Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Tesla Model S Unveiled (boston.com)
80 points by martythemaniak on Mar 26, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 30 comments

A 45 min. fast charge sounds impressive. I would think that would require much more current than a typical household outlet is able to supply. Does anyone know if the current Tesla roadster come with a charging station? And how is that connected to the household mains?

[update: I found some forums mentioning that charging the current roadster in 3.5 hours requires the installation of a 240V/70A charging station in your garage/home]

[update 2: Here's the High Power Connector: http://shop.teslamotors.com/products/high-power-connector. It's connected directly to the breaker panel in the home]

Top Gear had a very un-inspiring review as well. It lasted 55 miles going around the track, and then required 16 hours to recharge. I suppose Tesla is counting on most of us -not- driving like Clarkson.

[Tesla's response to the review: http://jalopnik.com/5112828/tesla-issues-response-to-top-gea...]

The 45 minutes is for a partial charge. Still, 300 miles beats the heck outta the 40 promised by the Volt.

Volt will be out first, and Tesla could be gone before they are ever able to ship even 1 of these.

2.5 years from now when/if this thing actually surfaces we'll have lots of hybrid/electric choices.

Tesla's biggest problem will be mass production. (They have made about 300 cars) Large companies like Chevy can have significantly greater production capacity.

Has Tesla even considered outsourcing the manufacturing? I'm sure lots of people in Detroit would be more than grateful to be paid to make cars that are already sold. I wonder if capacity is not the problem, but that the Roadsters just take that long to actually make.

They've not just considered outsourcing the manufacturing, they did it from the start. Lotus makes the cars in England.

According to Wikipedia: "The car is assembled at the Lotus factory in Hethel, England, with drivetrain components and body components supplied to the factory by Tesla. . . Tesla Motors' plant in Taiwan manufactures the motors and the Energy Storage Systems (ESS) was initially manufactured in Thailand during development and then moved to San Carlos, California, after production started. Chassis are manufactured in Norway. SOTIRA, in St. Meloir & Pouancé, France, create the RTM carbon fiber body panels. The Roadster's brakes and airbags are made by Siemens in Germany and crash testing was conducted at Siemens as well"

Confirmation of the Lotus relationship from Tesla here: http://www.teslamotors.com/blog2/?p=7

Good information. I thought Lotus just did the design and prototype.

Does anyone know why it takes Tesla so long to produce a car? Does a specific part (ESS, for example) bottleneck the entire operation?

Maybe, maybe not. While Tesla is an eco-exotic/luxury maker, and in general luxury companies do luxury cars which by definition are not for mass usage.To name a few: koenigseeg, aston martin, bentley, or italians like maserati or ferrari. It's hard to tell if they will ever build lower price car for mass usage lift off. Rather the way to go would be something that german Audi, BMW, Mercedes, or VW exhibit, a range of cars that have also a range of prices, but still in some sort they are considered to be almost luxury cars because of sustainable design in time, better quality (at least in most things inside or outside) and some additional level of innovation.

VW is considered a (somewhat) luxury car? Interesting.

I'll believe that the Volt will come out first when I see it. As far as I'm concerned it's vaporware (designed to scare other people out of the market) until I can actually buy one from a local showroom.

It will be interesting to see if amongst these early electric vehicle manufacturers a de facto battery/charging interface standard can be established. I can see that widespread adoption would be difficult to achieve if consumers cannot reliably charge their vehicles in a number of charging station locations because of properity hardware barriers, etc.

The answer is not faster charging, but rather, swapping out a depleted pack for a fully-charged one. Standardize on a form-factor for battery packs that mount on the underside of the vehicle, which can then be hot-swapped at service stations in under a minute.

Hawaii seems to already be testing this out... (don't have the link handy)

Yes. At least it would shift the problem from the realm of engineering (better batteries) towards management/market politics.

I think this would be a good start, but I think for the sake of convenience I would like to see something more along the lines of wireless power like Intel have been playing around with.


I would like to see power companies deploy these wireless charging substations in parking garages and in people's homes and perhaps have it so that the vehicle has it's own power meter - something similar to what you would see on a home now, so that multiple vehicles could be filling up at the same point perhaps and each is generating their own bill which could be paid at the end of the month? similar to how homes work.

That way, the need to "fill up" is removed, making it more convenient than a typical car, which I think might help adoption rates more than just saying it is a more eco-friendly car.

Have you seen www.betterplace.com? Their basic idea is to have a standard set of batteries which can be topped up at charging stations at home, work, and elsewhere. For longer trips, there are automated battery switching stations. From the how it works section:

"For trips longer than 100 miles (161 km), battery switching stations will be available roadside. Stations are completely automated, and the driver’s subscription takes care of everything. The driver pulls in, and the depleted battery is quickly replaced with a fresh one, without anyone having to leave the vehicle. The process takes less time than it does to fill a tank of liquid fuel. "

Late 2011 is a long time from now. Two and a half years is a lot of time to get behind schedule, especially for Tesla. I sincerely hope it comes out awesome but am highly skeptical.

Video of the Tesla Model S http://twurl.nl/ds6e3l

I think California has done a good thing in wooing Tesla to build the model S here. If nothing else, it should serve as a beacon to engineers interested in designing clean-tech - working on anything else will seem boring and old hat for most.

The ripples of the tech being located here could very well serve as the impetus for the next rise in California's economy.

looks good from design view, also I would like to see some cool looking but cheaper electric roadsters as well!

It's a beautiful car, for sure.

7 seats? Where are the other 2?

It comes with a trolley that hooks on the back :P

The other two are rearward facing behind the second row, similar to what Volvo did for a few years in some of their station wagons

What about non-luxury battery based?

Well, Miles Automotive is working on a sub $40,000 car.


That's Tesla's ultimate goal. They're still working out the details

Thumb up! I would really like to see something like this!

They think most buyers will prefer the luxury batteries

LOVE THE FISHER CAR more...Way cooler

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact