.  Below, a Nissan Leaf efficiency is graphed at different temperatures which illustrates this disparity more clearly. The optimum range for operation is between 45 and 82 degrees where the 300W/mile threshold is beaten.


This all translates to CO2 emissions obviously and with the West making their energy much cleaner, they produce about 1/3rd the CO2 emissions as the north Midwest which is basically one big coal plant. In fact, that area’s energy is so CO2 intensive that running an electric car there (assuming you don’t have your own solar/wind) rivals the CO2 emissions of a fuel efficient car like a Prius.

The big takeaway is that moving to electric cars isnt enough. The grid also needs to move to cleaner power like wind and solar.

coal-energy-co2-usage-electric-cars-energy-usage Read more

Analyst: Electric cars will cost less than internal combustion within a decade


gigafactoryq4ruuo0The main differentiator will be battery economies of scale exemplified by Tesla’s Gigafactory which is now under construction outside of Reno

Electric car Analysts are often wrong but since Deutsche Bank analyst Rod Lache’s thinking lines up with mine, I’m going to go ahead and post this from Quartz on the price gap between electric cars and internal combustion within a decade.

There are two factors that could close the cost gap: The first is that battery prices are expected to drop by more than half to $100 per kilowatt hour—not because of a scientific leap, but due to engineering improvements and economies of scale, particularly at Tesla’s “gigafactory.” The second factor is that combustion engines will get a lot more expensive, Lache says. US gasoline efficiency standards, which require that light vehicle fleets average 54.5 miles a gallon by 2025, will incur added costs of $2,000 to $2,600 per vehicle. That will raise the total cost of a typical drive train—an engine, transmission, and fuel and exhaust system—to $7,000 to $7,600 per vehicle in the United States, he writes.

By comparison, using the $100 per kilowatt hour cost that Deutsche Bank expects, a 47 kilowatt-hour battery pack capable of taking a car 200 miles on a charge only would cost about $5,400. When you add in the electric motor, the entire power train would rise to $6,100—a price advantage of almost $2,000 over a combustion car.

Keep in mind this is without the cost of fuel which Electric already is an order of magnitude better than petroleum  – it costs about $1 to let the huge Tesla Model S go 100 miles so “cheap gas” isn’t even close.

Also electrics are way faster, cleaner, quieter, take less space, don’t stink are less combustable, upgradable…I could go on and on. It is no wonder that smart companies like Apple and Google are jumping into this pool.

Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson makes trivial car charging look like rocket science

Where to begin? Top Gear, which is famous for sabotaging its Tesla Roadster review so badly it got sent to court, got its hands on a BMW i8 which is barely an electric car to begin with. It has about a 20 mile range on electric alone and electric horsepower similar to a Toyota Prius.

Our hero, the aging Clarkson, pulls up to an Electric charger and then begins fumbling with cables like he’s just come directly from the stone age. He then feigns a frustrated “stupid” scream. When he finally is able to plug in the female to the male charger cable he has difficulty getting the charger to turn on. Then when he gets back to the car, he realizes his battery, like his moral character is empty.

Good thing he has gas. A lot of it.

Tesla Gigafactory to start operations earlier than expected in build up to the Model 3 –in 2016

Some great news seemingly through Panasonic relayed by Nikkei. Tesla’s Gigafactory will open for business in a year and will start making batteries for the Model 3 in 2017. That’s an optimistic timetable for Tesla which is getting a reputation for missing its timetables.

Tesla, Panasonic to bring battery plant online sooner

OSAKA — A battery plant that Tesla Motors is building with Panasonic in the U.S. state of Nevada will begin operations in 2016, earlier than initially planned, a Tesla official said here Friday.

The American electric-car manufacturer apparently wants to secure a supply of batteries fast on expectations of strong demand for a lower-priced vehicle due out as early as 2017.

The plant’s launch will be accelerated to bring down production costs through economies of scale, said Kurt Kelty, who oversees battery technologies at Tesla.

The new facility will make high-output lithium-ion batteries for the Tesla Model 3, which will be priced half as high as other models. Plans call for getting domestic and foreign parts and materials suppliers to build production facilities on the grounds. Tesla has made progress in selecting suppliers, according to Kelty.

Panasonic has a stake in Tesla and supplies the U.S. company with battery cells for electric vehicles. The Nevada plant is expected to cost up to roughly 500 billion yen ($4.16 billion), with Panasonic shouldering 150 billion yen to 200 billion yen.