Well folks, the long awaited “less expensive” Tesla car is going to happen. The car which was going to be called the Model E is now going to be called the Model 3 because Ford threatened to sue. Ford, you suck. First we have to wait for the Tesla SUV, the Model X, to come out and then we can expect the Model 3. Should be a few years. Read on for details.
On January 30, 2014, two red Tesla Model S cars embarked on a cross country journey. The plan was to drive across the United States using only the free cross-continental Tesla Supercharger network. By doing this, the team would set a world record for charge time of an electric vehicle driving the across the US.
The cars travelled 3,427 miles in 76 hours and 5 minutes. Charging time took 15 hours and 57 seconds. If the cars were typical gasoline cars they each would have used about 136 gallons.
Ok… let me start off by saying I am no stranger to the Tesla show. I own a Model S and love it despite some early issues (you can read my initial Tesla Model S review here). I am also the type that will hop in a car for a long road trip from time-to-time (you can read about that here). I am not sure I will be doing a Tesla Model S trip, via the Supercharger, route anytime soon… at least not until I figure out the excessive tire wear caused by the negative rear camber on the rear wheels (you can read about that here).
Ok enough back story… Tesla has now connected the US from coast to coast, on a northern route, with Superchargers. A Tesla Model S owner can drive from Los Angeles to New York charging the car free and fast. I give Elon Musk credit for sticking to his guns on covering the US in Superchargers. The plan is to have the entire country covered by 2015… awesome!
Elon Musk and Tesla are at it again. The latest bit of innovation is around a swappable battery system that can swap the battery in about 90-seconds. One of the main mental sticking points with regards to consumers switching to an electric vehicle is range and recharge time. The Tesla does a great job at eliminating the range/recharge worries with Super Charger stations and now swappable batteries. Yes… 90-seconds is faster than most gasoline cars take to refill. Read on for details and video demonstration.
Well, I’ve had my Tesla Model S (85kWh performance) for about four days now and wanted to post my experience to date. First off, let me say that I love the car and see much promise in the brand and the technology. Tesla, and Elon Musk, started from scratch with the Model S and have accomplished some amazing things in a relatively short period of time. Considering the big brands (think Toyota, Ford, etc.) have built up so much knowledge about every aspect of the industry from creating a user interface to building customer relations to the creation of manufacturing, delivery, and sales infrastructures, they are getting outmaneuvered in a big way by Tesla and the Model S. Kudos to Tesla for this!
Now on to the important bits… let me start off with some of the not-so-shiny aspects of the Tesla Model S experience and I will finish with the things I love (very much). Keep in mind that I will be updating as I learn more and open issues are resolved. Read on.
Tesla’s Senior Design Engineer, Matt Brown, repurposed a Tesla Model S handle that was discarded and turned it into a fancy beer tap handle. There is a proximity sensor under the tap which causes the Tesla Model S handle to open when it senses a beer glass. Pull on the door handle and that mechanically pulls on the beer tap… whooola beer! Read on for Matt Browns take on the Tesla Model S beer dispenser and a vide of it in action:
Who wouldn’t want a gadget that shoots lighting at the pull of a trigger? Ok, my wife wouldn’t want one. But I would, seriously… put this on my list of gifts I will most likely never get. The Tesla lightning gun pictured above was built by Rob Flickenger and he has put together a very detailed ‘how to’ for the Tesla Gun.
The Tesla Gun is powered by an 18-volt cordless drill battery which powers up a bank of capacitors and a transformer from an old TV. The power is stepped up from 18V to a full 20,000V. The gun alone is pretty cool… but the amount of work that went in to making it are insane. Rob created his own cast aluminum and product molds. You don’t have to take it this far… but you have to love his level of detail. Here is how to make your own Tesla lightning gun link.
Tesla finally pulled the wraps off of the all electric Model X. At first glance it looks a bit small… but it isn’t. The Model X can hold 7 passengers without giving up on luggage space. In fact, not only is there luggage space in the rear of the car… there is also a bunch of storage up front where a traditional motor would normally be. More details and pictures after the break.
Tesla seems to have the electric sports car arena to themselves, for the most part. Sure there are other guys honking their horns… but most aren’t readily available for purchase. Looks like a German automaker named Artega will be launching their Sport Electric (SE) in 2012 for about $200,000. The Artega SE uses two electric motors for 375 horsepower and a top speed over 155 MPH. The battery is a 37 kW lithium polymer which should allow for about 124 miles per charge. The best part, a full charge in just 90 minutes with a commercial charging station.
The Tesla Model S is a great looking electric four door that several deposit holders are waiting anxiously for. Videos like the one after the break of the Tesla Model S shredding the corners is going to make waiting that much tougher. Damn that thing is quiet.