MLucas
Posts: 833
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:52 am
Location: Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada

Even the Tesla Model S....

Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:57 pm

...isn't perfect.

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1077918_2012-tesla-model-s-seven-little-things-a-buyer-doesnt-like

At least we get 'creep-mode' with the ability to turn it off (via the brake pedal), some control over the regen and the choice of drive modes. None of these are available on the Model S for $50,000 grand more.

Interesting.

Like Dylan...I went electric.

  • Purchased: June 29th, 2012
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2013 - 25,431 km / 15,802 miles
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2014 - 51,286 km / 32,616 miles

List of Oil Spills: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_spills

TaylorC
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:49 am

Re: Even the Tesla Model S....

Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:01 am

Hey MLucas. Did you get a chance to test-drive the Tesla S? I work for a company that gets to test-drive vehicles and this model was definitely fast, but I don't know if I would describe it as "fun." Thoughts? As far as electric cars go, it did make it from 0 to 60 very quickly.

alohart
Posts: 377
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:15 am
Location: Honolulu, HI, and Uppsala, Sweden

Re: Even the Tesla Model S....

Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:46 am

I reasoned that if an i costs around $30,000 and a Leaf costs around $35,000, is $50,000 for a Tesla S with a 40 kWh battery pack and almost twice the range of the others really that bad? Then I read that it weighs 4,600 pounds, almost twice as much as an i. Just pushing that much weight around reduces range, increases operating costs, and reduces performance. If it weighed less, it wouldn't need such a large battery pack to maintain the same range. It needs to go on a serious diet, but then it would lose its luxury items.

The Tesla X, another heavyweight SUV, will suffer from a worse weight problem. But Tesla seems to be going for affluent customers who don't care about driving overweight vehicles.

I would prefer a basic aerodynamic 4-passenger hatchback with a lightweight aluminum or carbon fiber chassis and a large enough battery pack for a 100+ mile range. I would think that something like this could be mass-produced and sold for no more than a Tesla S. But most people would still consider such a car to be too expensive, so Tesla is adding heavy luxury to make its prices more palatable to affluent customers.

Nevertheless, I hope Tesla succeeds. We need as many successful mass-produced EV's as possible.
Aloha,
Art
Honolulu: 2014 BMW i3 BEV (formerly 2012 i-MiEV SE)
Uppsala, Sweden: 2000 Honda Insight

fjpod
Posts: 529
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:31 am
Location: NYC

Re: Even the Tesla Model S....

Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:51 am

Funny, the iMiev seems to beat the Tesla in those 7 categories, for a lot less money. OK, we don't have the range, but we didn't pay for it.

I used to have a Ford Crown Vic, and honestly, it was no easier to get in and out of than my iMiev. Sure it had more room around your feet, butt and shoulders, but to me that's not a shortcoming.

When I had a front passenger in my Crown Vic, they had their knees right in the dash. In the iMiev, it doesn't seem as much of an issue when my passenger swings his legs to get in and out.

Don
Site Moderator
Posts: 2987
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Even the Tesla Model S....

Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:01 am

alohart wrote:Then I read that it weighs 4,600 pounds, almost twice as much as an i. Just pushing that much weight around reduces range, increases operating costs, and reduces performance. If it weighed less, it wouldn't need such a large battery pack to maintain the same range. It needs to go on a serious diet, but then it would lose its luxury items.
The same is true of any good sports car - Weight is the key and if you can keep that down you can have a really super handling car

But then someone decides they need a 3.5 second zero to 60 time, so it gets a heavier, more powerful engine, coupled with bigger brakes and tires to slow it back down and then every part of the frame and suspension needs to be beefed up. The next thing you know, you've turned a 2500 pound 240Z into a 3600 pound 350Z that no longer handles worth a darn

If a 75 mile range EV works for your needs, that's probably what you should buy. If you really need a 250 mile range, it's going to cost you - Both in the upfront price, the insurance for the car and in the everyday operating expenses. Unfortunately, too many of us think that if a car can't go 300 miles, then it's next to worthless . . . . we see those types filling up at the gas station everyday, as we drive by :lol:

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, Raspberry Metallic
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon
2006 Itasca Navion Sprinter Motor Home

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3911
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Silicon Valley, California

Re: Even the Tesla Model S....

Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:13 pm

I sat in and poked around a Tesla Model S demo'd at a recent Electric Auto Association event. Lovely and spacious car, especially if you like sedans. Its Cd=0.24 is only bested by the EV1 (0.195) and the 1935 Tatra (0.212). I'm delighted it's in production, and wish them well, even if it's not my cup of tea. Let's see how our iMiEV handles this article's author's gripes -

1. No 'Creep' Mode. Having driven stick-shifts all my life, I can take it or leave it, although I must say I've become used to our iMiEV's creep mode, especially when backing up.

2. It's Hard to Get In and Out. Score one for the iMiEV. I recently drove a 97-year-old who praised this iMiEV feature.

3. Regenerative Braking Settings Awkward to Change. This was the main feature I was interested in during my first test drive of the iMiEV, and I was not disappointed. When I probed the techie during the Tesla demo I was saddened to see that regeneration had barely been addressed by Tesla … allegedly to not deviate too far from an existing ICE driving experience. Hopefully they'll provide programming and a paddle control in the future, and with such a low Cd zero regen (coasting) would offer a marvelous range-extending capability.

4. Charge Port Location Inconvenient. On the S, it's hidden under the left taillight lens. I disagree with this assessment, as for my iMiEV I've located my EVSE 3' from our right charge port so my cable is super-short and never touches the ground. The Tesla's EVSE can also be located close to the charge port, but not as close as our iMiEV because room needs to be left for the driver's door to open whereas I park right next to the right wall. Nevertheless, better, IMO, than the Leaf. Hey, we simply back-in to public EVSEs, which is what I usually do in parking lots anyway.

5. Turn-signal lever badly placed. Mercedes supplied the whole assembly, and I thought they were tops in ergonomics. Nothing wrong with our iMiEV's, although the mandatory three flashes when one taps the stalk do bug me - one can get this programming changed but I haven't asked.

6. No Eco and/or Sport Modes. We've got Eco and I use B if I want to be sporty. The Honda FitEV really has the Sport Mode nailed.

7. State-of-Charge indicator not delineated. Well, we have a sixteen-bar 'fuel' gauge, but I agree with the author that a simple % SOC numeric readout would be preferable.

Tesla is just getting started and I'm sure they'll get around to refining things once they get rolling and have some cash coming in. I really do wish them well.
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

NeilBlanchard
Posts: 356
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:26 am
Location: Maynard, MA Eaarth
Contact: Website

Re: Even the Tesla Model S....

Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:03 pm

Weight is not nearly as big a problem as is aerodynamic drag. The i MiEV is Cd 0.35-0.36 and the Model S is 0.24.

EV's have a much smaller penalty for weight than ICE's -- electric motors are only losing 10-20% of the energy, while ICE's lose 70-80%, in acceleration in particular. EV's can coast without idling - and they have regenerative braking for when you need to slow down, so you can regain the kinetic energy in two ways.

Aerodynamic drag is a total loss -- and it is very often 50-75% of the load; so it is more important than weight.
Sincerely, Neil

http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/

tonymil
Posts: 274
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:50 am
Location: Latham, NY

Re: Even the Tesla Model S....

Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:44 pm

I think we should all be rooting for Tesla to succeed. It's not as if Tesla will be stealing customers from Mitsu. Anyone who spends $60k and up wouldn't even consider the MiEV. I think Tesla is doing something smart, they are overcoming range anxiety by performance and they are overcoming price anxiety by marketing to folks who don't worry about price - they care more about the envy factor. And if the car takes off, economies of scale will make batteries cheaper for all ev's and will then make all ev's cheaper. Win win.

Besides that, Tesla got a ton of taxpayer money. They damn well better be able to pay it back!

MLucas
Posts: 833
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:52 am
Location: Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada

Re: Even the Tesla Model S....

Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:49 am

TaylorC wrote:Hey MLucas. Did you get a chance to test-drive the Tesla S? I work for a company that gets to test-drive vehicles and this model was definitely fast, but I don't know if I would describe it as "fun." Thoughts? As far as electric cars go, it did make it from 0 to 60 very quickly.


Lucky you! Sounds like a nice job. Sadly, no - I've never been able to drive a Model S. I would like to, though - maybe one day.

I too also would like them to succeed. All I care about is electric vehicles and I know each one succeeds in its own market very well. They each have their uniqueness and fill specific needs for specific buyers. I don't think anyone of them is any better than the other. We really do have a nice array of electric cars to choose from. My point of posting this article was not to put Tesla in a bad light, I just wanted to note that our MiEVs are very well engineered and the money put into the car was put into the right places. After four months of ownership, and 10k kilometers - I am very happy with my decisions to buy the Mitsubishi i.

I get tired of the negative i Miev press and like to see that we aren't much different than any of the other offerings out there.

Like Dylan...I went electric.

  • Purchased: June 29th, 2012
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2013 - 25,431 km / 15,802 miles
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2014 - 51,286 km / 32,616 miles

List of Oil Spills: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_spills

Brian
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:45 pm
Location: Rockford, IL
Contact: Website

Re: Even the Tesla Model S....

Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:23 am

Creep Mode "update".
It was announced on Sept 11 that Tesla would offer a remote software update to its Model S owners. (Prior to most of the comments posted about the initial report.) The update will allow them to enable creep or leave it disabled.

I think that is great customer support. If I had the extra cash, I would consider buying a Tesla. But the $600 yearly service contract is a deterrent. $50 a month would buy a lot of gas when looking at the car from an ecomonical break-even point-of-view and not looking at the environmental aspects.

But I'm still thinking about making a bumper sticker for the i-MiEV that says...
"WHEN I HATCH, I WANT TO BE A TESLA"
Owner since 8/22/2012

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