Tag Archives: Tesla Model S

The Choice Conundrum: Are Electric Cars All The Same?

For enthusiasts of green motoring, the last few years have certainly brought more good news than the decades that went before them. With governments worldwide looking at moving away from fossil fuel vehicles within the next few decades, companies that want to keep up with the changing marketplace are being forced to look into new technology. Electric and hybrids seem to be the way of the future, but what does this change mean for right now?

We do know that, traditionally, there’s been less choice for the green motorists compared to petrolheads. Given we’re now well into the age of non-fossil fuel cars, are the choices improving for the green-minded car enthusiast?

The good news is that some vehicles are appearing on the horizon that answer that question in the affirmative; choice is no longer the reserve of the piston engine.

Manufacturers Are Accepting The Inevitable

The news of more and more countries looking at going electric is a positive step for the environment, but most announcements have come with an underwhelming deadline of the late 2030s. However, the effect on manufacturers has been a pleasant surprise, as they are beginning to see the futility of continuing to develop all-fossil fleets.

One result of this acceptance is that electric vehicles are going to join the true, reliable heavyweights of the road. A great example of this is the forthcoming Land Rover PHEV LSE. With a sturdy workhorse frame, this is an electric vehicle that gives a feeling of safety on the road, and a welcome addition to the Chevy Bolt in that respect. As a result of its reassuring sturdiness, the feeling of needing a car accident law firm number to hand “just in case” of any unexpected surprises, should diminish with the PHEV LSE.

The Electric Car Range Problem Is Getting Better

Until recently, if you could find an electric vehicle that would do more than 200 miles per charge, you held onto it for dear life. With charge points not exactly around every corner, range has been the defining issue of all electric cars to date.

Good news, then, comes in the shape of a few cars that are soon to be released to the market. The Tesla Model S is capable of hitting 295 miles before needing a charge. Furthermore, Mercedes have announced that their EQ — slated for 2019 — will have a range of 311 miles. These models show that the improvements in range might be slow, but they are getting better.

“Affordable” Will No Longer Mean “Awful”

The inconvenient truth for many electric car fans is that, if you want quality, you either have to pay a lot or accept a small range. Fortunately, the gap in the market for a longer range green car that you’ll actually want to drive is now in the midst of being filled. As you might expect, Tesla are the ones blazing the trail, with their Model 3 about to hit the streets at an affordable $35,000– and a 215 mile range. Electric cars that are affordable and go the distance? The future might just be green after all.

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A Porsche Tries to Keep Up With a Tesla

In a trending video, a Porsche Cayman tries to follow a Tesla Model S in ludicrous mode, which can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.7 seconds. The electronic stability control of the Tesla Model S is demonstrated here. The electric motor and differential immediately respond to variations in conditions much quicker than an internal combustion engine can.

Model S Traction Control is designed to ensure maximum contact between the road and the tires. Whether you are accelerating off the line, zooming along the winding roads of the Rockies or find yourself in a Gulf Coast rainstorm, Traction Control prevents loss of traction and maintains control. Stability Control reacts in moments of under-steer or over-steer by reducing torque and applying the brakes to individual wheels for enhanced control when cornering. -Tesla Motors

See for yourself if the Porsche can keep up!

How Does an Electric Car Work? | Tesla Model S

Learn Engineering recently made a very informative video about how an electric car works. It is pretty in depth, but you don’t need a physics or engineering degree to understand it. Electric vehicles are simple.  They really only depend on a few major components less moving parts than and ICE engine. The video above details the main parts of a typical all-electric drive train.

1. The Telsa Model S has an induction motor with a stator and a rotor. The stator is the stationary part of an electric generator or electric motor. The non-stationary part on an electric motor is the rotor. The stator conducts and alternating current which creates a rotating magnetic field. This induces the rotor to rotate along with it. The frequency of the AC power supply directly correlates to the speed of the rotor, and thus the car. The motor speed can range from 0 to 18,000 rpm and the motor works efficiently at any speed range. An internal combustion vehicle produces usable torque and power at a limited speed range, which is why an IC engine needs a transmission. A piston powered engine also must convert linear motion to rotational motion therefore it also needs many components to convert and balance forces.

2. The inverter acts as the brain of the car because it is in charge of converting the direct current (DC) output from the batteries to AC output for the induction motor. The inverter controls the alternating current frequency, which, as you remember, controls the speed of the motor.

3. The battery of a Tesla Model S is a huge collection of tiny lithium ion batteries situated in “packs” lining the underside of the car. This aids in the vehicles low center of gravity. Tesla chose to basically just fill the packs with tiny cells rather than a few giant batteries because smaller cells can be more efficiently cooled. Heat is a major limiting factor in battery function.

4. The Tesla Model S uses a single speed transmission. Because of the nature of an electric motor, electric vehicles don’t require multiple gears to maintain torque. Also electric vehicles reverse by simply reversing the power phase of the AC current to the motor.

5. Like in most electric cars today, the Tesla Model S has regenerative braking. As soon as you lift the gas, the car will slow down as if by engine compression in an internal combustion car. But the key difference here is that energy is not lost to heat and friction, but recaptured in an electric car. The induction motor becomes a generator when the Tesla slows down. It accomplishes this when the rotor speed becomes faster than the rotating magnetic field. The generated electricity goes to the inverted and then the battery pack.

There you have it.  The Tesla Model S follows the same basic setup as most electric vehicles, with its own unique, proprietary twists that have made it the most popular electric car out there today.  With a few basic components, less moving parts, and less friction, electric vehicles are more simple and reliable than traditional internal combustion autos.  They are also better suited for future automation capability and, of course, better for the environment, especially as cities move to low carbon electricity generation.  Some day the internal combustion vehicle may become like the mechanical watch in an Apple Watch era.

All Tesla Supercharger Stations to Be Solar Powered, Says Musk

Fed by the virtually unlimited supply of money emanating from the Koch Brothers to influence the media, plenty of people are convinced that electric cars are not as green as they pretend to be. That includes Teslas that recharge at Supercharger locations.

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After all, they have to get their electricity from somewhere and in many places worldwide, that somewhere is a coal-fired generating plant. The critics ask, what good is it to have zero tailpipe emissions if the stuff that makes the car go is derived from burning coal? One such critic posed that question to Elon Musk yesterday and got an unexpected response.

Tesla has embarked on a campaign to double the number of its Supercharger locations in 2017. In a blog post earlier this year, it said,

“As Tesla prepares for our first mass-market vehicle and continues to increase our Model S and Model X fleet, we’re making charging an even greater priority. It is extremely important to us and our mission that charging is convenient, abundant, and reliable for all owners, current and future. In 2017, we’ll be doubling the Tesla charging network, expanding existing sites so drivers never wait to charge, and broadening our charging locations within city centers.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists has published data refuting the hackneyed claim that electric cars are not all that green. Its study finds that two thirds of all Americans live in an area where driving an electric car contributes fewer total emissions than driving the most fuel efficient hybrid.

The only parts of the country where that is not true are places like West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, where the majority of electricity comes from coal-fired plants.

In fact, driving a Tesla in Wheeling, West Virginia creates more carbon pollution than driving a 64 Chevelle with the 396 engine. That’s because West Virginians are proud of their ability to poison themselves and their families with coal pollutants.

How soon will it be before all Tesla Supercharger locations are solar powered? Musk left the answer to that question somewhat vague. Suffice to say, it will be sooner than the charging equipment offered by any other automaker.

This article was originally published on CleanTechnica.

Norway Is Rich with Oil, but They All Drive Teslas

On Vox Borders this week, I couldn’t help but think of a quote from Scarface,”Don’t get high on your own supply.”


Journalist Johnny Harris described Norway as “full of Teslas”.  While he doesn’t know much about the popular electric plug in, “0-60 in like… 5 seconds”, he does bring up an interesting observation about environmental and economic policies working together to affect change. In 2014, Tesla broke a record for number of cars sold in a month for a single model, of any kind of car, not just electric cars. In America, we’ve all seen the occasional electric vehicle, but in Norway, other Scandinavian countries,  and Iceland, electric vehicles are becoming omnipresent on all city streets. This is partly due to forward thinking politicians, and their fortunate access to renewable resources to generate electricity, like geothermal generation.  This renewable electricity makes electric vehicles much more beneficial over internal combustion cars, so it makes more sense to go all-in on a plug-in transportation future.

In 2016 in the United States of all the new cars that were purchased about 1% were electric, more like 0.9%. In Norway it was 29% and that trend is only speeding up: in January this year[2017] the share was like 37% or something of all the cars purchased being electric.

Many countries are adopting policies that make it cheaper for someone to buy a Tesla or any other electric car than to buy one in the United States.  In Norway, you get free parking if you drive an electric car, you get access to the HOV Lane, which has way less traffic, you don’t have to pay registration fees, you get tax deductions on your income tax, and perhaps the biggest incentive of all is on the business side: companies like Tesla don’t have to pay sales tax for selling in Norway.

Furthermore, you don’t have to pay for gas to drive an electric car in Norway, and you don’t even have to pay for electricity because that is on the house.  It’s all payed for by the sovereign wealth fund, which is comprised almost entirely of oil and gas money. Norway’s a huge producer of fossil fuels and they sell that to other countries.

While some might disparage Norway for funding their sustainable, clean future with dirty money, when you look at the situation objectively, they are still reducing their carbon footprint and fueling their own economic good compared to a business as usual approach. Using profits from older fossil fuel resources to improve the environment and wellbeing of their citizens is possibly the most beneficial way to spend tax dollars in the long and short term.

An most Norwegians are simply unapologetic for this caveat of their economy.  And why should they be?  If somebody else will pay their oil and natural gas, the Norwegian economy is much obliged to take their dollars, bitcoins, or yen and invest it in their transportation projects.  If it worked for Tony Montana, it works for Norway (I don’t remember the full plot to Scarface).

Tesla Model S P100D takes on a Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 Drag Racing

The new Model S P100D can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds. It includes a 100kWh battery that can sustain the sedan for about 300-350 miles. Before tax incentives the P100D costs $134,500, which is a remarkable value for the performance.

The Lamborghini Huracan is priced from $241,945 in the U.S., which is about $100 grand more than the Tesla, but significantly more affordable than the Aventador, which retails from $404,195 before options. The Huracan can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 3.2 seconds.

It looks like the Tesla gets the jump on the Lambo usually, but the Huracan eventually overtakes the electric sedan in pretty much every trial they have in the video. Seems pretty predictable, as the Tesla has the benefit of 100% torque from the standstill, but the power of the Huracan’s 5.2-Liter V-10 eventually overtakes the sedan. If money wasn’t a thing to me, I’d buy the Tesla for my daily driver, and the Lamborghini to fulfill my midlife crisis fantasies.