Elon Musk and his team at Tesla Motors must never sleep. In addition to launching new models of the best electric vehicles on the planet, they are also about to unveil a lithium-ion based home battery storage system.
Why would a home owner (or business owner) want to store energy in a battery? There are many reasons. Some folks just want to be independent of the expensive energy grid, others want to have more control and savings of their solar production. I imagine the main users will be folks with solar arrays on their houses that are set up with Time-of-use (TOU) rate plans. Currently TOU customers (typically solar homes) have to draw power from the grid in the late afternoon and evening when electricity rates are the highest. With a Tesla home energy storage system they could lower their electricity costs by charging the battery during the day and using the stored energy during peak hours. I am sure the utilities are not a big fan of this system, but hey they have had a monopoly like hold on it for long enough. Not to mention solar and wind power with a storage system is better for our environment. Less pollution!
There aren’t a ton of details but Elon Musk did have this to say “”we’re going to unveil the Tesla home battery, or consumer battery, that will be for use in people’s houses or businesses, fairly soon.”, pretty cool stuff.
Arguably one of the best cars on the road, the Tesla Model S just got a bit better with the addition of all wheel dive and more. The Model S lineup now has the option of a “D” designator which stands for “dual” and in “dual motors”. The Tesla Model S P85D (and 60D and 85D) models are not only faster with better handling, they are also more efficient getting a bit of extra range. The P85 goes about 265 miles per charge and the P85D goes about 275… all that range and a 0-60 time of just 3.2 seconds.
As if that wasn’t enough, the car also comes with a new autonomous driving system that allows the Model S to act much like the fictional KnightRider car. Seriously. The new P85D has forward-looking radar, a camera with image recognition for reading signs and identifying pedestrians, and 360-degree long-range sonar. All this gadgetry means that the car can park itself, drive itself, pick you up at a certain time and location, and more. Once the regulations catch up with the car it will be available for use on public roads. Currently it is only active for use on private property. Amazing stuff.
In the next few months Tesla Model S owners may be getting a software update, V6.0, that will allow them to start and drive their Model S with just their iPhone. This means if you forget or lose your car key you won’t be stranded, assuming you still have your iPhone. Details are scarce but the rumor mill believes you will have to use the Apple Touch ID. Genius.
The Tesla Model S P85 comes from the factory with some pretty respectable numbers, specifically a zero to 60 MPH of about 4.2 seconds. That doesn’t mean the go-fast guys at Saleen didn’t have some ideas to improve upon the already amazing all-electric car. Read on for details and pictures of the modded Tesla Model S P85 dubbed the Foursixteen.
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.