Thursday, July 20, 2006

Finally A Non-Wimpy Electric Car




It took a long time but someone finally made an electric car that beat out my inital enthusiasm for the TZero from ac propulsion. It's called the Tesla and it's a serious electric car, it looks like one too however what's really impressive is that it can go 0-100km in less than 4 seconds and has a range of around 400km. I have to say that I don't care much for the first figure but the second figure is mighty impressive and if it were available I'd seriously consider it over a conventional combustion engine. What's more impressive is it runs about 2 cents / km. So let's compare with a modern econocar raitings.

The Tesla Roadster: $0.02 / km = $2.00 / 100km (Theoretical Max Range 400KM)

We'll assume the price of Gas is 100.0 / L even though it's currently 106.3
We are taking best case highway numbers as well to give the Gas cars an advantage and calculating the max ranges with an assumed 50L fill at those best case numbers.

Mazda3 GS 2.0L : 6.1L / 100KM @ $1.00 / L = $6.10 / 100KM
Estimated Max Best Case Range: 810KM
Honda Civic : 5.7L / 100KM @ $1.00 / L = $5.70 / 100KM
Estimated Max Best Case Range: 870KM
Honda Civic Hybrid: 4.3L / 100KM @ $1.00 / L = $4.30 / 100 KM
Estimated Max Best Case Range: 1160KM
Toyota Prius: 4.2L / 100KM @ $1.00 / L = $4.20 / 100 KM
Estimated Max Best Case Range: 1190KM

As we know sports cars are huge gas guzzlers so let's take a quick look at some exotic cars to compare:

Lamborghini Murcielago: 18.1L / 100KM @ $1.00 / L = $18.10 / 100KM
Estimated Max Best Case Range: 270KM
Aston Martin Vanquish: 13.1L / 100KM @ $1.00 / L = $13.10 / 100KM
Estimated Max Best Case Range: 382KM
Porche Carrera GT: 11.7L / 100KM @ $1.00 / L = $11.70 / 100KM
Estimated Max Best Case Range: 427KM
Bugatti Veyron (Highway): 14.7L / 100KM @ $1.00 / L = $14.70 / 100KM
Estimated Max Best Case Range: 340KM
Bugatti Veyron (City): 40.1L / 100KM @ $1.00 / L = $40.1 / 100KM
Estimated Max Best Case Range: 125KM

As you can see the specs look good if the Tesla delivers on what it says it'll deliver on paper it'll be the speed and range of a sports car, with the running cost of an econocar. As long as you can find a spare power plug every 400KM and can take 3 hours to charge it seems like a great deal, and a huge plus is no green house gases.

However part of the package for an exotic sports car is the looks and to me at least this one's got it.

The Tesla was designed by Lotus Elise engineers and it shows.


Low component count makes the Tesla mechanically simpler than most cars.


Notice the car only has forward and reverse, there is no gear changing since electric motors work well from 0rpm all the way to 13000+rpm.


Here's the car's powerplant, significantly smaller than a modern car engine and much less complex. The electric motor is infinitely more efficient as it is simpler than the internal combustion engine.

A few caveats though because the car uses laptop batteries after the first year the car will lose 20% of it's charge if stored at 100% charge level which is probably what everyone does if given a car like this. That means that after year one your range will go from 400KM to 320KM and after year 2 it's looking like 256KM by year 3 you will need a replacement since your now doing 204KM that's half the original range. So if you were going to own you must consider battery wear as a part of the cost, although everyone these days is a "right now" society and might just ignore this running cost.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yay, no greenhouse gases! Makes my heart sing with joy!
Maddy