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The Best Car Ever Tested?


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#21 sjordan2

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 07:38 AM

The automotive press really likes it, and describe best points and shortcomings:

 

Road & Track February test of a new higher-powered (and higher-priced) version:

http://www.roadandtr...3-tesla-model-s

 

 

Car and Driver test of a pre-production version:

http://www.caranddri...l-s-test-review



#22 Greg Myers

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 07:46 AM

. . . and new from Jaguar, The F type : http://www.motortren...ve/viewall.html

 

jaguar-f-type-1.jpg



#23 Harry P.

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 07:47 AM

And this relates to the current topic how?....



#24 Harry P.

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 07:52 AM

The automotive press really likes it, and describe best points and shortcomings:

 

Wow, R&T really likes it. That pretty much backs up CR's high score.



#25 torinobradley

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 08:27 AM

Okay, It's not a long trip type car but how many of us drive under 225 miles on a daily commute and don't spend over 6 hours at our destination.  It seems this car is targeted toward luxury car buyers that care about the environment, or at least want to appear as though.  It's not everyones cup of tea but it is, according to CR and others, a very impressive car.  CR is just saying this is the car that has gotten the highest test scores ever, according to their testing.  If I remember right, this is Tesla's first ground up car as their roadster was Lotus based.  For a comany to hit a home run first time at bat, that's pretty awesome!



#26 Hollywood Jim

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 08:43 AM

This is strange.  "Consumer Reports" sounds like a publication that is supposed to help us consumers make decisions.  Decisions based on price and value.  The price and practicality of the car are way out in left field.  They should change the name of the magazine to "Nader Reports". 

 

 

.



#27 Scott Colmer

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 09:00 AM

My wife and I saw one and wanted it. She researched all the e-cars out there and the Tesla is the best, but the price is too high for us as it sits. And we knew we wouid need to keep the gas burner truck for long hauls. But for most daily needs, it would be a great option.

 

Here is the plan:

 

Large initial investment up front

Electtric car

Solar panels

 

Equals

Two less consumer gouges to tolerate - Oil and electricty. 

Good for the planet too

 

Now to figure out how to get the initial investment.

 

Scott



#28 Harry P.

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 09:02 AM

This is strange.  "Consumer Reports" sounds like a publication that is supposed to help us consumers make decisions.  Decisions based on price and value. 

 

No, not a decision based on price and value. Based on overall performance. You can't "test" price. The best you can do is compare similar cars that sell for similar prices. For example, the Tesla vs. a comparably priced BMW or Audi or Lexus. You can't compare a Toyota Corolla and a Lexus and say that because the Corolla is cheaper, it's a "better" car or a "better" value. If that were the case all the Kias and Hyundais would be top-rated and all the Mercedes and Audis and BMWs would be rated poorly.

 

A very expensive car can be a good value. A cheap car can be a bad value.



#29 Harry P.

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 09:13 AM

Here's a related question I've wondered about... maybe one of you knows the answer.

 

Does an electric car's range change much over time? I mean, let's say the car has a range of 200 miles when new. Do the batteries "age" somehow, so that let's say in 3-4 years the range is down to 150 miles? Or maybe the range actually increases over time as everything gets "broken in?" Or is the range something that stays pretty constant over time (assuming a consistant driving style)?



#30 W-Machine

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:05 AM

Harry, battery packs and their ability to retain a charge degrade over time, and currently are hideously expensive to replace. Existing battery technology has not changed a whole lot in 100 years, though some promising (albeit costly) alternatives are in the works. A long-term test of the Tesla is what I personally would wait for before purchasing any all-electric car. While the Tesla is well-engineered and a good performer, its high price, short range, and lack of any real-world utility (for what I need a vehicle for, anyway) likely won't put one in my driveway anytime soon. When a half-ton pickup truck with a 350 mile range that can charge in ten minutes exists, I might buy one. I've got no axe to grind with Consumer Reports or all-electric cars.



#31 sjordan2

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:09 AM

Here's a related question I've wondered about... maybe one of you knows the answer.

 

Does an electric car's range change much over time? I mean, let's say the car has a range of 200 miles when new. Do the batteries "age" somehow, so that let's say in 3-4 years the range is down to 150 miles? Or maybe the range actually increases over time as everything gets "broken in?" Or is the range something that stays pretty constant over time (assuming a consistant driving style)?

 

More importantly, how available will parts and the proper replacement batteries be down the road? I shudder to think about finding parts for today's computerized cars in 10-15 years (by 2005, it was impossible to get important parts for my 1993 C4 Corvette from GM, and I had to resort to salvage shops and very limited offerings from aftermarket companies like Eckler). Let's see someone try to restore a vintage Enzo Ferrari in 2035.


Edited by sjordan2, 09 May 2013 - 10:11 AM.


#32 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:10 AM

Here's a related question I've wondered about... maybe one of you knows the answer.

 

Does an electric car's range change much over time? I mean, let's say the car has a range of 200 miles when new. Do the batteries "age" somehow, so that let's say in 3-4 years the range is down to 150 miles? Or maybe the range actually increases over time as everything gets "broken in?" Or is the range something that stays pretty constant over time (assuming a consistant driving style)?

 

The recharge-performance of battery systems does indeed degrade over time. Anybody have a portable phone or laptop that went shorter and shorter intervals between needing to be charged, then finally wouldn't hold a charge at all and needed a new rechargeable battery to function correctly? And recall the battery "memory" that hastened the demise of some NiCad batteries if they weren't fully DIS-charged before charging ?? Even the old standby lead / acid car batteries lose the ability to accept and hold a charge with age. Same thing. When it happens in an electric vehicle, performance degrades, as well as mileage between charge cycles.

 

The thrust of much or the recent battery R&D has been to develop battery designs and compositions that resist this tendency. Without knowing the specific battery technology used in any vehicle, there's no safe generalization that always holds true. It's complicated and depends somewhat on several factors, like the accuracy of the re-charge technology and the environment the batteries are subjected to.

 

With current state-of-the-art bearings, lubricants and other things that could possibly be associated with "breaking in", I rather doubt there's a measurable difference in the amount of energy necessary to propel this vehicle in its as-new condition and in a well-used state.


Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 09 May 2013 - 10:16 AM.


#33 IMSANUT

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:15 AM

Consumer reports, by and large, has to be taken with a grain of salt. In years past, the chief editor for the publication said, and I quote, "people do not read our publication for information, but rather entertainment." Having been involved in the retail of audio and video equipment for close to a decade and a half beginning in the late 70's, I can say with some measure of fact that many of their "reviews" of hi-fi equipment bordered on ridiculous, and bore little reality in how a product actually sounded, let alone how reliable, or more oft not, unreliable it was. I have 0% faith in anything they write.



#34 Rob Hall

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:16 AM

Speaking of battery life, gas-electric hybrids have been around a long time now, I do wonder how battery life is with them...I've never heard of anyone replacing the battery on a Prius, for example. I have friends that have put over 200k on their older Prii and are still on the original battery pack...



#35 Harry P.

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:20 AM

Ok... here's something else I've wondered. This obviously isn't possible, I guess, because it's not being done AFAIK.

 

Remember those generator-powered bike lights we had as kids? When the little wheel on the generator was in contact with the tire, and the bike was moving, your light lit up. The faster you pedaled, the brighter the light. You were getting "free" electricity.

 

So why can't an electric car be set up with a dual battery pack? One pack powers the car, and as long as the car is moving, an onboard generator or whatever charges up the other pack. A dashboard indicator could show charge levels, and when pack A got low, you would switch over to pack B while pack A recharged, etc.

 

I know this sounds logical (to me, at least), but apparently I'm missing some obvious reason why a system like this couldn't work to keep an electric car constantly charged?



#36 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:22 AM

 Existing battery technology has not changed a whole lot in 100 years, though some promising (albeit costly) alternatives are in the works.

 

Though I agree with the rest of your statement, this simply isn't true. 100years ago, lead-acid was king. Today's battery technology is MUCH better, and all you have to do to see proof is look at the tiny RC model helicopters flying, cheaply. The technology is fully scalable and is making fully-electric 1:1 aircraft feasible. It's also the battery technology in the majority of current EVs.

 

The energy-density-to-weight ratio is the important advance here,and it's, frankly, huge.


Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 09 May 2013 - 10:23 AM.


#37 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:30 AM

Ok... here's something else I've wondered. This obviously isn't possible, I guess, because it's not being done AFAIK.

 

Remember those generator-powered bike lights we had as kids? When the little wheel on the generator was in contact with the tire, and the bike was moving, your light lit up. The faster you pedaled, the brighter the light. You were getting "free" electricity.

 

 

 

There's no energy free-lunch. It took power from the food you ate to power your leg muscles to make the bike go to drive the generator for the lights, and though you couldn't feel it, it took a  LITTLE more effort on your part to pedal with the lights on.

 

Trying to recover energy while moving down the road is asking for a perpetual-motion scenario, and physics don't allow for a zero-sum game.

 

Energy RECOVERY however, as in "regenerative-braking", where kinetic energy lost as heat in conventional braking systems is converted back to electricity by generators on the wheels, is already in place in some vehicles.


Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 09 May 2013 - 01:44 PM.


#38 Harry P.

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:32 AM

Yeah, I guess what I described does equal perpetual motion, which can't be done. But it sure sounded good in theory!



#39 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:34 AM

 

 

So why can't an electric car be set up with a dual battery pack? One pack powers the car, and as long as the car is moving, an onboard generator or whatever charges up the other pack. A dashboard indicator could show charge levels, and when pack A got low, you would switch over to pack B while pack A recharged, etc.

 

I know this sounds logical (to me, at least), but apparently I'm missing some obvious reason why a system like this couldn't work to keep an electric car constantly charged?

 

This is basically the concept employed in some "hybrid" vehicles, but using only one battery pack that's constantly depleted during acceleration and recharged by a small onboard auxiliary-engine powered generator, when less energy is required of the TOTAL system to maintain cruising speed...the resulting excess is pumped back into the batteries and stored for the next burst of acceleration.

 

That was the plan with this Jag...it was to have used micro-turbines to drive the onboard generators, and battery packs...

 

Jaguar_C-X75.jpg


Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 09 May 2013 - 02:19 PM.


#40 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:38 AM

 

More importantly, how available will parts and the proper replacement batteries be down the road? I shudder to think about finding parts for today's computerized cars in 10-15 years (by 2005, it was impossible to get important parts for my 1993 C4 Corvette from GM, and I had to resort to salvage shops and very limited offerings from aftermarket companies like Eckler). Let's see someone try to restore a vintage Enzo Ferrari in 2035.

 

Absolutely 100% correct.

 

 

And Scott Colmer's mention of using solar panels to recharge these things is absolutely on target too, for the most part. One drawback is the fact that the sun isn't shining on the solar panels at night, when most recharging is going to be done. Rational infrastructure changes, like building solar PV arrays on parking decks to accommodate daytime plug-in recharging will have to accompany significant widespread EV implementation.


Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 09 May 2013 - 10:44 AM.