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Steve Funk

 
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  • Tesla's Ambitious SuperCharger Infrastructure Build Is SuperExpensive [View article]
    dm2000,
    " to use up 265 miles of rated range in 90 min "
    Using the Tesla mileage calculator at 65 mph with the A/C on and 90 degrees ambient the maximum range is 247 miles. The calculator won't let you drive above 65 mph, but interpolating the graph provided it looks like you will get 220 miles at 75 mph. Half a charge at a supercharger would net you 110 miles. Total travel time for the 110 miles to the next supercharger would be 88 minutes.
    Jun 3, 2013. 02:32 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Ambitious SuperCharger Infrastructure Build Is SuperExpensive [View article]
    dd,
    In number six you just give some gross physical numbers without going into any kind of analysis. The authors numbers are rough, but probably more in the ballpark than your insinuation. The fact is that if Tesla is even mildly successful they will not be able to charge very many cars with solar.

    Check out the National Renewable Energy Labs calculator at http://1.usa.gov/12pRZsQ

    You can play with this calculator all day and get a range of numbers, but using your number of 10kW capacity in Chicago I come up with charging 10-20 cars in the summer, half that in the winter. I suspect there will be very little sun reaching the charging station in the Loop where it is likely Tesla's will be parked.

    Another factor to consider in solar charging is that some states, like Colorado, do not allow solar producers to use their own electricity. You must connect on the grid side of the meter and sell your electricity at wholesale and buy it back at retail. So in those locations there will be no "free" electricity. There will be a monthly payment to Xcel by Tesla, always.
    Jun 3, 2013. 02:11 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • On Elon Musk And Tesla Motors: The Art Of Modern Warfare In A Noble Cause [View article]
    Julian,
    Government subsidies are an issue. There are an infinite number of "good" things that the government can do towards global warming but a very finite number of dollars. You like EV's, someone else has a better idea waiting for a subsidy. This will be a continuing debate as long as the government decides to play.

    By way of example, a very good case can be made to reduce CO2 faster by further subsidizing heating and cooling of commercial and residential buildings. They actually produce more CO2 than cars. Why attack cars first then?
    May 30, 2013. 04:38 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla-Learning From History [View article]
    JRP3,
    Not sure you are looking at aerodynamics properly. Drag is the product of the coefficient and the frontal area. The frontal area of the Roadster was very small. I doubt the overall resistance of the Model S is less than the Roadster (can't find reliable frontal area's for the two). A shorter car like the BMW 3 is harder to reduce aero resistance than on a longer car like the Model S.
    May 30, 2013. 12:21 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla-Learning From History [View article]
    Julian,
    That's a good theory that anyone who knows about the car biz can't understand Tesla manufacturing. The truth is virtually all the Tesla manufacturing methods are current technology, so most traditional manufacturing engineers can easily comprehend what Tesla is doing. Their ramp up was slow compared to traditional manufacturers, and that was with two traditional manufacturers as consultants.

    The facts are Tesla has over $500M in plant and equipment on the books. Musk has said that he is putting another $200M to get the plant up to speed. Tesla is mum about where exactly the bottle necks are, but clearly there are still production bottlenecks or they would not put another $200M into capital equipment. That is at least $700M for a 20,000, one-shift line. Most of that will be for tooling that by definition is model specific.

    It will take another $500M (at least) and a year to ready Model X production. That means you will not see Model X deliveries until Q4 2014. Then a year later Tesla will start building a 200k capacity Gen III line at a cost of $1B++ and two years lead time.
    May 30, 2013. 12:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Dark Side Of Tesla's Masterful Short Squeeze [View article]
    Julian,
    Isn't it a problem to string together cells and packs with different rates of depletion? I have only read references to this but have not seen in-depth explanation. It does seem that would be a big problem for using utility scale battery strings.
    May 29, 2013. 01:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Dark Side Of Tesla's Masterful Short Squeeze [View article]
    Many states force PV systems to be connected on the utility side of the meter. I don't see any financial benefit to your design in that case.
    May 29, 2013. 01:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Dark Side Of Tesla's Masterful Short Squeeze [View article]
    Julian,
    You are very defensive of the Tesla pack design. Perhaps you are very close to the design and cannot help but take the issue personally.

    What you see as Tesla's virtue, their over-engineered pack, is also the future problem. Their "triple can" safety system with fillers and spacers, structural members, ballistic shields, pumps, tubing, radiators, heat-pumps, etc. is proving to be safe. But it is not cheap and is very heavy. For a luxury sedan you can get away with those flaws. Just refining this approach will never work for a Gen III, high volume mid-price range car.

    As for your dream of the car lasting forever, I fear that would be R&D money wasted. One of the problems of aluminum bodies is that they corrode like crazy near the ocean (Florida) or in Chicago or Boston (and other winter locales). For now Tesla can ignore those markets but if Tesla expands and cars corrode in those markets Tesla will have a Vega style PR problem.

    The other problem negating your 800,000 mile battery is that aluminum has a finite fatigue life, just like your wire coat hanger. Well designed steel can easily achieve infinite fatigue life. The result is that a Tesla body will get old and creaky, and eventually unsafe. This is why aluminum planes are retired when they still look pretty good to the naked eye. I doubt there will be a lifetime car in our lifetime, at least not an affordable one.
    May 29, 2013. 01:11 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An opinion piece titled "The Other Government Motors" from the WSJ isn't too subtle about taking apart the Q1 profit Tesla Motors (TSLA +1.4%) reported as it hitched a free ride with U.S. taxpayers. The zero-emission tax credits Tesla can sell to other automakers and the generous $7.5K federal tax credits to motivate buyers are the big two complaints. But what isn't entirely clear is why other car companies selling EVs aren't lumped into the same discourse? [View news story]
    joen,
    "other car makers have realized that they have been caught flat footed"
    You keep saying this long enough in the hopes that it will be true. All the major manufacturers have active R&D in EV's, all have built an EV, all have built battery packs, and there are more EV patents by manufacturers OTHER than Tesla. I dare you to spend some time on Google Patents and learn the truth that many of the Tesla patents were bought from others, including Daimler (that was probably part of their equity buy in). Tesla is not going to win on technology, the car business is a fashion business.
    May 24, 2013. 01:31 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • An opinion piece titled "The Other Government Motors" from the WSJ isn't too subtle about taking apart the Q1 profit Tesla Motors (TSLA +1.4%) reported as it hitched a free ride with U.S. taxpayers. The zero-emission tax credits Tesla can sell to other automakers and the generous $7.5K federal tax credits to motivate buyers are the big two complaints. But what isn't entirely clear is why other car companies selling EVs aren't lumped into the same discourse? [View news story]
    ying,
    This will confuse you more. The US and Canada bought several car companies (GM and Chrysler) and are now subsidizing Tesla. Why subsidize one company to take business from another company that you and your friends (UAW and Canada) own? When you get government involved in production planning you are bound to get confused.
    May 24, 2013. 01:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • I'm An Irrationally Exuberant Investor In Tesla [View article]
    dd,
    I still do not understand how Tesla fans can claim the car is the best on every level. If you look at objective numbers it is not the best on every level. The motor technology can trace its heritage back to the General Motors EV-1. Other luxury cars have better handling numbers.
    May 24, 2013. 12:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Q1 Earnings, An Epic April Fools Prank [View article]
    Dave,
    "Reduce interest expense"
    As I recall the loans were in the neighborhood of 1%. Has to be way below cost of capital. You would only pay this loan off if absolutely necessary, as John has pointed out. It is not a plus, although the Elon PR machine is certainly twisting that way.

    By all accounts, Elon is again convincing everyone that something not-so-good is good.
    May 23, 2013. 05:01 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Q1 Earnings, An Epic April Fools Prank [View article]
    Dave_M,
    You are quite certain that you see the paradigm shift. If you read history of technology books you find that almost every big shift that occurs comes quickly out of nowhere. Even modern BEV's have been around for a generation now. That's not quite fitting the definition of a paradigm shift.
    May 23, 2013. 02:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Q1 Earnings, An Epic April Fools Prank [View article]
    KCN,
    See above. Have you looked at the Tesla design? It is a can-in-a-can-in-a-can design with pumped liquid coolant and automatic fire suppression system, and ballistic shields. That is why the car is a tank at 4,700 lbs. What is the point of building a carbon fiber plane just to load it up with all the weight that a Tesla battery pack has?

    The perpetration of the myths surrounding Tesla's technical prowess are astounding. And without merit.
    May 23, 2013. 02:18 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Q1 Earnings, An Epic April Fools Prank [View article]
    KCN,
    FYI, Tesla did not invent the battery pack. General Motors had a fine battery pack in the 1990's (EV-1) and more recently (2001) Matsushita (Panasonic parent) filed a patent for "Fluid-Cooled Battery Pack System" (#EP1139483A1) for BEV's. It could very well be that Tesla had to go with Panasonic for battery pack IP. The Matsushita patent was filed BEFORE Tesla was incorporated. Also, check out Daimler and Tesla supplier Auto Liv (Germany). They supply a lot of the electric components and hold many of the patents.
    May 23, 2013. 02:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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