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Tesla S gets highest safety rating, breaks tester

4208 Views 16 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Mathew Hennessy
It scored a perfect five stars in every National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) category while setting a new record for the combined Vehicle Safety Score (VSS): 5.4. It scored higher than every minivan and SUV that was tested as well, making an electric vehicle the safest car on the road.

According to one poster, during validation of Model S roof crush protection at an independent commercial facility, the testing machine failed at just above 4 g’s. While the exact number is uncertain due to Model S breaking the testing machine.

Or, was the machine breaking a fortuitous headline grabbing coincidence?

http://www.theverge.com/2013/8/20/4639082/teslas-model-s-nabs-top-us-safety-rating

Note, the Volt scored a five stars for all but frontal impacts, where it earned 4 stars. http://www.cars.com/chevrolet/volt/2012/safety-ratings.
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The Tesla is doing a lot for Volt owners.

The non-dealer business model is putting pressure on Chevy dealers who feel free to ignore the Volt.

The increasing EV mileage and decreasing price trends force GM to keep investing in performance and in manufacturing efficiency.

I hope that the Tesla fast charge network will force GM to collaborate with Tesla the way the banks did with ATMs.
 

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In addition, it is getting people looking and considering EVs.
I know of three people that bought Volts after first looking at Teslas, because they couldn't afford the Tesla but wanted the EV experience.

As for the roof strength test, there are other cars that have made it over 4G so I suspect it was a happy accident. I would like to see the final results from a working testing machine.
But why crush another machine when you have already verified 5 stars (4g is the cutoff for 5 stars)

Talk about a marketing one-liner, "safest car ever for occupants, not safe for roof crushers".

The thing is, much of this was simply because it is far easier to engineer effective crumple zones when you don't have an ICE getting in the way.
 

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The Tesla is doing a lot for Volt owners.

The non-dealer business model is putting pressure on Chevy dealers who feel free to ignore the Volt.
Conversely, the Volt/Chevy dealer atrocity is doing favors for Tesla's non dealer model. They have myriad examples of dealers who clearly neglected the volt in favor of conventional ICE models.
 

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As safe as the Tesla Model S is, I expect the SpaceX Dragon capsule to be safer, since NASA wants future manned space vehicles to be able to land on the earth, and not in the water. Only the Russian Soyuz has that capacity.

Remember that spacecrafts land at high speeds, after falling from orbit.
 

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I wish I could remember where I put that $75,000 I had lying around. I've checked in the sofa cushions, under the cat, in the vacuum cleaner...

-Drew
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In addition, it is getting people looking and considering EVs.
I know of three people that bought Volts after first looking at Teslas, because they couldn't afford the Tesla but wanted the EV experience.
Yes, the Volt is an excellent choice for those who realize the advantages and benefits of an EV like the Tesla, but don't want to pay $75k or more, or want the greater long range driving freedom the Volt delivers.
 

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Remember faster charging comes at a price of shorter battery life. Sense the Volt has the range extender there is no big need for faster charging.
This has yet to be proven, and Tesla warrants their battery for unlimited SuperCharging (though perhaps only for the 'normal' charge vs 'extended', which is not an option in the Volt since you always only access the 'normal' ~66% of the battery).

http://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger
How often can I Supercharge, is it bad for my battery?
Supercharging does not alter the new vehicle warranty. Customers are free to use the network as much as they like.
 

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Remember faster charging comes at a price of shorter battery life. Sense the Volt has the range extender there is no big need for faster charging.
I don't believe this is as big a factor as it used to be.
The strain on the battery comes as the battery charges while hot, or at the top end (90% to 100% for example).
In a car which cools its batteries, and with quick chargers that ramp down as the battery gets full, it is less of an issue.
Modern fast chargers slow down the charging as the battery approaches full.
 

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I don't believe this is as big a factor as it used to be.
The strain on the battery comes as the battery charges while hot, or at the top end (90% to 100% for example).
In a car which cools its batteries, and with quick chargers that ramp down as the battery gets full, it is less of an issue.
Modern fast chargers slow down the charging as the battery approaches full.
We don't have enough experience yet to know this for sure. Strain, wear and losses are primarily a function of the electrical current. And rather nonlinearly so. During acceleration even the Volt draws > 100kW which is more than even the fast chargers dump into the car. So these are not unusual currents for a few seconds during spirited acceleration. Supercharge, however, blasts the current in for almost an hour at a rate of 80kW. It is likely much more than 2x as bad as charging at 40kW. But time will tell.
 

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Supercharge, however, blasts the current in for almost an hour at a rate of 80kW. It is likely much more than 2x as bad as charging at 40kW. But time will tell.
Battery architecture also has a bit to do with it, when spreading 120kW across 8000+ cells. Time will indeed tell, but if the first results from earlier examples of that architecture (Roadsters) are any indication then there's reason to be optimistic.
 
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