Tag Archives: Tesla Roadster

Roadster batteries likely to perform better than Tesla predicts

By Sebastian Blanco

orange tesla roadster with lightwriting

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Once the epitome of EV cool, the Tesla Roadster has kind of taken a back seat to the new electric vehicles in the market it helped spawn. Turns out, even in the background, the Roadster has things to teach us. Or, at least it does to the experts at Plug In America who recently took a closer look at the EV’s battery pack.

See, in 2006, when the Roadster was new, Tesla said the Roadster’s 53-kWh lithium-ion battery pack – good for 244 miles of range when new – would have 70 percent of its capacity after five years or 50,000 miles. With plenty of “old” Roadsters on the road, PIA studied four percent of the packs out there today and discovered that the packs have an “average of 80- to 85-percent of capacity after 100,000 miles driven.” The numbers were self-reported to PIA’s website by Roadster owners in a project that started in January.

The numbers come from PIA’s chief science officer, Tom Saxton, who conducted the first-ever independent assessment and announced the results at the recent Teslive Tesla users conference. According to a statement, he said, “Our study also found no discernable effect of climate on battery-pack longevity. Roadster owners in hot climates are not seeing noticeably different battery capacity profiles than owners in moderate climates.” Last year, PIA surveyed Nissan Leaf owners and discovered that hot climates were affecting the packs more than expected. Surveys on the first-generation Toyota RAV4 EV and Tesla Model S are underway.

Continue reading Roadster batteries likely to perform better than Tesla predicts

Roadster batteries likely to perform better than Tesla predicts originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Mon, 15 Jul 2013 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tesla announces 'World's Best Service and Warranty Program,' hints at future 500-mile battery

By Domenick Yoney

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Tesla Motors has just revealed the latest edition of it 5-part announcement trilogy. Whereas the previous first installment had to do with the company’s new leasing program, this episode is all about service and warranty, comes gift-wrapped in the glittery descriptor of “World’s Best,” and is accompanied by hints of a future battery upgrade.

The new plan improves on the California automaker’s service program by adding a valet service that brings you a top-spec Model S Performance – or a Tesla Roadster, if you prefer – to temporarily replace your personal vehicle while it’s being serviced. CEO Elon Musk states that this fleet of Model S service vehicles, which will initially number about 100, will ideally be less than three months old and also be available for immediate sale. Like your loaner more than your own car? You can keep it, paying “a price that is lower by 1% per month of age and $1 per mile” for your new ride and taking, likely, a similar hit on your trade-in.

Musk hinted that a 500-mile battery would not be an unreasonable thing to expect in four or five years.

Not only should the purchase scheme keep the loaner fleet nice and fresh, it may also create a cache of certified pre-owned inventory for buyers who are looking for a deal on a Tesla that starts at $69,900 from the factory, or who would rather not wait a couple months for a new, made-to-order car.

As well as no-travel hassle, Tesla has also made its $600 annual service optional without effecting the standard 5-year/50,000-mile warranty. The company has also made the battery portion of the warranty unconditional, meaning that, if you manage to somehow turn it into a useless brick (something that should be quite difficult to accomplish with the Model S), you will get a replacement unit of equal capacity free of charge.

Speaking of battery capacity, during the media call, Mr. Musk also offered some hope for those anxious for packs that hold more energy than the current EPA-estimated 265-mile/85 kilowatt-hour packs now available. In response to a question about upcoming technology improvements, he hinted that a 500-mile battery would not be an unreasonable thing to expect in four or five years. He then added that, eventually, Tesla would likely offer owners the opportunity to upgrade their vehicles with longer-range capabilities.

It all sounds pretty good to us, and we can’t help but think if this upstart company keeps it up, surpassing sales of the Chevy Volt might seem a minor accomplishment. For more details on this newest warranty arrangement, you can get more details in a blog post on the Tesla website.

Tesla announces ‘World’s Best Service and Warranty Program,’ hints at future 500-mile battery originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Fri, 26 Apr 2013 19:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for

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Quick Spin: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive [w/video]

By Jonathon Ramsey

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Reading the stats for the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive is like looking at the Prada storefront on Rodeo Drive – it is an extravagance tinged with Electrobeam gaudiness that’s so far from normal it makes the average viewer declare, “Interesting, but…” before trying to find the stargate back to Earth.

It’s a shame if the SLS AMG Electric Drive comes off as an otherworldly bauble for the moneyed – most of whom won’t appreciate it beyond the early-adopter and top-tenth-of-one-percenter status it confers – because it’s almost 2.5 tons of passionately engineered electric fun and optic-smashing vinyl wraps. To overlook it is to miss out on technology that is, we hope, headed for a more prosaic AMG soon. We drove this car on the same day as the SLS AMG Black Series, and there was so much to learn and enjoy that we almost regretted having to leave it to drive the Black Series. Almost.

Driving Notes

  • It weighs 4,774 pounds, nearly 550 kilograms more than the 3,573-pound SLS AMG GT. The weight difference comes from the heft of the lithium-ion battery array, composed of 12 modules of 72 cells that weigh 1,208.1 pounds. The batteries change the weight balance of the coupe by one percent: the SLS AMG GT is balanced 54/46 front-to-rear, the Electric Drive is 53/47.
  • It’s an energetic beast: The 400-volt, liquid-cooled, 60-kilowatt-hour battery is rated at 552 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of immediate torque. According to Mercedes PR, that makes it “the most powerful AMG high-performance vehicle of all time.” The run from stationary to 60 miles per hour takes 3.9 seconds, top speed is limited to 155 miles per hour and range is pegged at 155 miles. For comparison’s sake, take the aforementioned SLS AMG GT with its 6.2-liter V8 blending up 583 hp and 479 lb-ft that gets from naught to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and will run out of acceleration at 197 mph. Also compare the Electric Drive to the philosophically similar Tesla Roadster (a two-seat electric sports car) that weighed 2,723 pounds, had a 53-kWh battery, 288 hp, 273 lb-ft of torque, a 245-mile range and performed the same sprint in the same time. But remember, we’re just putting these cars on a piece of paper together to see where they fall; the SLS AMG Electric Drive has zero interest in being a Tesla or its GT kin.
  • Those batteries juice four synchronous electric motors – a pair in front and another pair in back that sit astride the center line of the car, each pair flanking a single-speed, direct-drive transmission. In front, the setup necessitated a new multilink suspension with horizontal pushrod dampers replacing the aluminum double wishbones of the standard car.
  • The AMG Drive Unit knob takes its usual place and is inscribed with its usual markings: C for Controlled Efficiency, S for Sport and S+ for Sport plus. They alter the linear, straight-line driving characteristics

    From: http://feeds.autoblog.com/~r/weblogsinc/autoblog/~3/XT9mQtDC6PM/

Video: Translogic test drives the Epic Torq three-wheeled EV roadster

By John Neff

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Only about a week ago did the company Epic EV makes its very first delivery of the Torq Roadster to a customer. Before that, our colleagues at Translogic spent some time with company founder Chris Anthony and were the very first to get some seat time in this Morgan-Three-Wheeler-Meets-Tesla-Roadster EV.

You may recall, Chris Anthony has been involved with some some very special EVs, including the ill-fated Aptera, the DeLorean EV, the all-electric wakeboard boat and an EV ATV.

The Torq Roadster is a natural extension of his work in electrified transportation, and while somewhat spartan, keeps up nicely with the EV world’s performance standard-bearer, the now-cancelled Tesla Roadster, in the performance department: 0-60 miles per hour happens in about four seconds and this very wide trike (80.5 inches) can pull 1.3G while cornering.

Watch Translogic host Bradley Hasemeyer take it for a spin below.

Continue reading Translogic test drives the Epic Torq three-wheeled EV roadster

Translogic test drives the Epic Torq three-wheeled EV roadster originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 18 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Detroit Electric SP:01 picks up where the Tesla Roadster left off

By Steven J. Ewing

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We won’t fault you if the name Detroit Electric has fallen off your radar. After all, the company is best known for producing around 13,000 electric vehicles in the early 1900s, not to mention a revival from the Zap brand that, well, faded away. But the company is back in action, and today showed off its first product that is set to go on sale later this year, the sweet little SP:01 that you see above.

By the end of 2014, Detroit Electric will produce a range of all-electric cars.

It’s no secret that the company is relying on a Lotus Exige shell for its new electric car, and that’s largely thanks to the fact that the brand was revived by former Group CEO of the Lotus Engineering Group and executive director of Lotus Cars of England, Albert Lam. As its name suggests, Detroit Electric has set up shop in the city’s historic Fisher Building, and will produce cars at a facility somewhere in the metropolitan Detroit area. The company states that this dedicated production shop will have an annual capacity of building 2,500 cars and will create over 180 jobs in the process.

By the end of 2014, Detroit Electric will produce a range of all-electric cars, with two more machines scheduled to launch sometime next year. The SP:01 – the first product to wear the Detroit Electric name since 1939 – starts production this August, and pay attention, because it looks to have all the chops of a serious high-performance EV. Scroll down to read on.

Continue reading Detroit Electric SP:01 picks up where the Tesla Roadster left off

Detroit Electric SP:01 picks up where the Tesla Roadster left off originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 03 Apr 2013 20:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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As Detroit Struggles, a New Auto Emerges

By Sara E. Murphy, The Motley Fool

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After a 70-year hibernation, Detroit Electric lumbered from its cave on Tuesday and tossed its Stratoliner hat into the electric-vehicle ring. What was old is new again, and Detroit Electric might just breathe new life into an ailing city and an uncertain industry.

A rose by any other name …
It’s hard not to glance at Tesla Motors to see her reaction, considering that Detroit Electric showed up to the party wearing basically the same dress. Detroit Electric‘s first product to market will be a limited-edition, two-seater sports car that will cost “in the neighborhood” of $135,000. That sounds a lot like Tesla’s now-discontinued Roadster!

But the similarities don’t end there. Detroit Electric will use Lotus platforms for at least its first two vehicles. What other car was based on Lotus’ Elise platform? That’s right: Tesla’s Roadster. 

So on the face of things, it looks as though Tesla’s dominance of the high-end EV market may have just come under serious threat. Interestingly, though, Tesla’s shares are trading noticeably up since Detroit Electric‘s announcement. Investors seem encouraged, not panicked. Why might that be?

While Detroit Electric is starting with a sexy new sports car, it plans to offer a “diverse family of all-electric production cars,” which seems to suggest that the company won’t confine itself to the expensive top of the pyramid. EVs’ success will live and die on the development of a battery-charging infrastructure to support them, and such development will be spurred only by broad adoption of EVs. Investors may be betting that high-end purveyors like Tesla will be buoyed by Detroit Electric‘s potential offering of more affordable vehicles.

Pistols or swords?
Detroit Electric plans to announce “a major partnership with a global carmaker” at the Shanghai Motor Show on April 20. The company’s CEO of North America operations, Don Graunstadt, said this mysterious partner is a “much larger Chinese OEM,” or original equipment manufacturer.

I can’t help speculating that the obvious suspect is BYD. If that were the case, it would constitute Warren Buffett‘s indirect throwing down of the gauntlet to Elon Musk. Pistols at dawn, gentlemen! Still, as my colleague John Rosevear astutely cautions, “There are probably several other possible candidates, and one should be prepared to be surprised.”

The economic ecosystem
It’s worth pulling back a bit for a broader view. In a brilliant recent article, Bloomberg New Energy Finance Chief Executive Michael Liebreich laid out his case for analyzing our energy future in terms of a complex ecosystem. As I mentioned, EVs are dependent on infrastructure development. They’re also complementary to renewable-energy deployment, particularly solar. As Liebreich observed in his article, “The value of a solar rooftop in a world of electric vehicles is very different from the value of the same solar rooftop in a world without.”

Tesla has a partnership with SolarCity — another Elon Musk vehicle — to provide Tesla drivers with solar-fueled battery-recharging stations. SolarCity also announced a deal …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

UK appeals court dismissed Tesla's BBC <i>Top Gear</i> lawsuit

By Jon LeSage

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Tesla Motors‘ efforts to clear allegations of reduced range on its electric cars just took another hit. A British appeals court dismissed a libel lawsuit filed by Tesla against the BBC‘s Top Gear show. The court rejected Tesla’s appeal of a court decision last year that struck out its “libel and malicious falsehood” case against BBC. Tesla had asserted that the popular British automotive TV show had faked a scene that appeared to show a Tesla Roadster running out of power, which the Palo Alto, CA-based automaker said caused sales to drop.

Top Gear road tested two Roadsters in 2008 around a track – much more like racing conditions that typical day-to-day driving. Drivers tested the electric sports cars for acceleration, straight-line speed, cornering and handling. Top Gear claimed the car ran out of power after 55 miles – much lower than the automaker’s estimated range of 200 miles. The TV show’s review wouldn’t have misled “a reasonable viewer” into thinking that the Roadster’s range was less than the company’s estimate under normal driving conditions, said Martin Moore-Bick, an appeals court judge in London, in his decision.

Tesla claimed it had lost $171,000 in lost sales as a result of the show’s review of the car, and were well below the level of sales in the United States and European Union. Tesla’s lawyers argued that the comments were defamatory because it had “intentionally or recklessly grossly misled potential purchasers.” Judge Moore-Bick disagreed, saying the comments did not libel Tesla. Viewers would recognize that Top Gear‘s high-speed track testing was quite different than a normal driving style, he said.

Inaccurate media coverage can cost Tesla Motors much more than $171,000, according to CEO Elon Musk. He said that the “fake” report by New York Times writer John Broder on reduced range during his Model S road trip may have wiped out as much as $100 million in stock value for Tesla Motors. Musk asserts that the article resulted in several cancelled orders, probably costing Tesla “a few hundred” Model S purchases.

UK appeals court dismissed Tesla’s BBC Top Gear lawsuit originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Sun, 10 Mar 2013 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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NYT's Tesla Model S trouble report is "fake," says Elon Musk

By Sebastian Blanco

Tesla Model S

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Remember that episode of Top Gear, where the notoriously anti-EV crew pushed a Tesla Roadster to show what would happen if the car’s battery had run out of juice? And then Tesla got all litigious and filed suit (which the company eventually lost)? Well, we might be in for another public scuffle about the merits of electric vehicles.

The New York Times recently sent John Broder out in a Model S between the two new Superchargers on the east coast, located in Newark, DE and Milford, CT. Since, as Broder notes, the stations are “some 200 miles apart” the 85-kWh battery in the Model S should be able to make the drive. The EPA rates this model at 265 miles, after all. Heck, even the 60-kWh mid-range model has a 208-mile range. The trick, as we all know, is that your mileage may vary.

Following a 49-minute visit to the Supercharger in Delaware for a full charge (well, at least seeing a screen that read “charge complete”), Broder kept on driving, but discovered that, after 68 miles of driving, he had lost 85 miles of estimated range. He shifted over to energy conservation mode (driving slow, turning off the cabin heat, etc.). He writes:

Nearing New York, I made the first of several calls to Tesla officials about my creeping range anxiety. The woman who had delivered the car told me to turn off the cruise control; company executives later told me that advice was wrong. All the while, my feet were freezing and my knuckles were turning white.

The report caused TSLA to drop 2.5 percent to $38.27 (it has since regained some ground and sits at $38.42) and got a response from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who tweeted that, “NYTimes article about Tesla range in cold is fake. Vehicle logs tell true story that he didn’t actually charge to max & took a long detour.”

Tesla has promised it will post an article later today that “will refute Broder’s version of what happened, with data points pulled from the car’s logs.” Stay tuned for an update after that report is published.

NYT’s Tesla Model S trouble report is “fake,” says Elon Musk originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Mon, 11 Feb 2013 19:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tesla Model S sets quarter-mile record for quickest production EV [w/video]

By Zach Bowman

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Tesla Model S

It looks as if the Tesla Model S has a new feather to stick in its cap. DragTimes.com took the five-door down to Palm Beach International Raceway for a few sprints down the quarter mile, and the EV managed to run a best time of 12.371 seconds at 110.84 miles per hour with a 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds. Those numbers were good enough for the Model S to take the crown as the world’s quickest production EV according to the National Electric Drag Racing Association. NEDRA was on hand for the organization’s Winter EV Nationals, and verified the new world record.

Near as we can tell, the previous record stood at 12.582 at 104.58 mph. That feat was accomplished with a Tesla Roadster owned by Zachary Vex and driven by Stella Kostolna at the Speedworld Dragstrip in Arizona. You can watch the Model S dust a Dodge Viper SRT10 in the video below. Who says you can’t have any fun without internal combustion?

Continue reading Tesla Model S sets quarter-mile record for quickest production EV [w/video]

Tesla Model S sets quarter-mile record for quickest production EV [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Jan 2013 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lotus pondering 'fake shifting' for Evora 414E plug-in hybrid

By Danny King

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Lotus Evora 414E - front three-quarter view

Some would say Lotus has some credibility among the green-car set since it supplied the body for the Tesla Roadster and has always been obsessed with extracting maximum performance from light weight. Now, our friends at Green Car Reports are suggesting that the UK boutique sportscar operation could lose that reputation by simulating the acceleration of a conventional geared transmission for its Evora 414E extended-range plug-in.

According to GCR, Lotus may design the car to temporarily cut power under acceleration to simulate the shifting process so that drivers can make-believe they’re driving a car with a conventional gear-based transmission. Citing what it calls “a person close to Lotus Engineering,” the report suggests Lotus may also drop in some commensurate sound effects.

As fans of the “seamless” acceleration delivered by an electric, transmission-less motor, Green Car Reports deems such efforts “idiotic,” but we are reminded of a similar technology’s popularity amongst continuously variable transmissions – artificial gear change points for paddle shifters and manual gates on gearlevers on CVT-equipped models like the Mitsubishi Lancer. The false cogswaps don’t really improve acceleration – in fact, they can harm it – but the shifting sensation apparently makes some drivers feel more comfortable.

Lotus first showed off a prototype of its Evora EREV at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show and last summer revealed some if its specifications, including the delivery of 738 pound-feet of torque and a tidy 0-60 time of just four seconds.

Lotus pondering ‘fake shifting’ for Evora 414E plug-in hybrid originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Tue, 22 Jan 2013 14:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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