Dan Fichana

Dan Fichana
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  • Tesla Motors cleared to sell directly to consumers in Massachusetts  [View news story]
    And that's why the average is around 3 hours for buying a car and not 20 minutes


    You are an exception to car buying, and on averages if that 20 minutes is true, that means someone else took much much longer
    Apr 10, 2015. 05:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Strategic Advantage  [View article]
    I do think there is an issue that was exploited with regards to the Model S which lead to the fires,
    Essentially the placement of the batteries, coupled with the Model S having a low ground clearance, coupled with it's performamce aspect.

    Regardless of it is a small format or large format the "fires" related to the Model S would have still happened.

    I think the audience for the Model S does have a little more of a reckless streak than the Leaf or Volt audience on average.

    If you look and analyze the accidents, had any other car been in those types, bad things would have happened, while it may not have hit the batteries on some, others are just "dumb luck".

    I've never heard of a Volt or Leaf going airborne (like the Tesla in Mexico) or a car theif playing GTA with those either and splicing the car in half.

    Others battery types are more stable too; like LMO (used in the Leaf, Volt, and alot of other EVs) so it's a dissimilar comparison.

    A good "test" would be:
    Large format NCA battery subject to 20 tons of force
    Tesla pack subjected to the same force

    That would give an answer on which format is "safer"

    There's a different mentality between Tesla and others.
    Tesla uses engineering controls to control a not so stable chemistry, but high density
    Others used intrinsically safer chemistries, but lack the energy density.
    Dec 6, 2014. 08:44 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Strategic Advantage  [View article]
    Market lost,

    There is a a little bit more safety and wisdom in putting alot of little cells together vs a bigger cell.

    While there should be a higher degree of individual cell failure the severity of a cell failure is much lower.

    For example the Nissan Leaf per cell (48 modules at 4 cells per module) have about 120 whr per cell.
    A Tesla Model S has 7104 batteries, if you do the math, that's slightly less than 12 Whr per cell.

    There's 3600 Joules per Whr
    So a Tesla cell would release 43.2 kJ
    A "Leaf" cell would release 432 kJ

    Let us say they were the same chemistry and had the same % failure, as a thought experiment.

    So let us say 37 of the 18650's fail over the course of 15 years; that's on average about 2-3 per year for the Tesla, let us say they fail at the exact same time; well that puts about 24-36 Whr into the system, but keep in mind, one could fail in the front, one in the back, one on the side; randomization. Most likely, if the cell went up, the heat will be dissipated (small amount).

    So worse case 2 cells fail at exactly the same time, you would raise 1kg of coolant by a little less than 21 C, very easily handled.

    Now if a cell in a large format failed, that is 120 Whr.
    Well, that would raise 1 kg of water 103 C, kind of rough to handle it; problem is getting the heat out of there fast enough so it does not propagate to surrounding cells.

    Now that can happen in a Tesla too, it can propagate, if the cooling system is compromised and a large chunk of batteries are pulverized, like when a large spike goes through the battery compartment.
    Dec 6, 2014. 07:12 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Strategic Advantage  [View article]
    It's an analogy for one failure;
    One little 18650 cell is like a fire cracker, compare to a large plate cell.

    Of course if you manage to catastrophically pulverize the cells, all bets are off. Had the same incident occurred in the "large" format, LCO chemistry, it would have been much, much worse.

    I am talking about spontaneous cell failures.

    I believe one had 20 tonnes of force exerted on the battery.

    Also the Tesla did use LCO, but at the time that was the only chemistry available in order to give it the range, because nothing else had he required energy density at the time, BUT, they put a very robust thermal management and battery management system to prevent over charging and overheating.

    If the Roadster battery management system senses that it is over heating, it will limit the performance of the car, and have an annoyance message pop up on the dash from what I remember (actually drove one). The Model S does the same thing and does a power limited mode if the batteries are overheating.
    Dec 6, 2014. 04:59 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Toyota's 'Fool Cells' Won't Bother Tesla  [View article]
    Let us do some math to see the volume required for H2 powered cell phone:

    Iphone 6 has a 6.9 whr battery

    Divide that by 1000= 0.0069 kwhr

    So let us say that the battery lasts 1 day

    So now let us say you want 1 week out of the fuel cell phone
    So you need at LEAST 0.0483 kwhr

    Now H2 has 33.33 kwhr per kg, that is also 500 moles of H2 (chemistry unit of measure)

    So for a week you need
    0.0483/ (33.33 kwhr/500)=~ 0.75 moles

    1 mole at atmospheric is 22.4 L

    Let us go with 3 container sizes;
    1000 psi- 68 atmosphers
    5000 psi- 340 atmospheres
    10,000 psi - 680 atmospheres

    So for those
    1000 psi - you need a container about the size of a 8 fluid ounce water bottle
    5000 psi- you need a container about the size of a 1/4 cup (almost as large as a cell phone)
    10000 psi- you need a container about the size of a 1.5 tablespoons

    That also assumes materials used to build said containers are of neglible thickness and that the fuel cell itself takes up no space.

    That also assumes people are willing to put a 10,000 psi pressurized device next to their faces.
    Ever see a release valve go on 5000 psi tank? I have, you don't want that anywhere near your face, that wedged a piece of metal in a wooden garage door and messed up the kid's thumb and the sound alone would cause damage if held against your ear.
    Dec 5, 2014. 10:16 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Strategic Advantage  [View article]
    I tend to disagree,
    It's not so much "roar" as it is speed; although there are always a small subset who like the noise.

    As an example, i've had all sorts of 1970's and 80's Muscle cars, but there is something to be said about the smoothness of the Model S.

    There has been converts too; a guy I know sold his very expensive classic Caddy for a Model S.

    Roar of the noise is all well and good, but sometimes "sleeper" cars are better.
    Dec 5, 2014. 07:08 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Strategic Advantage  [View article]
    There are pretty big differences in the Boeing dreamliner and the Tesla design.

    To summarize, Boeing used the battery type called LCO, used large format, had minimal thermal management, and the system allowed it to "over charge".

    In all honesty, there are big safety flags and just things that were over looked.

    Never over charge an LCO battery, it catches fire
    LCO should never be used without proper thermal management
    Now, you can "get away" with these IF you have small enough cells and space them apart, but if you have a failure, it is going to be big.

    Tesla uses small cells, uses NCA (a more stable chemistry), has a battery management system in place.

    Here's a visualization in layman's terms
    Boeing- imagine sticks of dynamite scrunched next to each other. And toss matches, eventually one will light. Now getting to the fuse is difficult, BUT when it goes, it takes the others with it.

    Tesla- imagine rows and rows of fire crackers all immersed in fluoroinert, and an N2 blanket. Toss a match in there, it goes out, but even if it does get through, it only affects one fire cracker, the liquid absorbs the energy.
    Dec 5, 2014. 07:03 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Toyota's 'Fool Cells' Won't Bother Tesla  [View article]
    You do know lots of patents are approved every year that go utilized.

    Just because someone issues a patent does not mean it is a good idea or even feasible, actually works, or does not violate the laws of thermodynamics.

    Google Stanley Meyer as a prime example, unless you believe in perpetual motion.

    In order to have a "fuel cell" for a cell phone, you need a pressurized container (inherent safety risk- think about how often people drop theor phones), you need something to "charge" the H2, and you need the draw from the stack to be able to keep up with such energy drawing apps.
    More likely, it's going to be a super cap/battery combo.

    Lastly, samsung and apple only want the phones to last 18-36 months, planne obsolescence; so 1000-1500 charge cycles is sufficient.
    Dec 5, 2014. 09:50 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Toyota's 'Fool Cells' Won't Bother Tesla  [View article]
    Pardon, but isn't this the same Envia systems that GM invested in and they crashed and burned in 2013?

    Actually here's what I want you to do;

    Go back, let us say 10 years, that would be 2004; look at the batteries; then just browse amazon's battery selection.

    So the only lithiums for consumers out there were LCO (pretty high density, but not actually designed to last; 300 cycles;
    I still have some LCO's from those days. Have to love old RC car stuff.
    Just an FYI; they are labelled at 3.7 V and 2400 mAhr
    3.7 x 2.4 = 8.8 whr per battery
    I distinctly remember they cost more than supersized meal for just one of them.

    6 months ago I purchased batteries from amazon; lithium ones
    4.2 V and 5000 mAh
    4.2 x 5 = 21 whr per battery
    And with shipping they were $20

    Now are these on par with cycle life as the ones 10 years ago? Yep; so a pretty good comparison.

    Dec 4, 2014. 08:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Down day for Tesla Motors amid new debate  [View news story]
    Well, the other day I had to take a friend's car for an oil change, this one car is a PITA to change the oil. Even if you change it yourself, 30 minutes when a is said and done, plus you have to count getting the oil and disposal.

    2 years of ownership and I can say I have never had to wait for a charge,
    22,000 miles.

    I've probably spent 20 minutes total plugging in and unplugging.

    I've spent more time actually openig the garage door than actually waiting to charge the car.

    Now, let us say you had a Prius (best case scenario) 40 trips to the gas station, at 5 minutes a pop, 200 minutes.
    Dec 4, 2014. 06:49 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Toyota's 'Fool Cells' Won't Bother Tesla  [View article]
    So besides rumors, and nothing substantial, is there anything to validate the 30 K, 200 mile EV from GM coming in 2016/2017?

    Notice, in the article, price is not mentioned.

    At least Tesla has a plan, giga factory, and and actual statement from the company.

    Also retrofitting a econo car is not really a good idea; that is actually a recipe for failure.

    Look at the "top" selling EVs.
    The Leaf and the Model S, there is no direct ICE car offered by those manufacturers.

    Now look at the Focus EV and compliance retrofits- well their sales are dismal to say the least.
    Dec 4, 2014. 06:37 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors leads owner satisfaction survey  [View news story]
    Notice what I said.
    They don't include. "Value" in surveys because that is a skewed variable inthe survey already.

    When you buy a car, TV, computer, etc; you get the one with the best percieved value already, so when you survey OWNERS they have already given their opinion of value.

    Look at TVs
    Samsung, Sony, Walmart brand- same exact TV, same screen, but ask the 3 people who bought the TV by different manufacturers, all will rate their respective choice as the "best value".

    Don't like that, how about laptops- high end ones are essentially the same, and actually may be the same just rebranded; Sager, Digital storm, Alienware- all used Clevo; but if you asked them for value, they will rate 4 or 5 despite a cheaper one with the same specs.

    See how "value" on ownership gets skewed, everyone rates their own as 4 or 5, else they would have bought something they percieved to be a better value.
    Dec 3, 2014. 09:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Toyota's 'Fool Cells' Won't Bother Tesla  [View article]
    I think it is important and take a step back and look at the various players when in comes to batteries/super caps/solid state batteries, etc

    Who is more likely to include the latest and greatest and who is most likely to use that as a selling point?

    Tradionally car manufacturers have been slow at adapting outside manufacturing into cars, in fact there are still cars out there with back-up cameras as an example.

    Now look at Samsung and Apple- the entire cell phone business revolves around cheaper/longer lasting/ higher energy/quick charging/safe/lightweight batteries

    They are typically the "bleeding edge".

    So who is more likely to demand/have a breakthrough?
    Apple and Samsung- there's a legitimate business driver, latest and greatest, every year new better phones and gadgets.

    Or Toyota- well hard to justify on two fronts, Prius tech is a cash cow worth milking so you don't want to endanger it too much, second is if Tesla sales are not "poaching" a significant amount of Toyota sales, it's hard to justify the huge amount of spending.

    BTW, anyone remember GM CEO Akerson saying GM will come out with the 200 mile EV for 30 K in 2016?
    Any news?
    Dec 3, 2014. 06:00 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Toyota's 'Fool Cells' Won't Bother Tesla  [View article]
    Well, I can tell you there has been a "cold snap" for a few days

    Normally average 0.300 kwhr per mile on my commute; takes about 1 hr and 50 miles each way.

    With the recent cold snap, it's around 0.315 kwhr per miles. I remember seeing 7 F and 0.325 kwhr per mile on the dash when I first got the car.

    So not a huge difference between rated and actual.

    When it is temperate I average 0.280- 0.290 kwhr per mile.

    Remember the EPA testing already includes "heater on" tests and "AC on" tests.
    Dec 3, 2014. 12:57 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors leads owner satisfaction survey  [View news story]
    Typically they don't include value in the surveys.

    I did ask the question about that a while ago, the explanation was very reasonable.

    Here's the paraphased response.

    Value is a softball question for owners. Everyone rates their car as a 4 or 5 in value, you don't buy a car if you do not think it is a good value over other cars.

    And an FYI I live and drive within the vacinity of 3 different superchargers. Don't need to travel away from those 3, and don't see a need to in the forseeable future.
    Dec 3, 2014. 08:48 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment