Tag Archives: Electric cars

Tesla batteries…

Over at Forbes.com there’s an interesting article by Bill Roberson concerning the life of their cars’ batteries:

The clock is ticking on electric car batteries – and how long they will last

The article is quite timely: Some of the first production Tesla vehicles were released in 2012, ie 7 years ago, and the company’s warranty period is for 8 years meaning that some of the oldest Teslas out there are about to go out of warranty.

At the risk of giving most of the article away, the author discovered the batteries in those older Teslas appear to still be in remarkably good condition, degrading in some cases only some 10% at most in terms of their distance/range.

A nice thing to realize!

One thing I would note regarding this article and electric cars in general: We’re still in the very early days of the electric car “revolution” (if you want to call it that) and, as noted, some of the older Tesla vehicles are only 7 or so years old.

The battery life has already improved. My Model 3 is a “long range” vehicle that, in theory and when charged to 100%, is supposed to have a range of 310 miles. Now, to be clear, the range depends on several factors, including how fast/slow you’re driving, using AC or the heater, etc. etc. The new Model S cars, however, have a range of 377 miles, an astonishing increase compared to previous models.

Again, we’re at the beginning of the electric car revolution and I strongly suspect in time we will see better and better batteries and better and better battery life.

Within the article there is talk of newer battery modules which may give these cars a range of 1000 miles and charging which will be as quick as getting gas in your car is now.

Frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me at all.

But it is encouraging to see that the Tesla vehicles are showing such durability regarding their batteries.

It can only get better with time!

Electric cars…will they be the future?

It’s looking more and more like we’ll be moving from combustion engines toward electric vehicles -and, I suppose, self-driving vehicles- in the very near future.

This article by Brian Khan and for Salon.com notes…

The world is on the brink of an electric car revolution

The two biggest factors are: 1) Tesla is about to release to the general public their highly anticipated, and low cost, Model 3 (retail is around $35,000), and 2) Volvo has stated that by 2019, a mere two years from now, all the cars they release will be electric in one form or another (ie hybrid, electric, or any combination of the above).

As for me, I’m currently very happy with my car but I’m hoping that when the time comes to get my next vehicle, it might just be the Tesla Model 3.

The world is on the brink of an electric car revolution

Handsome car, IMHO!

Fascinating times we live in!

Fax machines and… electric cars?

Over on Salon.com Jonathan Coopersmith offers a fascinating -and dead on, IMHO- article regarding one of the bigger issues which may be holding back the success of electric cars: the variety of different charging stations.  He notes this issue is not unlike the slow/stagnant growth of fax machines in the 1960’s and 70’s and how, after a single fax “standard” for operation was adopted the fax machine became huge.

Read the article for yourself:

What fax machines can teach us about electric cars

Without stepping too much on the article, Mr. Coopersmith notes that in the early days of the fax machine each machine had its own sending/receiving “language” and therefore you could only send a fax to a person who had the same type of machine as you did.  If you worked for Industry “A” and needed to send a form to Industry “B” but your fax machine was created by the XYZ company and the people you were trying to send your form to had a fax machine created by MNO, chances are you were out of luck.

That changed when the Japanese adopted a single fax “standard” operating system and, suddenly, that fax created by the XYZ company could send faxes to a MNO fax machine and vice versa.  Soon, all fax machines worked together and, as obvious as this may seem in retrospect, it really pays to be able to send a fax to any machine, regardless of who made it.

The problem Mr. Coopersmith points out with electric cars is similar.  When driving your gas powered car, you can drive up to any gas station and fill ‘er up.

That’s not yet the case with electric cars and their charging stations.

Granted there are other issues with electric cars (such as the distance they can travel on a charge, how long a charge takes, etc), but I believe Mr. Coopersmith is right in saying the charging stations/charging of electric cars should be standardized.

If you have a Tesla car (I envy you), you shouldn’t have to be on the lookout for only Tesla charging stations.  Similarly, if you have a Chevrolet Volt or Bolt, you shouldn’t be looking for only Chevrolet charging stations.

Like gas stations, there should be universal charging stations, places where you can take your electric vehicle and charge it up regardless of what brand it is and, as Mr. Coopersmith notes toward the end of his article, Tesla appears to be moving toward this goal:

In the last few years, Tesla has veered from its initial exclusivity to cooperation. In 2014, Tesla announced it would share its patents royalty-free – including its charger and plug designs – to encourage the spread of electric vehicle technology. In 2015, the company agreed to make its cars and charging stations compatible with China’s new standard, possibly by using adapters at charging stations.

I long for the day we finally rid ourselves of the outdated, noisy, and polluting gas engines.  They’re a technology that is over a hundred years old now and, given all the advances in battery technology, should be on its way out.

Perhaps with the standardization of electric charging stations, the end of the gas powered vehicle might be closer to reality.

Though one wonders how long before the self-driving vehicles gobble up the driving market anyway!