Tesla's future

Discussion in 'American Cars' started by ajzahn, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. Tesla is planning to expand its fledgling range with an all-electric saloon known as the Model S (pictured), which it will launch in 2010.

    Senior Tesla insiders have revealed to Autocar that the new model’s underpinnings could be the basis for a whole new generation of plug-in cars.

    This sleek four-door all-electric saloon will be capable of carrying five. It's significantly longer than the Elise-based Roadster that has just gone on sale, and will be built on its own standalone platform, developed by Tesla.


    Autocar has already seen sketches of the Model S, which is "90 per cent" finished, according to Tesla bosses.

    The saloon will be launched in 2010 after Tesla finishes construction of a new factory in California. The company intends to sell up to 20,000 a year, volumes described by a senior manager as "extremely realistic."

    Tesla’s relationship with Lotus, which builds the Roadster’s chassis, won’t continue with the Model S because the company wants to make it in volumes that Lotus would struggle to supply. But another, as yet unspecified, major manufacturer will also be involved to supply components for the saloon.

    Japanese-made lithium-ion batteries that can be recharged from any mains power source will power the Model S - it should be capable of 60mph from rest in under six-seconds.

    A technology-sharing deal is likely to be brokered and Tesla bosses claim that "a number of" car makers have expressed interest in adopting the powertrain for their compact cars.

    Unlike the Roadster, which uses carbon fibre extensively to cut weight, the Model S will use aluminium for its body and chassis which, along with economies of scale, will make the car significantly cheaper than the $90k Roadster.

    Three models are likely to be available; an entry-level $60,000 (£31k) version with a 160-mile range, a $68,000 (£36k) version with a 220-mile range and a 300-mile version in the future.

    To achieve this, Tesla wants to use a compact lithium-ion battery, which will be mounted flat on the car’s floor. This clever powertrain packaging should allow for a number of larger spin-off models in the future - all based around the same Model S platform. Tesla has plans to launch a large two door electric ‘coupe-saloon’.

    These plans and substantial investment have enticed leading motor industry figures to join the company. Tesla’s most recent signing is Franz von Holzhausen - the man responsible for the Mazda Furai concept car. He’ll now lead the team that designs all of Tesla’s future products and his first job will be to add the last 10 per cent of finishing touches to the Model S.

    Then he'll make improvements to the Roadster. The firm also has plans to build a stripped out track version to gain a presence in motorsport.

    The biggest challenge Tesla faces is the longevity of the lithium-ion battery technology. Tesla concedes that the battery cells in the Roadster will only retain their full efficiency for around five years, and they’re very expensive to replace.

    But the Japanese companies that supply lithium-ion batteries promise that costs will come down and efficiency will improve as the technology matures. (Autocar)
     
  2. atleast it looks better than the fugly tesla
     
  3. In before 944turb0.
     
  4. 60,000 for only 160 miles is still rather weak. im surprised that extra 60 miles will cost 8000 dollars.


    but hey, its progress!
     
  5. Pretty pricey, but perhaps worth it for those who have a long commute... Or the lazy with a short commute who only want to bother to plug it in every couple days.
     
  6. according to Car & Driver they plan a $35,000 sedan in the future.
     
  7. Like the Chevy Volt that will beat them to market by eons?
     
  8. except Tesla is completely electric
     
  9. What future? How many roadsters have they made/sold yet?
     
  10. They've sold many (~1000 people on waiting list?), and started to make them in March I think.

    Slow production now, but mass production will be started soon.
     
  11. So? Being able to never use gas 98 percent of the time, but still having the ability to drive as far as you need to is much better than being ALL electric just because. Especially when it'll cost the same price, or possibly less.
     
  12. It probably wont cost less because they are both plug-in, but with the Volt your paying for both electricity and gas whereas the Tesla is only electric. Also, the Volt will likely be put down lower than 500 mile range. And it is not often that you drive over 300 miles in a day, which is what the future Tesla's range will likely be.
     
  13. designing a car with an all electric drive train is totally different than one with an internal combustion engine.

    you can put the batteries where you want, you dont need a transmission, you dont need all those parts necessary for internal combustion. its very liberating for engineers. you can make cars lighter because you no longer have to design around those parts. reinforcing can be done with basic geometry instead of having heavy bracing.
     
  14. Well obviously most of the time you don't drive over 300 miles in a day... But what if you need to? If you drove right up to the Teslas mileage and needed to stop undoubtedly it would be cheaper than paying for gas in the Volt, but what if you need to drive 500, or 600, or 800 miles somewhere? Well then you'd have to stop and charge the #$%#er. That's why the Volt thing seems kinda better for right now IMO. Once the battery tech is there to charge in a few minutes (which they're not THAT far away from achieving) then screw gas, but I don't think a tiny gas generator is all that bad for the time being.
     
  15. Keep in mind the volt will NEVER use the gas engine to drive the wheels, so much of what you just said applies to it already. I go back to the fact that until you can get enough of a charge to drive a good distance in a few minutes having some form of backup power for long distance is the way to go. Not to say they shouldn't build limited range EVs, but for many it'd be worth it to get one with a gas generator like the Volt.
     
  16. Electric cars are gay.
     
  17. ^_^
     
  18. With the price of electric vehicles now, its unlikely that anyone will have one as their only car. so if anyone is planning on going more than 300 miles, they should use a regular car.

    to even run a 1.4L engine that only powers the battery still requires alot. all you really are saving on is the transmission. And you have to generate the power from the gas engine somehow, here come the heavy magnets.
    by the time full electric cars become affordable, the range will be much higher, and the charge time lower. The lightning GT boasts a charge time of 10 minutes! thats already pretty bearable. If I were to take a road trip, I wouldnt mind stopping for 10 minutes to recharge every 200+ miles. thats over 3 hours of highway driving, of course you're going to stop.

    I highly doubt that a significant amount of people have even desired, let alone had the need to drive more than 250 miles without rest.
     
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  20. Yea, a charge time of 10 minutes. Now if only your house's electrical system could handle 100 amps of current, then it would be possible.

    The heavy magnets you speak of are nothing compared to the much heavier batteries.
     
  21. yea but we were discussing plug in hybrid vs full electric. both require batteries.

    just saying that plug in hybrids have their place for now, but pretty soon, when the range of electric cars is greater, and charge times are faster, there will be no need for plug in hybrids at all.

    and to charge it in 10 minutes requires some special equipment, so for the moment, taking a long trip and expecting to charge your car quickly in between is still not possible, but when these cars come into widespread usage, im positive we will have more installations that can quick charge electric vehicles. Motels, Gas Stations [or power stations then] parking garages, all those will be able to charge vehicles.

    we would first need to standardize the plug and the power transfer process.
     
  22. That's the whole point of the Volt... It would be someones only car, and it could use no gas most of the time yet still move you all the way across the country conveniently.

    I totally agree with you though. Pure electric is the only way to go, and I think it won't be long before there are truly usable full electric cars... But in the mean time it's not bad to have a hybrid that's flipped around to use electricity as the main source. I'd love to think that by 2015 or whatever a large chunk of economy cars will be pure EVs... BUT if it doesn't happen and we try to just skip over vehicles like the Volt we could be left in a bad spot if the tech doesn't materialize that quickly for whatever reason. One of the main reasons I want pure electric to come about is pure economics. I would LOVE to see the middle east become inconsequential, and I would love to see our trade balance improve by a trillion dollars a year in the states because we import no oil.
     
  23. i support your vision.
     

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