Thanks to high efficacy of Tesla drive train, base models can have decent range, around 250miles EPA, with iron phosphate battery packs.
However, iron phosphate battery volumetric density, at this time, does not allow for cars with what I would consider minimum for a single car family, in locations with real winters: 330miles EPA.
* in the USA
Our EV (our only car) has 100-150km real-world range (60-90miles). We have real winters. We can get everywhere we want to for daily driving. My grandparents has a cabin 2 hours away that we visit regularly in winter. We can get there one one fast-charge that takes less time than we use to buy groceries for the trip (fast-charger we use is next to a super-market).
I've borrowed my moms ICE car and a friends Tesla Model S for a road-trip across the country a couple of times though.
But Northern Europe does not have the same problem with suburban sprawl and lack of public transportation, people don't usually drive as far regularly, speed limits are lower (higher efficiency) and now there's fast-chargers everywhere.
Public transportation is available but far less convenient, and charging stations would add possibly hours on trips that length.
They don't perform badly in winters, I characterized the cold-weather relative performance of LiFePO4 vs LiIon batteries for an aerospace engineering project I did in college.
Frankly I thought those characteristics would outweigh density in automotive applications, but I was mistaken.
That is basically 1 stop from LA to vegas, and 1-2 stops from LA to San Francisco.
I'd like to see focus on lowering the base cost of Teslas, and the lower the range target the easier to get there.
You can't use 100% of your battery.
Most people preserve their battery health, so will not charge to 100% or drain to 0%
You can't (practically) supercharge to 100%. It will probably take as long to get from 80 to 100% as it does to get to 80%. In many cases it's not nice to hog the charger.
And its really hard to get to 0% even if you tried. There probably won't be a supercharger located right where you hit 0% even if you risked it.
So.. you really use the middle 60% of your battery, between 20% and 80%
No, most people don't pay any attention to it, which is why all the Battery Management Systems in all EVs pay attention for you.
On busy superchargers the limit is moved down to 80% if it is set above it.
Now other cars treat their battery differently. They may indicate 100% but they reserve a buffer and it's really some lower percentage. I suspect tesla has a buffer too, even if it is just for temperature fluctuations, which seem to move the percentage around.
The main driver of range loss for earlier tesla's was the fact that they used an resistivity heater for the cabin/battery. That changed fairly recently to a heat pump. The range loss now is far less than it used to be.
Extreme temps will render the heat pumps useless, but that's not the common case. You've got to be in northern Candida and Alaska before you are starting to talk about a useless heatpump.
I live in Idaho and get "real" winters. Range hasn't been a problem for me with my 2018 Tesla (Even though it has the resistivity heater). I've even visited Utah a couple of times in the winter.
And, no offense, but I don't really trust the manager of a car dealership to give me accurate information about what's going on with tesla trade ins. You wouldn't ask a Chevy dealer about a Ford.
If you don't, 200 miles is more than sufficient, regardless of the season. If you absolutely have to make a 190 mile trip in winter, consider stopping for a charge, or renting/borrowing an ICE car.
Edit: apparently some VW models include a heat pump for this reason.
Edit 2: Apparently some Teslas have it too. 
Double-pane windows would increase weight by about 5%, while decreasing losses through windows about 5x, iirc.
First off, brand ranges are rated at 100% capacity and many brands suggest to not charge to 100% most of the time if ever. Then throw in weather effects on range and this does not just mean winter but driving in rain can increase usage.
However the top two reasons to push 300 more as the baseline is simply convenience. The convenience of not having to worry about your charge or need to charge frequently. That removes the negative comparisons many try to make showing that BEVs are not ready for prime time. Once technology catches up and you can fix that range in ten minutes; not going to happen; then a lower range might be okay.
Second and more importantly the big automakers want you to buy into that idea so they can eek out small range improvements as a selling feature to get you into next year's car. Similar to how many of them still have heart failure of OTA in the definition Tesla uses it.
Now can there be a type of car where ranges are aimed at commuting only? Sure, but as a whole replacement vehicles for ICE vehicles should out perform on all numbers.
Don't let them sell you into an infinite cycle of range increases because they will. 250 is entry level now and 300 should be the minimum for any semi luxury and higher priced EV.
Hell look at the recently released Mini if you want an idea of where the industry hoped to be at but Tesla shot that idea full of holes and doubly so when the Bolt came along and now VW ID.* series.
 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywn-vBjKblI
 - https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/04/teslas-maxwell-acquisition...
In a modern IC engine, the real issue isn't the block heat but the battery. A bad/old/tired battery won't provide the amps when cold. For all practical purposes, anyone worried about cold starts would be better served by a battery heater/blanket than a block heater.
Pretty much every ICE made in the last 40yr, save your $110 lawnmower that was made without a choke to save $0.38, is fine at -10 to -20f so long as it has some semblance of compression. If anything the biggest problem is that batteries don't work so well in the cold so they'll have a really tough time starting an old engine with poor compression (which will be even harder to start in the cold).
LiFePO4 batteries simply want to be warmed up before accepting a significant charge rate to prevent damage. That’s comparable.
I don't have a reference handy, but I read a decade or so ago that the best way to warm up and engine is actually just to drive in a reasonable fashion.
If your car was sold in a region that gets that cold it was likely pre-installed if not you had to take care of that.
The block heater heats up the oil which heats up the engine block it’s usually electric that can run off the battery or an external outlet.
If you buy a car which was intended for warm or moderate climates and drive it in Norway or Minnesota during peak winter you won’t be starting it in the morning.
My car happily starts at -40, if a tad reluctantly at times.
If your car isn’t old or diesel, it will probably start at any outside temperature.
About the only difference is the engine coolant needs to be rated to expected low temperatures.
Not only does it ensures your car can start but it also prevents damage to the engine.
This is how outside parking in Northern Europe during the winter looks like: https://www.bigstockphoto.com/image-78137918/stock-photo-blo...
Even my diesel VW Jetta had no problem.
Cold-starting engines 30 years ago was a big problem. They had lots of different metals that would flex against each other. Modern engines are built to tighter tolerances and that means metals that expand/contract at more similar rates. And our oils do not thicken as easily thanks to improved chemistry. A cold start really isn't going to destroy your engine. It will still probably outlive the rest of your car.
The one OEM who's processes I have knowledge of with was doing their testing down to -40F in the late 1980s (which coincidentally is the temperature at which their electronics system starts throwing codes for misbehaving temperature sensors).
- Some of the manufacturers at times have moved back towards Iron-Block/Aluminum-head designs (rather than all aluminum.) Thankfully yes modern gasket technology and metallurgy has improved but there is still extra wear and tear as a result.
- Depending on the way the ECU is set up, there may be other advantages to pre-warming the block. As an example, my WRX sometimes gets -really- cranky starting in cold temps. But it's not the start I'm worried about.
- Below ~25F, the fluid in the clutch gets to the point where I can sometimes pull my leg off the clutch and wait at least a half-second before the pedal 'thunks' up. An engine block heater would probably help with that a bit.
- The way the ECU is programmed, there is a -long- delay from when the car switches from open loop (just working off a MAP or MAF sensor) to closed loop (looking at the O2 sensor). In cold enough weather, If the temp gauge doesn't reach a certain point before I hit the highway, it -never- hits closed loop and my mileage is absolute trash. Not every car is set up like this, but more than you think. It's an emissions thing.
As for running temperatures, the standard trick is to reduce airflow across the radiator. Trucks put on "bras" or you can rig up something made of carboard in front of the radiator. Always cardboard because it is soft enough not to damage anything if it gets loose.
Only the fancy ones, most people don’t have parking spots like these.
The building I used to live in Finland had outlets for maybe 20% of the parking spaces. Mostly people wanted the pole if they wanted to run an interior heater so their windows wouldn’t be frozen in the morning.
Diesel at least was much more popular in Europe which would explain the prevalence of block heaters and the popularity of their use in gasoline/petrol engines, but that doesn't mean they are necessary.
Growing up we had a block heater on our large diesel farm truck and on diesel tractors, I have never in my life used a block heater on a non-diesel vehicle having spent the first >25 years living in climates which regularly hit -30C.
Diesel is common in Europe but so is petrol.
Plugs for block heaters are very common in Northern Europe, Finland is turning them into charging spots now https://insideevs.com/news/332283/finland-has-a-genius-charg...
The heater also does plenty of other things including defrosting windows.
Some people fill their car with 10W oil or don't buy a battery with adequate CCA, but that's on them.
Dismissing problems or desires that don't affect people you know is pretty shortsighted.
Concerns which are not that well-informed are, indeed, dismissible.
(note C vs F on the legend)
As someone who lives in California, and likes snow sports, it looks like I could run into -20C conditions in the Sierras, and certainly the Rockies (although driving that far with an electric car would probably be too annoying to attempt).
It’s probably not a concern for the average Bay Area family.
But that said, zones 6a/6b are definitely in the region of "yeah, I'd worry about 0°F overnight", and people in 7a will definitely worry about temperatures around 10°F if they're going to start their car. 6a-7a covers most of the population corridor in the NE US, about ⅓ the US population. Additionally, much of the Midwest is in the 0°F-is-possible territory, from St. Louis and Chicago straight through to Detroit and Pittsburgh.
The general point is that starting in -20°C isn't some "well, sucks to live in Canada/Minnesota/North Dakota" concern, but rather "gee, a significant chunk of the US population has to do this on an annual basis."
Toronto is the 3rd/4th most populous city in North America (depending on how you count it). Almost every winter there's a -25C overnight. Not for days on end like where I grew up in Alberta, and not every year, but it definitely happens. There's 7 million people in the Greater Toronto / Hamilton corridor alone. 2 million people in the Montreal area. Almost a million in Quebec City, 1.4 millionish people in the Ottawa/Gatineau area. Not to mention Detroit, Windsor, Buffalo, Albany, Syracuse, Burlington, etc. etc. etc. Oh, and I'm seeing a mean minimum of -19C in Chicago for January, too, so throw in a few more million people there because that's close enough.
"Not a lot indeed." Only maybe a couple dozen million people.
EDIT: Oh yeah, I hear the US has a "midwest", too. I hear there's people there, too.
In other words, if I’m living in Dallas and I have to choose 1 car to meet all of my use cases, I’m not going to pick one that precludes me from ever being able to take the wife and kids to visit relatives in Houston, even if I only make that trip occasionally.
Anticipating your next complaint (“It takes so much longer to recharge!”) - You also save a lot of time by charging at home and never having to stop at a gas station. Overall, I think you save time because of this. It’s not exactly 1:1 equivalent because maybe long drive waits are more costly than frequent short gas stop visits and waits when you aren’t on a long road trip , but it’s really not the end of the world. Gives you some time to stretch your legs.
This is not really a valid argument. The point isn't how much time you spend refueling over a lifetime, but rather how many miles you can travel in a reasonable day for a long road trip (and how flexible your route can be). If long road trips are important to you and you only have one vehicle, of course you probably don't want it to be an EV.
In my view, EVs are incredible, but they're still a hard sell for most single-car households in America. But people should buy the car that matches their needs! No one is better off when fans of a particular type of car deliberately try to convince people to buy that type of car against their interests.
I still think EVs are okay for a family that does a lot of road trips. You are describing... me. I routinely make a ~12 hour drive. We take a bit of a break every few hours to walk around and play with the dog. The rest of the time, car drives itself.
Hacker News is really getting worse. Taking me out of context by quoting the first line of my comment and ignoring the rest (where I specifically address your comment) is inappropriate. We are better than this.
It’s not exactly 1:1 equivalent because maybe long drive waits are more costly than frequent short gas stop visits and waits when you aren’t on a long road trip
As I said...
> It’s not exactly 1:1 equivalent because maybe long drive waits are more costly than frequent short gas stop visits and waits when you aren’t on a long road trip
Your comments have been quite low quality, I think kind of emblematic of how Hacker News has declined throughout the years. It's very easy to be contrarian if you can pick upon a thread, but as far as I remember HN guidelines discourage that.
I'm sure you have not formally crossed Amy HN guidelines, but it kind of sucks just seeing the current state of discourse (eg you) here compared to what it used to be.
Finally - I’d add that “refuel” times DO NOT affect daily range for an electric vehicle. You refuel at home, while you’re asleep. It’s irrelevant in those circumstances.
I haven't downvoted you, because that doesn't make sense when you merely disagree with a person.
I see LiFePO4 as enabling Africa to electrify quickly and cheaply. It’s feasible to hook up solar panels to an inverter/charger, a cheap and/or DIYed LiFePO4 battery pack, and combine it with a backup generator to have affordable (less than 15¢/kWh... potentially a LOT less) and (just as important) consistent power without needing access to the grid and that’s like 95% carbonfree.
I'll bet Tesla omits the titanium skid plate under the battery for those.
Lithium iron phosphate also makes sense for fixed applications. BYD says they've been able to get the energy density per liter up near regular lithium-ion by improved packaging, but lithium iron phosphate is still about 2x heavier.
FWIW I'm a one-car "family" and I wouldn't be bothered by a BEV with 200 mile range if I had a way to charge it on normal nights. I can deal with an occasional car rental or a few stops if I go on a trip. The main thing putting me off BEV right now is that I live in a city without good access to daily charging facilities. If I were in the burbs the satisfaction of charging it from solar panels instead of paying for fuel would make up for quite a few occasional range inconveniences.
So that argument doesn't really make sense.
Be nice if it was an option you could order, but whatever.
Be even nicer if some non-Tesla cars would offer it.
The Han uses iron cathode whereas the Chinese-made M3 uses the nickel cathode.
The Han is ~6000 USD cheaper, but gets slightly higher range than the M3 (Han has longer city driving range, but worse at high way). This is especially impressive when the Han is ~400KG heavier than the M3.
Both cars have comparable charging speed (31%-100% for 1hr 15min).
The reviewer concluded that the Han is a worthy competitor, but Tesla still has an edge at tuning and design. With Tesla switching to iron cathode, I think Tesla can eek out comparable battery performance while maintaining their edge in other areas.
They also called this out during their last battery tech presentation:
Still, Tesla should be able to hit their 500 mile range figure with a full typical load and without exceeding the 80,000 pound total weight limit. Takes a lot of work to improve the efficiency of the drivetrain (low battery internal resistance, low power electronics losses, very high efficiency brushless motors, low gearbox and bearing resistance), improving aerodynamics (surprisingly many tractors still seem to have the aerodynamics of a barn), extremely low rolling resistance tires (while maintaining traction), and reducing weight of the tractor through improved and optimized materials, optimized design, etc. ...and then optimizing the battery to have both high specific energy and long cycle life (even while Megacharging).
It’s actually possible to do this, but it requires careful attention to inefficiency and mass throughout the entire vehicle. A lot like designing a reusable orbital rocket.
The big problem with electric commercial trucks is that the local delivery stuff that is most readily electrified is also the stuff where weight regulations are your biggest thorn in side (for a variety of reasons).
The step van that delivers bread would already be electric if it weren't for the fact that the extra 800lb would push them into a different more expensive regulatory class where they become unprofitable or displace so much cargo they become unprofitable.
But this is why road regulations limit weight and weight per axle.
For pneumatic tires on highway speed vehicles your ground pressure is approximately your tire pressure. Super singles use pressures in the same ballpark as the duals they replace.
You sit on the side of the road waiting for the tire service to show up.
>there's a higher likelihood of the truck remaining drivable?
"DOT would like to know your location"
You're technically not supposed to be operating with a blown tire. That said, driving to the nearest place you can reasonably get or wait for a replacement is the correct course of action.
Having a more light duty trucks zipping around because we've regulated fewer medium duty truck out of profitability for that use case is likely not environmentally efficient.
When you're talking about roads expected to last X years with a certain % traffic of semi trucks in the 80k ballpark pretty much nothing you do in the 40k ballpark and below matters.
Also, you have to differentiate between wear on the road surface and the road bed. The road surface doesn't care how much weight you have. It just cares about contact pressure. The road bed is going to care more about overall tonnage because by the time the force gets to the road bed it's spread over such an area the contact pressure is low regardless.
It's hard to generalize these things because mother nature plays a large role what the depreciation curve of a road looks like and local wealth plays the deciding role in where in the depreciation curve you justify replacing it.
Really? I thought it was personnel-inefficient but pretty much ideal for the roads, for the aforementioned power-law reason. Lighter trucks are gentler on the roads even if there are more of them.
Do I misunderstand?
If the road has to be built to handle X% semi trucks for 10yr and mother nature will destroy it in 20yr no matter what you do you lose nothing by driving a bunch of medium duty trucks on it.
13.9 kWh for $1248 + $416 shipping and tax, so just shy of $120/kWh delivered ($90/kWh before shipping).
Will be used with an hybrid inverter and solar panels to reduce my electricity bill, UPS my home, and charge my Tesla Model 3 SR+ (2019, USA built so not LFP).
But with one or two electric cars and the appropriate amount of battery you'll get way higher PV production use by just charging after work and week-ends.
If my 14 kWh pack does 4000 full cycles that's 56 MWh so 0.03 USD/kWh out of the battery.
$600-700 for a 5kW hybrid inverter (stackable)
PV panels are about $0.4/Wpeak and depending on location, in France 1 Wp will produce about 1kWh/year.
Which brings price under $0.10/kWh for a DIY solar + battery system of 4 kWp PV and 14 kWh battery.
If anything EVs seem particularly unsuited for home solar because the solar panels should instead be wherever the car spends its day so the car battery can be charged directly instead of needing another battery to buffer the energy for it.
Thats's why electric car charging changes the equation.
And about no heating/cooling at all with a Passive House :).
I agree about charging during the day when the sun shine is way better but it's under the control of your employer which may or may not provide chargers, and might not install solar PV at all for various reasons.
PV and battery at home, you can do it right now.
I don't know the story behind these cells but so far no bad experience reported on youtube or forums.
Here is one of the first buyer who just measured his pack after 6 month of use:
I chose this one:
Haven't looked yet.
Lithium is not tricky to find, its trick to extract and purify and the it takes a while to qualify it with battery companies. Doing all that takes a while and doing it cheap is not easy.
So lithium prices, might still go up because getting high quality supply into the supply chain is not easy.
The have a large number of videos, where many of the upcoming lithium producers present their projects.
The economical ways currently are:
- Spodumene (lithium in hard rock minerals)
- Brine (lithium in a salty water underground pond)
What is being developed for next generations:
- Clay (sedentary deposits)
- Deep Geothermal Brine (like Brine but much deeper down)
What is being worked on is Direct Lithium extraction, that means to get lithium directly from the brine (or leached from the clay) rather then putting it into evaporation ponds.
If you want real detail from an expert on lithium, check out:
Edit: article source was wrong https://www.carscoops.com/2021/02/tesla-shifting-battery-typ... I corrected the tile
The title should definitely be changed. It makes it sound like they are going to a completely different battery technology.
Edit: corrected the title
LFP is cheaper, has insane cycle endurance, is safer, and has great temperature tolerance.
LFP reaching the 200 mile range for a car is a watershed engineering moment for humanity. NMC and others can be dedicated to other tasks.