GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
First of all, hello everyone. I have a question that someone may be able to answer concerning the "range" of the Volt. I'm curious as to how the Tesla roadster(pure EV) can acheive a 220 mile range and the Volt only 40. How can a basically private company come up with 220 mile range technology, and a company the size of GM can't? Sorry if I sound uninformed, but I've just started reading about these cars. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,085 Posts
The Tesla has a battery pack that stores 56 kWh of energy, while the Volt has a much smaller / cheaper battery pack that stores 16 kWh or energy. Tesla is using the full range of that battery pack - discharging to zero, while GM will only charge / discharge from 80% - 30% of the capacity, to ensure a long life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
251 Posts
How shocking!

The Tesla is a truely historic vehicle. It was the first EV performance (acceleration, range, styling) vehicle. Performance, generally, comes with a premium price. The premium is in dollars and risk. What do you do when you fully discharge battery? To date, the solution has been to get into the vehicle trailing behind with the press and Tesla VPs.

The Tesla was a shock to GM's top executives. How could a small company do this and we aren't?! GM's solution is a series hybrid. It uses a second energy source, gas, to run an ICE/genertor to recharge the battery. It conserves on the cost of expensive (but efficient) batteries while providing battery backup/range with (high energy content, but low efficiency) gas/ICE. Depending on the size of the gas tank, it can get much greater range than the Tesla. This series solution was a shock to Tesla.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,085 Posts
The Tesla was a shock to GM's top executives. How could a small company do this and we aren't?! GM's solution is a series hybrid. It uses a second energy source, gas, to run an ICE/genertor to recharge the battery. It conserves on the cost of expensive (but efficient) batteries while providing battery backup/range with (high energy content, but low efficiency) gas/ICE. Depending on the size of the gas tank, it can get much greater range than the Tesla. This series solution was a shock to Tesla.
The Volt was also a shock to Toyota, causing their CEO Watanabe to lose his composure and bad-mouth a competitor's product - tsk, tsk, tsk. Only recently have they admitted that they will "investigate a series hybrid".

Tesla Motors has since decided to offer an optional range extender configuration for their codename Whitestar sedan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Wouldn't it be something is Tesla added an ICE on their roadster to increase range? Wow!

I don't mean to turn this into a Tesla topic, but their roadster is a very "niche" vehicle. It would be very interesting if they chose to produce a more "family" oriented vehicle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,085 Posts
Wouldn't it be something is Tesla added an ICE on their roadster to increase range? Wow!

I don't mean to turn this into a Tesla topic, but their roadster is a very "niche" vehicle. It would be very interesting if they chose to produce a more "family" oriented vehicle.
I don't see where their vehicle has the room, unless they opt to reduce their battery pack to 1/4 - 1/3 its current size, but I agree that it would be a hot product that could sell for $80K.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
GM had a lot to do with Tesla's car. The motor and controls are descended from GM down through AC Propulsion. GM came up with the variable voltage AC motor for electric cars.

The president of ACPropulsion used to work at GM.

I think we'll see some of the performance of the Tesla in the Volt, not quite as much mind you, but I think it'll surprise people who drive it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,916 Posts
The Tesla is a truely historic vehicle. It was the first EV performance (acceleration, range, styling) vehicle. Performance, generally, comes with a premium price. The premium is in dollars and risk. What do you do when you fully discharge battery? To date, the solution has been to get into the vehicle trailing behind with the press and Tesla VPs.

The Tesla was a shock to GM's top executives. How could a small company do this and we aren't?! GM's solution is a series hybrid. It uses a second energy source, gas, to run an ICE/genertor to recharge the battery. It conserves on the cost of expensive (but efficient) batteries while providing battery backup/range with (high energy content, but low efficiency) gas/ICE. Depending on the size of the gas tank, it can get much greater range than the Tesla. This series solution was a shock to Tesla.
Perhaps Tesla was "shocked" that GM made the leap to EREV's, but they shouldn't have been surprised by the idea. It has been around for a long time and I as well others were prodding them to consider an option similar to this with their Whitestar before the Volt made it's debut.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,544 Posts
Tesla also gets more range by having a light weight aluminum chassis and body, ie: very expensive. This body only accomodates two people and so saves a lot more weight. Yeah, the Tesla goes a supposed 220 miles on a charge, but Tesla vs. Volt? Volt wins hands down! The Tesla as a fashion statement toy for Hollywood celebrities and the Volt is a real car for real people. I may be wrong, but I predict that after they finish a selling and delivering Teslas to all the celebrities and other rich folk, they'll quietly go bankrupt and go out of business. Of coarse, the way things are going, the same may be true of GM.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,085 Posts
I may be wrong, but I predict that after they finish a selling and delivering Teslas to all the celebrities and other rich folk, they'll quietly go bankrupt and go out of business. Of coarse, the way things are going, the same may be true of GM.
Tesla has plans to offer a sedan for around $60K, and then partner with a major auto manufacturer to offer a smaller car for even less.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
251 Posts
The plans of mice and men ...

Tesla has plans to offer a sedan for around $60K, and then partner with a major auto manufacturer to offer a smaller car for even less
A major manufacturer like BMW, Honda, Saab, Volvo...?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Tesla Pros and Cons

I just looked at the Tesla's company website. The Tesla is a GOOD looking car. It is a bit pricey, though ($109k base price). For that you get 220 miles per charge and a car that goes 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds. It comes with a charging station for your home but the site says that it has to be installed in your garage by a professional electrician. If you want to charge via 110 just about anywhere else you have to by some sort of "optional" charging device. Solar power charging is an "option" also. Note I place the word option in quotes because there is always an extra dealer charge for them.
The car is assembled in the UK. Automobile manufacturing quality in the UK has improved over the past decade but still lags behind the US and is significantly behind the Japanese.

The additional advantages listed at the Tesla site are things like: Car pool lane access, free parking at airports with charging stations and such. Since these are federal and state utility offers I think they will also be available to owners of other electric cars.

For now I would have to say that the average Joe will probably stick with the Volt or, perhaps, the Aptera.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,544 Posts
Tesla has plans to offer a sedan for around $60K, and then partner with a major auto manufacturer to offer a smaller car for even less.
Yeah, I know. I just don't believe that their plans will come to be. The Tesla Roadster was/is a big project, but these other plans are huge projects that I have serious doubts they can handle. They seem taxed to just get a limited production specialty roadster to market. Going mass production and prime time is much tougher.

Also, I'm not sure why any other major car manufacturer would want to partner with them. What do they offer this manufacturer that they couldn't just do themselves? It seems clear that Tesla needs help from others with these future plans of theirs, it's just not clear why anybody needs Tesla's help.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
3,689 Posts
I predict Tesla will be sold to a major manufacturer within the next two to three years. One of the majors that did not plan ahead and will pay almost anything to get back into the game. Tesla investors are very smart people and are well aware of the situation. Think about it. Running a car company is a difficult, demanding, thankless job. Do you really think these guys want to do that for the next 10 years? I'm guessing they will be off building solar companies, quick-charge utility companies, etc. Once they are comfortable and moving forward these guys will be bored and looking for the next big thing. I hope they do this because this is what they were born to do. It's their nature.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,085 Posts
I predict Tesla will be sold to a major manufacturer within the next two to three years. One of the majors that did not plan ahead and will pay almost anything to get back into the game. Tesla investors are very smart people and are well aware of the situation. Think about it. Running a car company is a difficult, demanding, thankless job. Do you really think these guys want to do that for the next 10 years? I'm guessing they will be off building solar companies, quick-charge utility companies, etc. Once they are comfortable and moving forward these guys will be bored and looking for the next big thing. I hope they do this because this is what they were born to do. It's their nature.
I agree that they will either sell out or license their old tech and continue to be an advance development outfit, building the highend vehicles to showcase their latest tech.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I just don't get the Tesla appeal?

Everyone looks at it as a stand alone car but I think that's flawed. The Tesla is based on a Lotus Elise. The structure is almost identical. It's a super lightweight car. The Elise is super fast with a small engine and gets about 30mpg highway. It also costs about $45k! And that's for a LOTUS! Heck you can get one slightly used for $25K.

So the Tesla packs a bunch of expensive batteries into the car and charges $105K. That's a $60K premium for the electric engine.

Other than being a cute show piece for some fashion folks in Hollywood, I don't see how this becomes anything more than a niche product. Could you imagine Honda offering an all electric Civic for $80K?

I think Tesla's business model is based on the cool factor which can only last as long as there aren't many PHEV options. By 2012 there should be several reasonably priced options and manufacturers will probably be showing off prototypes of numerous hot electrics that they will be releasing in 2014/2015 so the Tesla won't be so unique and the price premium will hurt its sales. It looks like it's going to take another couple years for Tesla to ramp up production and right when it hits its stride, its popularity will drop.

I'm not saying this because this is a Volt forum and I'm a fanboy. I have no allegiance and I'm glad Tesla is offering a cool product that gets people thinking about the electric cars. But, in terms of having any real impact on adoption, I don't think Tesla is relevant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,085 Posts
Tesla would most likely sell or license drivetrain systems or components, which would allow automakers who have nothing to suddenly buy 5 years of development off-the-shelf. I suspect their motor controller, transmission, and energy management system would be priceless, while the batteries and motor could be replaceable.

Remember, a major automaker would be interested in buying lost time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
At one point I would have thought the Tesla would get bought, but no longer.

The reasons I don't think anyone will buy it have to do with patents and reputation. The Tesla does have some valuable patents, the squirrel cage motor in particular, but GM and others have developed motors that accomplish the same thing already. The battery and controller patents aren't valuable to a company that can make their own.

The reputation of the Tesla was that of a super electric sport car. That could be worth a lot. A company could start a Tesla line of luxury electrics. The thing is with the transmission problems, the delay in production and the fact that the Tesla is built by Lotus, and not a true Tesla produced car lead me to think that the name isn't that valuable.

If they'd delivered the car pristinely and came out with a design all their own, then I think they would have a reputation that might be worth buying.

As it is, I think it's a great footnote in the development of EV's. I think The Tesla got the big companies moving in the right direction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,085 Posts
At one point I would have thought the Tesla would get bought, but no longer.

The reasons I don't think anyone will buy it have to do with patents and reputation. The Tesla does have some valuable patents, the squirrel cage motor in particular, but GM and others have developed motors that accomplish the same thing already. The battery and controller patents aren't valuable to a company that can make their own.

The reputation of the Tesla was that of a super electric sport car. That could be worth a lot. A company could start a Tesla line of luxury electrics. The thing is with the transmission problems, the delay in production and the fact that the Tesla is built by Lotus, and not a true Tesla produced car lead me to think that the name isn't that valuable.

If they'd delivered the car pristinely and came out with a design all their own, then I think they would have a reputation that might be worth buying.

As it is, I think it's a great footnote in the development of EV's. I think The Tesla got the big companies moving in the right direction.
None of the past problems matter, now that they have a robust solution, which their high rev motor and one speed transmission delivers. I am certain that those automakers caught flat footed by the REEVolution would pay dearly to buy 5 years of development schedule through acquisition, license or systems / components purchases.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top