John Bingham

John Bingham
Contributor since: 2013
Hi Dave,
Off topic but if you haven't got your speakers yet I suggest you look in recent back copies of Hi-Fi News and Record Review magazine. It's generally pretty good on equipment reviews. Their home page is here:
http://bit.ly/1W8id9G
They often have comparison reviews of loudspeakers from the inexpensive bookshelf type to giant floor-standers and combine wide ranging listening tests with a suite of lab tests. It can be a good starting point if you don't have an obliging local shop with a good listening room.
Most reviews cover a wide range of music so you may get a good idea of what matches your requirements there.
If you really want good bass organ sounds from your synth you'll almost certainly need a powered sub (or two) to go with the main speakers, unless you've got a huge amount of space for big floor-standers. One of my work colleagues had a pipe organ in his basement (he was a professional musician) but he used a bass synth and VERY large speakers for the pedal boards - it's a bit difficult to put 32 ft pipes in any normal house!
I'm still using my trusty old B&W DM3's from the late 60s plus a pair I picked up later for use as my main stereo/surround system! Not excessively high powered but they can still hold their own against a lot of modern units. My main amp is a rather elderly Nakamichi AV10.
Good luck with your search!
Hi fxfx,
"fully autonomous cars /taxis cannot co-exist as long as 99.9999 % of the other cars are manually driven. It may work in theory and on some test drives but in real life you will soon encounter an accident here and there. Who is gonna be held responsible and who will have to pay? Who will insure said risk and at what cost?"
You can be very sure that the major insurers are already looking at the possibilities of insuring semi-autonomous and fully autonomous cars. There will always be accidents that cannot be foreseen or avoided by either man or machine, and evaluating that risk is the core of the insurance business.
It's a case of balancing the risk factors involved, and the model they use will evolve as more cars with such features are on the roads and real data are available on the accident rates.
In the same way that your current insurance premium depends on your age, previous claim history and type of vehicle (among other factors), the inclusion of different levels of autonomy will modify the policy.
If the accident rates of autonomous vehicles are found to be generally lower than that of self-driven vehicles than the insurance premiums will reflect this. If the opposite is true then expect a much higher insurance fee.
Liability for any accident will have to be determined initially on a case-by-case basis. If an accident seems to be just a one-off then it is likely that it will be treated as any other accident (pulling data from the car's log may become mandatory if there is a dispute). But if there is an unusually high number of similar accidents involving autonomous cars then I expect that the manufacturer will be very rapidly involved!
We may even find, as the technology develops, that eventually you will have to obtain a special licence and insurance to drive a fully manually driven car. Hobbyists only need apply!
Hi robiniv,
watching hasn't replied to this rather old thread so here's a little history for you:
http://bit.ly/1P1xb0r
The radio show "It's That Man Again (ITMA)" referenced in wikipedia ended it's run when I was only two years old, but the BBC has managed to find and restore about 12 of the original episodes which are occasionally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra. It was an extremely popular comedy show!
Hi Vico, YOUNG friend!
We'll be sorry to miss you from these ramblings on SA.
Enjoy the future whatever it may bring, and remember: the first 82 years are the hardest....
Let us know from time to time what the next will bring in this great adventure called life.
My best wishes to you.
John. :-)
Hi Nice,
Paris has the Bolloré Blue cars:
http://bit.ly/1Qn0Sts
And Amsterdam certainly has Tesla taxis! A good friend of mine was there recently and he couldn't believe how many Teslas he saw in such a short time!
http://bit.ly/1ekZGaM
Dave,
Hats off to BYD for their fully electric buses. And the bus only needs around three times the battery capacity of the top Teslas to carry a whole load of passengers. Now that's the right way to do it. Of course, BYD do have their own battery plant.
That's why I'm so annoyed that most of the Western World still sees EVs of any type as toys or the dreaded "golf cart".
Or, for those of us in the UK, the Sinclair C5. :-)
http://bit.ly/1NXZ3Az
Why do so many manufacturers make only minor moves towards true EVs, such as that Volvo chassis I referenced? The B5LH is not even a "baby step", it's not even crawling - except at traffic jam speeds!
Hi Dave,
I'm sorry, but I see this legislation as a retrograde step.
Tesla have shaken the auto world into action as far as EVs go. We'd probably have had a very slow move towards longer range, and hence more practical, EVs without Tesla but they have set the bar pretty high and there's (hopefully) no turning back now. The genie is out of the bottle.
Any attempt to limit EVs to the state they have been in since the 1990s (glorified golf carts) is not at all helpful. The Models S and X are halo cars for ALL EVs, not just Tesla. They should not be so heavily penalised.
But I do agree with you as regards public transport. I do not own a car at present so often travel by bus. Here in Manchester we have so called "hybrid" buses. Yes, they DO have an electric motor, but they use the Volvo B5LH chassis with a huge (sarcasm) 4.8kWh battery.
http://bit.ly/1QmUFgQ
I applaud the saving in fuel and consequent lowering of emissions, but I expect most of that saving is from the automatic shut-down capability of the diesel engine.
The electric drive, by comparison, can take the bus almost one kilometre (around half a mile!) at speeds below 10 MPH if the driver is very careful!
http://bit.ly/1QmV8Qf
"The Volvo B5LH can pull away silently from bus stops or traffic lights up to around 10 mph with the diesel engine shut off, before the diesel engine smoothly re-engages. This also reduces noise and improves passenger comfort, and means zero emissions too. In slow moving traffic, the careful driver can maintain electric mode for almost 1 km."
Well. I suppose it's a start.
And there are already Tesla Taxis:
http://bit.ly/1QmUFgS
Thanks for that one Higgs,
If it's not absolutely clear to anyone reading the document it quite literally IS a Tesla Tax.
"From 2016 BEV’s in Denmark will be taxed depending on the vehicle efficiency and size, thus incentivizing use of batteries in smaller vehicles where shorter range helps to lower the price and thus the loss of tax revenues".
There's not a lot that they can do about efficiency, most EVs get around three to four miles per kWh irrespective of size or weight, but taxing on size obviously puts the (extremely efficient) Tesla cars at a huge disadvantage.
"The new decided Danish tax regime for BEV’s and FCEV’s is pioneering an alignment with the technology approach of the major car manufacturers. Batteries are targeted for use in smaller vehicles where short range and long charging time is accepted".
This is a blatant attempt to allow most manufacturers to keep EVs as small commuter cars and shamelessly promote HFCVs. And, of course, the general public will be convinced yet again that EVs cannot be long range, fast or as useful as gas (and now HFC) cars.
Wow! What more can you say! Just wow!
Hi Paulo and co.,
"They [Tesla cars] accelerate very well, but can't sustain high speeds both because of sustained power and because it reduces range quickly (and the drivers know it)".
Is this fast enough for you:
http://bit.ly/1QlTm1J
Admittedly, it is only a 63 km (39 miles) stretch of the Autobahn and the range does drop pretty fast but the car handles it very well.
I guess there's a good reason for the Superchargers being quite close together in Germany. :-)
All Bjørn Nyland's videos are worth watching if you'd like to see a Tesla in daily driving situations.
molli and robiniv,
"the con game of the legacy car industry for years and years?"
That's exactly what Musk does NOT want to do. He has stated on more than one occasion that he is disgusted with the very common practice among the majors of showing a "teaser" concept car that never actually makes it to market. The production car is often a much watered down version of what was shown, if it ever appears at all.
Musk's policy is to show a concept car that will actually exist for purchase in the future, and, if possible, the production version will be AT LEAST as good as the concept, and possibly better.
The Model S certainly didn't disappoint, and we'll soon see official reviews of the X. There is no reason to think that the forthcoming Model ≡ series will be compromised between concept and final production either.
Hi AD,
"Most BEV promotors simply deny the existence of a range issue. But even those, like yourself, that implicitly acknowledge it, think about it only in terms of the range on a single fully charged battery...."
Range and recharge time are certainly important if you're a "road warrior" and must drive 'til you drop.
But most folk, especially those with family or kids on board, like to take a break on a long trip.
A little story:
Back in the '50s and early '60s my family used to travel the fairly short distance from Sheffield to London in the UK once or twice a year. It's less than 200 miles but the cars of the day (we had an assortment of Fords) really only just held enough gas to make the trip on one full tank with not much room left over for side trips, so we'd usually stop halfway for a break, a meal and a refill. At my age the break was very welcome and I'm pretty sure that mom was glad to stretch her legs as well!
Today's cars can travel much faster and farther on a single tank but it's still advisable to take a break every few hours on a long trip. And most of us like to eat and use the bathroom occasionally!
If future EVs can manage a realistic 300 miles plus at an average of 75 MPH then that equates to four hours of travel. For most folk that really is enough driving before you take a break. And while you relax the car can be charging. Tesla only introduced the Superchargers three years ago and they already cover many of the major routes in the USA and Europe.
http://bit.ly/QpV8An
Click on "2016" on the map to see what is planned for the near future. You may be surprised.
The Superchargers have also been upgraded from their initial 90 kW to today's 120 to 135 kW so charging times are reducing as well.
Give them time and they'll fill more of the gaps on the major, and even minor routes. This is a rollout by one single company that is way faster than the rollout of gas stations a century ago!
Please talk to the Model S owners who have taken road trips. Today's Model S cannot manage 300 miles at highway speeds but the owners certainly seem to be very happy with the performance so far.
Actual experience behind the wheel surely beats anecdotal evidence every time.
Hi Vulpine,
"In general I agree with your commentary, though there are improvements that could be made to improve range. Mechanically speaking, adding a 2-speed or 3-speed transmission could make a notable difference as the motor speed could be better controlled to offer best economy perhaps at a slightly higher speed and get away with using smaller motors".
At first glance that looks like a good idea, but there is a big difference between an ICEV powertrain and that in an EV.
An ICE has a big problem in that it has only a limited range of speeds where it can develop its best efficiency and power output. Hence the move to ever more complex gear boxes.
The early cars got by with only three or four gear ratios, but modern ICE cars may have five, six, or even more ratios. Just look at the most recent automatic transmissions.
The ultimate gearbox is probably the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) which can realise a very good MPG rating even though it is generally less efficient in itself than a multi-ratio box.
The name of the game is to match the optimum power/efficiency level of the ICE to your speed. This is also the reason why serial hybrids can realise such high MPG ratings: the ICE is running at its most efficient speed for most of the time and the varying load needed as you drive is buffered by the battery.
Now to EVs:
An electric motor is already extremely efficient at all speeds from zero revs (not using any power!) to its maximum design speed. Just because the rear motor assembly in the Performance Tesla cars can deliver a peak power of around a third of a MegaWatt does not mean that it is a poor performer at the tens of kiloWatts level needed for normal highway driving. In fact, it may even be a better performer than a small motor as the heavier gauge wiring will give lower resistive power losses.
It's counterintuitive compared with ICE engineering where you expect a large engine to be a "gas guzzler".
Tesla did try a two speed gearbox in the very first Roadsters, but the torque from the small motor in that car was sufficient to strip the gears! So all later versions used a more robust single speed transmission and any current drivers of the Roadster will tell you that they really have no need for gears.
As for lithium-air batteries - Tesla are already on top of this and have several patents on the use of metal-air batteries to supplement the primary traction battery for long range use.
http://aol.it/1HcctIh
I personally don't think this is very likely to happen soon (if at all) as we are already approaching a very useful range before recharge level and most drivers will be satisfied with a 300 - 400 miles range in a few years time. The biggest problem with all "air breathing" batteries is that they are generally useful for only a few cycles (the earlier ones were single cycle only) and are best suited for a steady load. Hence the reason Tesla were looking at a hybrid battery.
And again: great lab. results don't always mean that a cost effective marketable product is just round the corner!
Hi Vulpine,
"Due to a certain conversation thread being removed, I had three very specific responses to valid questions/comments"
Very annoying! I'm afraid that a certain contributor has a reputation for sweeping his comments every few days and removing anything that disagrees significantly with his viewpoint. If the first (new) comment is removed then any replies in that thread also disappear no matter what their content.
I had a couple of replies to perfectly valid questions removed in the same thread so I'll give a brief resume in case they're helpful to other commenters.
One commenter asked why Tesla seems to concentrate on "ludicrous" performance instead of efficiency.
The fact is that an electric motor/inverter is already around 90% efficient so any improvement there (even to 100% efficiency!) would only realise about 10% improvement in range at best.
Drag is the enemy of efficiency at highway speeds so Tesla have concentrated on giving their cars a very low (for a sedan and crossover) drag coefficient.
The only other way to get better efficiency is to make the car smaller, like the much anticipated Model ≡. This gives a smaller frontal area and hence, even with the same drag coefficient, a lower overall drag. Weight has a small contribution but this is felt mostly in "rolling resistance" and at lower speeds. The choice of tires can help here.
Surprisingly, the high acceleration rate of the cars does not "waste" as much energy as may be expected because a good percentage of that energy is recovered with regenerative braking.
And that same "insane" or "ludicrous" acceleration is not a special feature - it is a natural byproduct of the very high torque available from any electric motor from zero revs.
The car could even accelerate faster if not for the tires losing traction, and assuming that the drive train could sustain a third to half a MegaWatt of power for any length of time!
If the first commenter was worried about range rather than efficiency then we will have to wait for higher energy density batteries. The small move to 90kWh from 85kWh shows that this is happening but, as Musk stated, we can only expect around 5% improvement a year.
Panasonic fully expected a step change in moving to silicon containing anodes, but their expectations from six years ago have not been realised, at least in automotive grade cells:
http://bit.ly/1tSyn8K
It is very likely that the initial lab. tests showed promise but subsequent lifetime testing has shown early failure modes. This may be acceptable for domestic use if only a hundred cycles or so can be achieved, but it is certainly not good enough for a car where the battery should last for a few hundred thousand miles and, hopefully, the lifetime of the car.
I expect that the small improvement we've seen here is a VERY cautious first step by Tesla/Panasonic and more may be expected in the future.
One thing that is certain is that many of the larger cell manufacturers are now on a race to get to the most reliable and high energy density batteries they can produce as soon as possible. He who can make the best will own the market!
Just don't expect every lab. "breakthrough" you read about to go to market. From lab. to full production capability is a rocky road and MOST fall by the wayside.
Hi Dave,
"I'd be astonished if a single board member at VW ended up doing bird.

'Justice' is what happens when some poor sap tries to rob $1000 from a convenience store, not when the elite engage in plots to poison the population with unknown consequences to its health."
I have to agree with you.
The VW group is far too big to be punished like the general public. In all probability there are some very serious talks going on right now behind closed doors in the name of "Damage Limitation".
We all have a good idea of what SHOULD happen to the perpetrators of this appalling scam, but I am sure that at the end of the day (months or even years in reality) VW will either manage to shift the blame around until it is massively reduced or move suitable funds in the right direction to limit any legal action.
Jail time for the instigators? I think it will be impossible to lay the blame on any one group of individuals so that just won't happen.
If you have a chance to listen there's a good commentary on the VW situation in the BBC radio series "Costing the Earth" from 7 October. It's titled "Lungs, Lies and Automobiles".
http://bbc.in/1PjJ4yH
Aricool,
When JRP3 says current charging he means just that.
A switch mode DC/DC converter as used in the Superchargers can be configured to output either a specific CURRENT or VOLTAGE. For EVs, as with most battery powered equipment, it is the current that needs to be specified.
The car tells the DC charger what current is needed depending on the battery's State of Charge, temperature, etc. and that current can be delivered at a very wide range of voltages with very high efficiency. The resulting voltage depends on the battery type and State of Charge and not on the charger.
Similarly, the internal AC/DC converter in the car is set on the charging current you require, and NOT the charging voltage. In the Tesla Model S this is up to about 40A (single charger rated 10 kW ) or 80A (twin charger rated 20 kW) on a 240V supply.
The original Superchargers delivered 90 kW, roughly 1C for the 85 kWh packs, but Tesla has since upgraded them to deliver 120 kW (1.4C) and 135 kW (1.6C) for the later 85 kWh packs as this has been found to be safe for the batteries without causing undue degradation.
In all cases the charging current decreases under the control of the car's Battery Management System as a full charge is approached.
Hi Vico,
I sure agree there! We've both been through tough times and the world has become very cynical and uncaring.
I'm in the UK and my mother was married twice during WWII. Her first husband had a couple weeks with her after they married and was then posted to El Alamein where he served on the front line. He never returned.
I only found out at my uncle's funeral that he died just yards from safety when his platoon was raked with rifle fire. At least it was quick - straight to the head. The full details have only recently been opened for the public, so mother never knew how he died.
Her second husband, my father, died just after my third birthday due to slow organ failure caused by serious infections caught in the same war. His last year was spent mostly in hospital.
I've just opened Harry's page here. He looks like a great coach. I understand his comment about fond memories very well. I taught here in the UK for all my working life and had a great relationship with the students. I still keep in touch with many of them.
We owe a huge debt to guys like these who shaped our countries. So sad that time has dulled the respect they deserve.
But there's nothing wrong with believing in "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".
We may have got most of our years behind us but, hey! Live life to the full, enjoy liberty (wife permitting!) and stay happy!
All the best!
John.
Hi Vico,
Greetings from an old UK TSLA long (though you've still got a few years on me!).
Good to hear from you on these boards again, but sorry to hear that you're having problems. I recollect that you've been going through this for a long time now.
Just went to the funeral of the last of my family's eldest generation a couple weeks ago. He and his wife both made it to 95 and passed within months of each other. Both were still leading active lives.
May you enjoy similar, or even greater, longevity.
Good health and good fortune!
Hi Paulo,
"John, if these researchers are right, in 15 years or so people will be wishing for higher temps:

Solar activity predicted to fall 60% in 2030s, to 'mini ice age' levels: Sun driven by double dynamo
http://bit.ly/1M5bEmK
The whole thing doesn't seem unrealistic."
The activity referred to is SUNSPOT activity and not the sun's actual radiant output, although there may be a correlation with the UV part of the spectrum.
As for the "Little Ice Age", I don't think we need to worry too much. Wikipedia can help here:
http://bit.ly/1Rv9d0p
"Note that the term "Little Ice Age" applied to the Maunder minimum is something of a misnomer as it implies a period of unremitting cold (and on a global scale), which is not the case. For example, the coldest winter in the Central England Temperature record is 1683-4, but the winter just 2 years later (both in the middle of the Maunder minimum) was the fifth warmest in the whole 350-year CET record. Furthermore, summers during the Maunder minimum were not significantly different to those seen in subsequent years. The drop in global average temperatures in paleoclimate reconstructions at the start of the Little Ice Age was between about 1560 and 1600, whereas the Maunder minimum began almost 50 years later."
Abnormally hot or cold seasons are mostly just noise on top of the overall trend, and that needs decades or even centuries to fully establish.
After all, we're thinking of a "middle-aged" star (our sun) with a life expectancy of around ten billion years!
Dave, Paulo, out, et al,
That was a mighty long discussion.
So here's my quick take:
Paulo made a very simple statement that increasing CO2 levels tend to increase global warming and global warming tends to increase CO2 levels.
That's a positive feedback loop limited only when one or other factor reaches a saturation level.
Changing EITHER factor can modify the whole response, irrespective of which is the causative element.
So - we have no chance of reducing global temperatures per se (the energy required to give just a 1° change is huge!) but we can certainly reduce our CO2 emissions, and this, in turn, may slow or even reverse the warming effect.
From the Keeling curve it's obvious that CO2 level increases have occurred since major industrialisation began (we are now above 400 ppm) so the sensible thing to do is to attempt to restore this side of the loop.
That should include both reforestation, which will provide a natural carbon sink, and reducing our current extremely high CO2 emission levels.
Yes, we can survive in higher CO2 concentrations but some species cannot. Already there are significant effects being seen in shelled marine creatures due to oceanic acidification.
The long term trend seems clear, and just because there may be short term noise riding on top of the trend does not mean that we can blithely ignore what is happening.
As with all long term trends, the sooner you act, the easier it is to change the final outcome of that trend.
Acting now to reduce CO2 will be much easier than waiting to see what happens in the next few decades.
By then it may be too late.
Valueseeker,
"Check out the LA accident. Very safe. The driver just becomes part of a giant molten Aluminium ball."
Enough with the trash talk. I really thought we'd done with this sort of rubbish.
http://bloom.bg/1gvwD5g
Yes, the driver died. But not in the car. He died later after being ejected from the car at something like 100 MPH with no seat belt. The passenger survived because he DID wear a seat belt.
And in the very few fires in a Tesla, all caused by serious accidents, the actual fire started after the accident and gave the drivers and passengers plenty of time to exit the cars.
From the above article:
"Battery fires have a longer “induction period,” Doughty [of Battery Safety Consulting Inc. in Albuquerque] said in a phone interview. “Gasoline is always ready to go. Introduce a spark and oxygen and it will go up.”"
The only death that I know of in a Tesla was probably a suicide:
http://bit.ly/1gvwA9G
Look at the photos. In both the LA and Sonoma Coast crashes, in spite of extensive damage to the cars, they did not become "a giant molten Aluminium ball".
In fact the Sonoma Coast crash car did not even catch on fire.
TooLate,
"WHY the deal? Is Tesla admitting that they don't have a clue on how to improve the batteries?"
Man! You really don't know what goes on in research labs do you?
I've been there, and I promise you that if you put two guys like JBS and JD together for a bull session in a coffee room you'll have ten times as many hot ideas ready to roll than either would come up with on their own.
Tesla/Panasonic mean serious business here!
Hi Siddharth,
"Maybe the Model S redesign will be one thing at a time every few months. New dash, new nosecone etc. one at a time whenever Tesla feels the need."
Exactly. But to date all the changes have been "under the floor" (you can't say "under the hood" with the Model S!).
For those who think there have been no real changes in the last three years think about this:
Original line-up: rear wheel drive 40 kWh, 60 kWh and 85 kWh cars, plus the P85.
Then: drop the 40 kWh car because of low demand (around 4% of the order book).
Next: P85+ for higher performance.
Then the big reveal: P85D with all wheel drive and a new sensor package for driver assistance to replace the rear wheel drive Performance cars. This is the start of the second generation of the Tesla Model S.
Most recently, 70D and 85D all wheel drive and the cancellation of the standard 60 kWh rear wheel drive car.
The ONLY car still remaining from the original line-up is the standard 85 kWh rear wheel drive model. I expect this to be dropped eventually as well. Tesla will be watching orders carefully and it is likely that this is now the lowest selling model. You already have to specifically "de-option" it on the Tesla website.
The current line-up shows that Tesla is maturing as a manufacturer and is moving forward rapidly with improvements to the cars as and when available. No waiting for the new year's model here.
Even the battery pack has been improved as we are now at iteration F. The latest packs can handle higher charge rates than the original type A packs.
Very likely the next change here will be to a higher energy content (100 or 105 kWh?), and I think we may see this with the launch of the Model X.
Doc's Trading,
"Surfer.....<<&l... long position also says otherwise>>>
ALL 100 SHARES".
Hey, That's not nice! At least surfer's an honest guy who has been perfectly clear about his position on this site.
Just because he's not trading $millions does not make him a lesser person than you.
A little more respect, please.
augustom,
"No one has sustainable advantage on new technologies. Did Sony have sustainable advantage with Betamax, or Panasonic with Video Disks?"
First a little history (off topic but you brought it up!).
Sony's Betamax, or rather its very close cousin Betacam (the pro variant), was developed over the years to ultimately become DigiBeta. I quote from Wikipedia:
"DigiBeta, the common name for Digital Betacam, went on to become the single most successful professional broadcast digital recording video tape format in history."
Not so unsuccessful after all!
Video Discs? Well - the LaserVision/LaserDisc system was actually an MCA/Philips, and NOT a Panasonic, system. Much like the VHS/Beta (and V2000) "wars", optical discs also had three competing standards: one purely mechanical (like an LP record), one using a capacitive system, and the successful one (for more than 20 years), LaserDisc, using a laser scanned system.
LaserDisc ultimately gave us the CD, DVD, and BluRay systems. They all build on that foundation.
OK. Now to TSLA.
"Overall car manufactures have seen dismal demand for EV cars."
I think "give the customers what they want" is the problem here.
Most of the current offerings from the Majors are either too short range or too expensive (or too ugly!) to sell well. Tesla has gone against this trend by producing a sexy, fast, competitively priced car that sells faster than it can be produced (11,507 cars delivered in Q2 2015).
They have the recharging infrastructure in place (and growing) for long range cars, plus they are committed to improving those cars over time.
Of all the drive train systems available a pure EV is the simplest. Hybrids, HFCVs, etc, are all much more complex. Why go for complicated when the simplest system is becoming more affordable every year?
There will continue to be volatility in TSLA, such is the nature of a disruptive company, but the stock trend is inexorably upwards.
As this becomes more apparent and Tesla continues to execute according to plan (yes, there will be stumbles along the way but they will have less and less effect on the price unless something truly disastrous occurs) the Majors will be forced to look much more seriously at their own future.
There will be better EVs from other companies, but they may need a minor miracle to survive the transition.
A brief update: Today (2 July 2015) there were well over a million TSLA shares traded in the first ten minutes after opening for the day. Looks like the shorts are on the move again!
Hi Randy, geo, etc,
I feel (no calculations, sorry) that you really are light on the needed battery capacity for the Model ≡.
Admittedly, the smaller car will have a smaller frontal area and probably a similar drag coefficient to the Model S and this will be the principal determinant of power usage at highway speeds. But 44 kWh for the entry level car just feels plain wrong.
The expected battery capacity for the next generation of most currently available pure EVs is 48 kWh, a doubling of the 24 kWh typical battery size used today. That should give around 150 miles real world range to those cars (they will probably claim "up to 200 miles").
Musk has hinted that the entry level Model ≡ will have an EPA range of 250 miles, so unless the car is way more efficient (in the region of 67%!) than the cars from other manufacturers I feel that a minimum of 60 kWh would be more realistic. Tesla likes to move forward with each iteration so it is very likely that the Models S and X will have higher capacity packs than the current 70 kWh and 85 kWh by the time the Model ≡ launches.
I would not be surprised to see as high as 65 kWh in the ENTRY level Model ≡. The battery pack could even be made using the same cells as those in the current Model S to ease Gigafactory production of the new cells while it's ramping up to full capacity. And the next generation cells could be reserved for the higher capacity models, including a Performance version, of course.
Apart from that, an excellent article, Randy. Thanks!
Glenn and GreenTECH,
"I would give credit where credit is due and bow to the trading genius of Logical Thought."
The last time Mark (LT) mentioned his position was when TSLA was at $210 and he was showing a small potential profit as his averaged unprotected short was then at "the high $210s".
His technique is simply to average up and, yes, to the best of my knowledge he has been adding to his short position since TSLA was somewhere in the $30s.
I gave him a friendly suggestion that he should close out his short, realise his profit, and go long.
Somehow I don't think he did....
pot pie,
"Guy just had his FOURTH drive train replaced".
Well, the second one really because Tesla spotted that one refurbished unit was out of spec. or inoperative on installation: he never received that one. So he's now on his third drive unit - two replaced.
The owner is glhs272 and the relevant post is dated 2015-06-19, 06:52 PM.
Seems he drives around 25,000 miles a year.
Apologies if this isn't the "fourth drive unit" owner you referred to, pot pie, but it came up on your link.
http://bit.ly/1FCAYbf
Note: "None of the drive units ever failed outright (except of coarse the DOA one that Tesla had to deal with). They were just noisy. How noisy? Not very bad."
But the really telling part from this owner is his final comment:
"I love this car. I intend to keeping it going for as long as possible. Drive unit woes aside, I expect to keep it going for 250K+ miles. The car I got back today is like brand new again. Thanks Tesla."
Nuff said....
portatopia,
"I am sure they have plenty of skunks to pull out".
You know, you might just be right. Ever hear of "Skunk Works"?
http://tinyurl.com/pzb...
"The designation "skunk works" or "skunkworks" is widely used in business, engineering, and technical fields to describe a group within an organization given a high degree of autonomy and unhampered by bureaucracy, tasked with working on advanced or secret projects."
Watch this space....
Hi Randy,
About Audi's cell and pack energy density:
I think I am right here. Look at the description of the full battery pack:
"The 7,488 cells are packed in 52 modules of 144 cells each. Each module weighs 7.8 kg (17.2 lb)."
and:
"Compared to the first e-tron technology platform, the energy capacity of the new 595 kg (1,311.8 lb) battery system was boosted from around 48.6 kWh to 90.3 kWh without requiring any package modifications."
If the 7,488 cells can deliver 90.3 kWh of energy then they must contain 12.059 Wh each.
Compare that with the 7104 cells in Tesla's 85 kWh pack which gives 11.965 Wh per cell. Close enough to be the same cells with less than 1% difference (manufacturing spreads would be greater than this).
Similarly, Audi's complete battery system (the modules plus cooling system and interconnects, not just the cells) is stated as 1311.8 lb for 90.3 kWh, Tesla's is about 1,200 lb for 85 kWh. Within 3% of each other in terms of stored energy per pound.
Tesla's pack is 74 cells in parallel by 6 "sheets" in series in each of 16 series connected modules. Looking at Audi's numbers their pack is 72 cells in parallel by 2 series "sheets" per module by 52 series connected modules. This matches the stated nominal 385 Volts pack voltage that would be expected with 3.7V cells.
"Parallel evolution"? Or are Audi simply following Tesla's example (and open patents)?
Whatever, Audi's battery pack is now at the stage of Tesla's pack at the launch of the Model S three years ago.
But Tesla/Panasonic will certainly not have been standing still since then!
WhosSide,
"... who really gives a rip when the stock price is trading near $350.

You bears have a lot of thinking to do. I would be covering my shares before the ordering begins for Model X."
I wonder if our permashort friend Mark (LT) will still be "averaging up" by the time TSLA hits $350 as he still seems to be absolutely certain that he will be raking it in when Tesla vanishes to zero.
[I did warn you when you could have made a marginal profit at $210, Mark].
LT may yet go on record as being numerically the highest TSLA share non-holder ever!
Hi Dave,
"Here are the specs of the Audi R8:"
http://bit.ly/1e8B5WO
"That is comparable to the Panasonic pack used by Tesla for energy density at the pack level"
Agreed. Looking at the numbers in the article the energy density of Audi's cells is virtually identical to those in the Model S so the pack energy density should also be similar.
But what a shame that Audi didn't choose to go with a sedan. They could have made a REAL competitor to the Model S with similar sales numbers (or even higher, as Audi is already an established brand worldwide). And I, for one, would welcome a second manufacturer showing the world that they are committed to making a direct EV competitor to similarly priced luxury ICE sedans.
Unfortunately the Audi R8 e-tron is only a competitor to Tesla's now discontinued Roadster from seven years ago.
Yes, it has a higher top speed (equal to the Model S) but the rest of the specifications are a better match to the Roadster.
It is also likely that the e-tron will be produced in fairly low numbers whereas a similarly powered sedan could reach a much wider market.
I wonder why Audi chose this route. Could it be that if they had chosen to make a 90 kWh sedan they would have cannibalised their own top end ICE sedans?
This is the problem that all ICE manufacturers must face: how to transition to EVs without destroying the market for your own already existing ICE cars in the same class.
It is equivalent to throwing away a huge investment in decades (in some cases around a century) of ICE R&D. An almost impossible task, and I think some of the majors may not survive the transition.
Hi Dave,
"... ask yourself how in the world the umpteen cars parked on the street could be plugged in"
As Dave_M said: "If something is worthwhile we seem to find a way."
Here's one solution for you:
http://bit.ly/1zCERjn
Other proposed solutions include having charge points on street lamps. After all - they have power connections already.
For overnight residential charging you don't need a Supercharger so a conveniently placed level 2 charger is fine.