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  #49  
Old 07-22-2015, 08:16 PM
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Re: Tesla Model X SUV --- tempting?

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Originally Posted by lstowell View Post
EV batteries are made with some fairly toxic stuff that is a tad hard to come by.
One rumored reason why Tesla located where Silver Peak is just down the road.
This is true, and I mentioned that; but battery tech is getting better all the time, and batteries are also recyclable.

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Originally Posted by lstowell View Post
A decent modern engine can dump out air that has less pollution than what went into it... and if you coat all of the warmer [as in radiator warm levels] with catalysts, it can clean the air as it trundles down the road. Check out a Volvo patent for radiators that does exactly this.
I very seriously doubt the "less pollution" statement. But in any case, why go through all the trouble of doing this on tiny little cars, when you can do it once or twice, at massive scale, in a plant? There is just no comparison.

And pollution at the car is only 1 part of the problem. An ICE is 30% to 40% efficient; so there are tremendous losses in energy with a gas engine. An electrical motor is upwards of 90% efficient.

Now throw in the fact that we can generate power from wind, solar, hydro, and even nuclear; all of which are much more green than black sludge from the ground.

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  #50  
Old 07-22-2015, 09:24 PM
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Re: Tesla Model X SUV --- tempting?

Pollution is a red herring. They make super quiet, super low maintenance, and super fast luxury vehicles. For those who have no problems with the range and who want to spend that much or more, they are excellent choices.


I'm seeing more and more of the BMW i3 cars here in southern California, even though it has a low range.


I drive 25,000 business miles per year, and seriously considered the Tesla before buying the Grand Cherokee. The price difference is just too much, putting the break-even point out many years. Being a debt-free investor, instead of a luxury spender, I look at the choice as buying a $50,000 Grand Cherokee and buying another rental house which nets me $600 per month, or buying a Tesla.
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  #51  
Old 07-22-2015, 11:48 PM
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Re: Tesla Model X SUV --- tempting?

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Originally Posted by lstowell View Post
Small matter of physics--how to move a lot of energy safely and reliably from a charging station to the vehicles batteries without a connector the size of the vehicle.

I like the idea of hybrids, where a small very high efficiency diesel or gas engine could be used to charge the batteries, possibly even if it can't move the vehicle.

For an SUV, possibly making the sunroof one of those new high efficiency solar panels could work--but their energy capability typically requires many square yards.

A small atomic powered charger would probably not be at all politically acceptable

Batteries may just be a waystation on the path to fuel cells, where the two are roughly equivalent in danger of explosions but then good old gas isn't exactly ice cream.

I agree with most of what you wrote (except fuel cells) and there will be other battery technologies to more quickly recharge them and reduce the mass by 50%.

With swappable battery packs they can be charged at the local power plant for energy efficiency and of course during off peak hours. You'd get a fully charged and inspected battery pack each time. The best thing would be to NOT "own" the battery and simply pay for battery usage + the charge.

Once electric vehicles start to grow, ICE vehicles will become ECONOMICALLY obsolete. When the two lines on the cost graph cross, no one will even want an ICE vehicle (other than collectors). Perhaps they will even make retrofit kits. Gas will never be cheap enough to compete.
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  #52  
Old 07-23-2015, 06:22 AM
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Re: Tesla Model X SUV --- tempting?

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Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post
Two things:

1) Coal plants are on the wain and only generate a small percentage of power. For example, my parents in Upstate NY are on Hydro. In other places, alternative energy sources are equaling what coal used to provide. The most popular source is natural gas. Nuclear is also a small percentage, and not likely to increase much due to public pressure to squash it.

2) The amount of hydrocarbons one single gas car generates in one hour is equal to a full charge off the grid for around 100 electric cars. The reason is due to efficiency. The generators at power plants are far more efficient than a car's internal combustion engine. Further, most of those generators are running anyway, so the additional load for your car is nothing.

The idea that the amount of pollution in the chain between gas vs electric is anywhere comparable is FUD, pure and simple.
Incorrect. Coal is by far still the #1 energy source for electricity in the US.



Not to mention the carbon footprint on high end electric vehicles with those massive battery packs and electric motors is higher during manufacture than gasoline vehicles. It takes a while for the lower emissions of the vehicle operating to make up that larger pollution footprint during manufacture.

Mining lithium and building batteries etc is very pollution intensive.


As for the Tesla-X. The basic rundown:

The largest battery pack Model X will cost upwards of $120,000. This get's you one quick SUV, low 3 second 0-60 and a cool interior. That's about where the good things end.

You also get:

One of the most fugly looking cross-overs at any price, let alone one above 100 grand.
Small range.
Long recharge times.
Virtually zero off-road capability for an "SUV".
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  #53  
Old 07-23-2015, 10:12 AM
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Re: Tesla Model X SUV --- tempting?

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Originally Posted by Zybane View Post
Incorrect. Coal is by far still the #1 energy source for electricity in the US.


If compare coal to each individual source, you're correct. However, if you read my post more carefully, you'll see I was referring to electricity production as a whole, not any one source.

Compared to all sources of energy, it means coal is just over 1/3 of the energy production, and falling.

Further, I would dispute that flat curve for coal for future projections.

Not only are coal plants becoming less favorable for approval of new builds, some are slated for decommissioning or retrofit to natural gas. By that alone, that graph should show a larger decrease, not an essentially flat level.

Further, I don't buy that natural gas will continue a steady increase through 2040. It's not going to happen. It's popular now with all the latest discovery and cost reductions, but it will fall out of favor long before 2040. Further, alternative energy is absolutely going to achieve much greater efficiency by then, meaning it will be practical for nearly every building to use things like solar for a quarter or more of it's use.

If that graph were accurate, there should be a much larger NG spike toward 2020, with a falloff toward 2040 as other renewable sources become for practical and come on line.

There are already technologies that are on the cusp of release that allow windows and paint to contain solar collection elements, which would allow buildings and vehicles to use their full surfaces to generate power. Further, those elements are increasing the amount of power they provide.

At some point, you won't have to even plug your car in when you stop somewhere on a sunny day.
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  #54  
Old 07-23-2015, 10:33 AM
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Re: Tesla Model X SUV --- tempting?

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Originally Posted by Dan JGC View Post
With swappable battery packs they can be charged at the local power plant for energy efficiency and of course during off peak hours. You'd get a fully charged and inspected battery pack each time. The best thing would be to NOT "own" the battery and simply pay for battery usage + the charge.
This is exactly the direction that propane tanks for grills are going. It simply makes little sense to own a propane tank any more, especially after a lot of people got hosed by the last safety change that obsoleted a lot of older tanks.

Eventually, the number of people that own tanks will be so small, you won't be able to even fill them any more.

Even things like solar panels are starting to institute rental models. You rent the panels instead of paying the upfront cost. The bonus is, if they break or new tech emerges, you get those upgrades and replacements as part of the program. They also have rental models where you pay nothing at all, but the company providing the panels gets to sell back the excess unused power they generate instead of you getting a credit from the power company.

In addition, battery swaps like that will ensure old units will be recycled properly.
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  #55  
Old 07-23-2015, 04:16 PM
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Re: Tesla Model X SUV --- tempting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lstowell View Post
A decent modern engine can dump out air that has less pollution than what went into it... and if you coat all of the warmer [as in radiator warm levels] with catalysts, it can clean the air as it trundles down the road. Check out a Volvo patent for radiators that does exactly this.
Modern ICE have come along way in the past couple of decades. However, cars are not anywhere near as clean as you state.

A couple or so decades ago, Saab showcased a great publicity stunt, with some common ICE engineering thrown in. What Saab did was they had an old piece of junk car that was polluting very badly. They hooked up the exhaust of the badly polluting car to the intake of a new Saab. They then measured the exhaust of the new Saab, which was found to be cleaner than the air that went in (from the old clunker, not from the environment.)

Many journalists incorrectly stated and people assumed that the Saab could simply drive down the street and clean the air.
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  #56  
Old 07-23-2015, 05:17 PM
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Re: Tesla Model X SUV --- tempting?

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Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post
It's a misnomer that those doors need more clearance than regular doors. In fact, all doors of that type require far less than traditional doors.

As far as height, unless your garage was built for Oompa Loompas, there should be plenty of clearance, even with the overhead door in the up position. Don't forget, the current models are shorter than the Jeep and an open Jeep tail gate fits easily below a raised garage door. You just might not be able to operate the door while the gate is open due to the control arm sticking down too far.
It still doesn't resolve the snow accumulation issue.
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  #57  
Old 07-23-2015, 05:55 PM
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Re: Tesla Model X SUV --- tempting?

Personally, I love internal combustion engines, but I would definitely buy a Tesla as my next primary car if the price was a bit more affordable. They just make sense. It is insanely quick, has more room than most cars and SUVs and needs virtually no maintenance. I would still have a gas car, like my Boxster S, for fun, but for daily use a Model S would be awesome.

I don't get the lack of range argument. I can count the number of days a year that I drive more than 200 miles on one hand. I would bet most people would say the same. You just plug in when you get home, and by morning, you have a full charge again. Most of the charging would be done at night, when demand is normally low, so cost and impact is low. Even on trips you could deal with charging, but I don't think that is really where those cars are for.

That said, the Model X doesn't do it for me. It may make sense as an alternative to SUVs that never tow, go off road or drive in snow, but I wouldn't consider one over our Grand Cherokee for its capability. We got ours to serve as a "go anywhere, do anything" vehicle to pull trailers, go offroad when needed, as well as serve as a comfortable commuter vehicle. I am sure the Model X would be fine in snow, but I doubt you will see them here in Colorado ski traffic. Those wacky doors don't look conducive to storage boxes or bike or ski racks or snow storms. Again, that probably isn't the market for the Model X anyway.

I definitely see a place for electric cars. Everyone that I know who has ridden in or driven a Model S has wanted one. They are very impressive vehicles by any measure. The Model X? Well, I will withhold judgement until they are actually out in the wild.
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Old 07-23-2015, 08:39 PM
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Re: Tesla Model X SUV --- tempting?

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Originally Posted by Qmulus View Post
I don't get the lack of range argument. I can count the number of days a year that I drive more than 200 miles on one hand. I would bet most people would say the same. You just plug in when you get home, and by morning, you have a full charge again. Most of the charging would be done at night, when demand is normally low, so cost and impact is low. Even on trips you could deal with charging, but I don't think that is really where those cars are for.
You don't get the lack of range argument, because you're not looking at as if you own it. If you can only afford / own one sedan; how do you deal with those very few odd trips in the year which by your own admission, you do make? You can't necessarily take your car camping (as an example). You can't take it to the airport, or on cross country trips. There _may_ be plugs for you, but you can't just buy the car and expect it to plug in wherever you need it. In theory you can wave your hands vaguely and say "it's not a problem", but it IS a problem. So why would anyone buy a $40,000 tesla with a 200 mile range, instead of a $40,000 camry (or volt, or Jeep GC) which has absolutely zero range issues? Those few days per year which you allude to, ARE the problem.

The volt has the tesla beat where it matters (a real drive train that won't leave you stranded any more than a plain gas car will).
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Old 07-23-2015, 09:28 PM
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Re: Tesla Model X SUV --- tempting?

Well, I have had a long conversation with a Tesla owner who had his car about a year, and he had no issues with range using it as he had used his previous BMW M5. He had a 35 mile commute and that is pretty much what he used it for. I doubt that he would have taken either car camping. Honestly, if you can afford a $100k Tesla Model S, you probably have a couple of other vehicles, like an Escalade (or Grand Cherokee) to haul a boat or horse trailer. Why couldn't you take an electric car to the airport?

I really doubt people cross shop the Volt and a Tesla Model S.

I also bet that 90+% of people don't drive cross country. The people that I know that drive a lot of long distance drive diesels. A local oil company rep uses a '11 VW Jetta TDI with over 350k miles on it. It gets 50+MPG. I don't care much for diesel (bad experiences with them in the past), but if I needed to drive 200 miles a day for some crazy reason, I would definitely consider one.

Electric cars will never be for everyone. I can imagine myself with one though.
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Old 07-23-2015, 09:38 PM
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Re: Tesla Model X SUV --- tempting?

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Originally Posted by Zybane View Post
Virtually zero off-road capability for an "SUV".
So? Almost no buyers of any sort of SUV or CUV will ever drive them on a gravel driveway, much less off road.
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