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Tesla's long range plan for "free fuel forever"

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    Tesla was in the news again this morning.

    A pair of Teslas just completed a drive across the country (Loss Angeles to New York) using the Tesla Supercharger network. The total time elapsed for the journey of 3464 miles in 76.5 hours, which included the time spent recharging.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/automotive/chi-tesla-record-setting-cross-country-trip,0,5925006.story

    This West Coast to East Coast team was completed roughly a week after a father-daughter team drove from New York to Los Angeles in a Tesla Model S.
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    that guy I saw the story of the father-daughter cross country trip in my local newspaper yesterday. He said no big problems but one close call: When he reached one charging station he had 11 miles of charge remaining. Barely made it and said he was nervously counting every mile.

    When they got to California he was given a tour of the plant where the car is manufactured...pretty cool.

    The new car will be called the Bluestar and have a price starting at 35K but still don't know if it's charging system is compatible with the "free" charging stations. It will be 20% smaller than the Model S and will have a range of 200 miles.

    Progress is being made but purchase price, speed of charging, availability of charging stations, and range between charges are still the main concerns. Pure electrics are still not the right choice for most Americans, and won't be for quite some time.

    Hybrids are still the way to go for most of us.
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    I note that they made the entire journey using 1,198.7 kWh.

    At 10 cents per kwh, that works out to a "fuel cost" of $120 for the 3,464.5 miles traveled in the journey or 3.4 cents per mile.

    Assuming the average gasoline powered car gets about 30 miles per gallon on the highway, that would equate to 115 gallons. At $3.25 per gallon, the total trip cost would be $374 or 10.8 cents per mile.

    So the Tesla fuel cost on highway driving is about three times cheaper than the gasoline powered car (3.4 cents per mile versus 10.8 cents per mile).
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    It's not the price of the "fuel", it's all the other limiting factors that make pure electrics impractical for most of us.

    For those few that the electric car is perfect for, then does the cheaper "fuel" outweigh the high purchase costs? Usually not.
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    Whenever new products become available, they are always much higher priced....but the more people buy the more companies can invest to make them better and cheaper. It's the economies of scale. Just about every high tech product at one time was priced out of the range of most people. I remember when televisions first came out, at least the affordable kind...then color television...and the transister radio...Hi Fi...stereo sound...tape players...desk top computers...electronic calculators...and more. I used a Post slide rule in college and CRC's book on logarithm tables.

    All electric cars are catching on fast, and yes hybrids are the fad now, but it wasn't long ago that they too were the novelty. Europe will lead the way on all-electrics because that market is more cost competitive right now, plus Europeans seem to care more about the environment and Climate Change.
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    Thanks Schmidt, I am glad there are people in America like you, who know cloudy and rainy weather doesn't stop solar at all and who can clearly see the future of electric, unlike most on here and in America.

    I couldn't help but laugh when I read the post how electric cars will take our road tax money away from government, lol again. No kidding, this is the reason our cars get a fraction of the mileage they do, so the government can get billions in fuel tax dollars off of the majority. To the one who wrote that: Do you think taxing us on the miles we drive instead of the gas we burn would work? If you don't think so you are mistaken, this has been talked about for over six years now, right after outrageous oil prices sent many car buyers to the "good mileage" lots, and left states with way less fuel tax dollars for road repairs.

    As for Europe, the European system isn't ran by oil like America is, thus their majority knows "yes" global warming is caused by oil, and yes they do care more about Climate change because they are not dumb Americans who believe corporate propaganda media like Rush and Fox, then end up making comments about solar and electric cars with their corporate propaganda media provided knowledge, which in the rest of the worlds' eyes, makes us dumb Americans.
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    jamesn Wrote: It's not the price of the "fuel", it's all the other limiting factors that make pure electrics impractical for most of us.

    For those few that the electric car is perfect for, then does the cheaper "fuel" outweigh the high purchase costs? Usually not.
    The electric car "is" practical for the "majority" of us now, since the average driver in America drives 25 miles per day. For the days you want to go far, so what if you have some limits, some limits are worth no global warming in the worlds' eyes, just not in yours and many like you here who chose to believe the old and oil truths.
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    Unitedmajority -- I agree. When I was working in the Houston area, I had about a 10 mile commute each way. The shopping malls were about 10 - 15 miles. Grocery shopping was 2-3 miles. My wife and I each had our own cars, but very easily one of them could have been an all electric...if not both. What people don't appreciate is that adding "fueling stations" is not a big investment. Everyone that owns one will have a plug-in charger in their garage. It's not like having to build underground storage tanks. The photos of the Tesla charging stations look pretty simple and certainly the capital investment is small relative to gas stations.

    For Tesla now, certainly a marketing ploy is the free fueling for Tesla owners only, and whether the fueling stations have solar panels or not, the electricity cost is otherwise cheap...even for a Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt owner filling up at a Tesla station.

    All-electrics don't claim to be an all purpose vehicle right now, but for the average commuter from the suburbs that doesn't have the option of good public transport (most suburbs out of major cities like Houston don't), then an all-electric or a hybrid is a cost effective alternative now. In this large demographic of drivers, I think the all-electric car will eventually win out over the hybrid, as they don't have to dedicate weight and space to an internal combustion engine or a gas tank...savings that can be better utilized for bigger batteries.

    It will be interesting to watch their evolution.

    Your point on solar panels is also well taken. They still work on cloudy days...just not as efficiently. It's not an "on - off", clouds or sun. Rather it's a function of the amount of cloud cover. And while no cars are parked at the fueling station, those solar panels are still delivering electricity into the grid for which they'll get credit from the electric company.
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    Schmidt yes new stuff costs more, then as new stuff becomes more common and accepted, the price comes down, that's not news. In fact that's one of my main points. Electrics and hybrids both cost more than comparable gas powered vehicles, and until they are priced roughly the same the purchase price alone will be the deciding factor for many people. Another reason is resistance to change...Americans are notoriously slow to accept a change to something that has been around for a century.

    united you seem to think I am opposed to electric cars when the truth is that I love them. Unlike some other people I am able to see their limitations in the year 2014. They are making fast progress and I look forward to the day when they are practical enough for the "majority" of us. Right now they are not, because of the several factors that I have mentioned including purchase price, limited range, recharge times, uncertainty of those self exploding batteries, limited places to get them serviced, and other factors. I think all those will be worked out, but for the "majority" of us, that time has not yet arrived.

    I drive less than 50 miles per day on average, so a pure electric car would serve me well most days, but more than once per month I drive longer distances and I'm not going to rent a car every two or three weeks, I want my primary vehicle to be able to make that trip. Gas works, hybrids work, electrics do not work.

    I can agree that Europe may accept electrics faster than us ..."dumb Americans"... but the reason is more about economics than anything else. How much does gas cost over there? If gas cost $6, $8, or more here in the USA you can bet that electrics would catch on a lot quicker here, too.

    MONEY is the biggest motivator, when will you realize that?
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    One potential negative is the charging adapter. I hope manufacturers get together and agree on a common charger connection/adapter design. Otherwise, then Tesla, Ford, GM and Nissan will each have to have their own customized charging stations...or maybe they'll be like gas stations now with different pumps for different fuel grades.
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    Schmidt that is a great point and I hope the various manufacturers decide that they will ALL benefit from standardizing the charging methods, and soon. It will be in their own best interests to make things easier for the "majority".

    As far as the Superchargers from Tesla, I think I heard that only the newest, and top of the line (most expensive) cars are compatible with the free Superchargers. I think some of the others can be converted, maybe for a hefty price.

    Other than the higher purchase price and limited range, the difference in charging methods and charging times are maybe the next biggest obstacle to pure electrics being good for the "majority".
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    jamesn Wrote: Schmidt that is a great point and I hope the various manufacturers decide that they will ALL benefit from standardizing the charging methods, and soon. It will be in their own best interests to make things easier for the "majority".

    As far as the Superchargers from Tesla, I think I heard that only the newest, and top of the line (most expensive) cars are compatible with the free Superchargers. I think some of the others can be converted, maybe for a hefty price.

    Other than the higher purchase price and limited range, the difference in charging methods and charging times are maybe the next biggest obstacle to pure electrics being good for the "majority".
    I have heard talk of this or it is a reality, but what about switching out your batteries with solar charged batteries in less time than it takes to pump in $75 worth of gas? Yes the batteries are very heavy, but there is equipment to lift most anything we make. This could be done at one of these re-filling stations or even at home. And yes, this should be a reality and not just talk, but one can't forget, oil runs America at the moment and for far far too looong now. Yes I have to love solar and electric, because the oil system hates both. Oil has kept most in America hating solar and electric cars as well through corporate propaganda media, this is clearly seen, just by the comments on this thread. It really is a relief to see comments like the ones Schmidt leaves for sure, it is nice to know you are not alone sometimes.
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    united you are right the Tesla web site touts a "battery swap" program, which is supposed to be as fast or faster than filling up with gasoline. I don't know what the cost is, or any of the details.

    Since I can't afford to pay 60K-100K for my next vehicle, I talked to my local Nissan salesman yesterday about the Nissan Leaf. Cost is still a big drawback, a Leaf is not terribly expensive but even with federal tax break it's still about $10,000 more than a comparable gas powered car. $10,000 will buy a LOT of gasoline.

    Charging time and limited range are still significant issues. There are three models and all come with a cord which will plug right into your regular 110 volt outlet and fully charge your Leaf in 8 hours. If you want the optional 220 volt "fast" charger, it is $1,000 if you purchase it and install it and wire it yourself. It's $2,000 if you want them to come to your home and install it for you. The "fast" charger will give you a complete charge in "only" 4 hours.

    4 hours for the "fast" charge!!!

    I asked about range and the answer is about 75-80 miles. The salesman told me it is for IN TOWN ONLY. Basically the Leaf is good for going to work and back, shopping close to home or delivering pizza in town (but after the third or fourth delivery you'd have to recharge)...no one could realistically have this as their only vehicle. It would be OK for a second or third vehicle if a really small (but expensive) car is all you need.

    The "majority" of America can't afford a Tesla and the Leaf has so many drawbacks that pure electric cars just aren't acceptable.

    I look forward to the day when there is an electric that is affordable and practical, but that day has not yet arrived. Maybe next year, or next decade, but definitely not today. Hybrid cars are the only way to go for now!!
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    jamesn,
    Thanks for taking the time to check what I am a huge fan of, the leaf or any other electric. Sad you maybe right, the electric car is too expensive for the majority, I have to except that I guess.

    What I really have a problem excepting, the fact we all could have the most expensive electric car on the market with a small portion of the current deficit. Instead of us all getting free electric cars to drive with our trillions spent by the system, there is less of us now from the wars and the trillions we owe got maybe one percent of us very very very rich, how is this even a concept much less our reality?

    I am a fan of anything that is for the majority's good, but unfortunately the system that owns us only cares about the few very rich, it is why we didn't have this thread at least twenty years ago, back when Bush stopped CA from becoming a zero emissions state by taking the states rights away to set emission standards. President Obama gave the rights to set emissions standards back to the states, but twenty years too late, too late to stop the damage done by oil in the mean time, maybe too late to stop the extreme weather we are now in.

    I always say better late than never, but that may not apply anymore, since the majority puts all inconveniences ahead of doing what is right, like driving electric if you could but don't because you want a big O gas guzzler that can drive 24 hours a day, even though most drive less than an hour a day, but just in case you want to drive all day, can't have electric and a clean world for our children, crazy our meme reality.
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    unitedmajority Wrote: jamesn,
    Thanks for taking the time to check what I am a huge fan of, the leaf or any other electric. Sad you maybe right, the electric car is too expensive for the majority, I have to except that I guess.

    What I really have a problem excepting, the fact we all could have the most expensive electric car on the market with a small portion of the current deficit. Instead of us all getting free electric cars to drive with our trillions spent by the system, there is less of us now from the wars and the trillions we owe got maybe one percent of us very very very rich, how is this even a concept much less our reality?

    I am a fan of anything that is for the majority's good, but unfortunately the system that owns us only cares about the few very rich, it is why we didn't have this thread at least twenty years ago, back when Bush stopped CA from becoming a zero emissions state by taking the states rights away to set emission standards. President Obama gave the rights to set emissions standards back to the states, but twenty years too late, too late to stop the damage done by oil in the mean time, maybe too late to stop the extreme weather we are now in.

    I always say better late than never, but that may not apply anymore, since the majority puts all inconveniences ahead of doing what is right, like driving electric if you could but don't because you want a big O gas guzzler that can drive 24 hours a day, even though most drive less than an hour a day, but just in case you want to drive all day, can't have electric and a clean world for our children, crazy our meme reality.
    Sure you are right in that we have to reduce polution; however whatever we drive is clogging our roads; therefore I'm a strong supporter of improving infrastructure, like high speed rail, better commuter systems, bus and truck (on LPG) transport etc.. This will reduce emissions and stop traffic jambs. Full electric cars for every one, like Tesla will take years. Therefore the hybrids will be a better solution as an intermediate solution. But tackling over-population on our roads could be dealt with at once.