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Tesla Model S: 0-60 In 4.5 Seconds 426

Posted by timothy
from the mind-the-headwinds dept.
thecarchik writes "We already know a lot about the all-electric 2012 Tesla Model S sedan — but at a press event ahead of tonight's exclusive VIP event at the former Toyota NUMMI facility in Fremont, California, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced Tesla was making a faster Model S for those with a sporty side. Cutting the brisk 0-60 time of the standard Model S from 5.6 second to under 4.5 seconds, the sportier version features the same 85 kilowatt-hour, 300 miles-per-charge battery pack found in the 2012 Model S Signature series. 'That's quicker than a [Porsche] 911 [Carrera],' joked Musk. 'Not bad for an electric luxury sedan.' But if you thought 300 miles was the maximum range a Tesla Model S could do, you'd be wrong."
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Tesla Model S: 0-60 In 4.5 Seconds

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  • 320 miles (Score:5, Funny)

    by vlm (69642) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @05:48PM (#37585434)

    Summary cut off right where it got interesting, announcing 320 mile range. The Tesla is of course useless because a 320 mile range means I can only drive for 10 continuous hours without a brake in 32 MPH stop and go traffic and I love having a five hour commute each direction. In fact, everyone knows that not only does the average american watch TV 8 hours per day, they also commute 10 hours per day.

    • by colinrichardday (768814) <colin.day.6@hotmail.com> on Sunday October 02, 2011 @06:05PM (#37585536)

      I can only drive for 10 continuous hours without a brake in 32 MPH stop and go traffic

      So how do you deal with stop-and-go traffic without a brake?

    • by gmuslera (3436) * on Sunday October 02, 2011 @06:06PM (#37585556) Homepage Journal
      If you handle them a bit of plutonium maybe they could install on it batteries that hold 1.2gigawatts, and you'll never get late to work, in fact, you can get there too early.
    • Re:320 miles (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Rei (128717) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @06:43PM (#37585782) Homepage

      Actually, in 32 MPH stop-and-go traffic, you'd probably get more like 400+ miles range. Li-ion EVs excel in those conditions. The optimum steady-state speed for the Tesla Roadster is 15-20 mph. Stop and start causes loss of efficiency, but not nearly as much as highway-speed travel. The Roadster's nominal range would be met at approximately a steady-state of 55mph, if I remember the numbers correctly. Since most people drive faster than that on the highway, most people reported lower achievable ranges.

      Good to see they're offering an aero wheel mod. Go Tesla! :)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Actually, in 32 MPH stop-and-go traffic, you'd probably get more like 400+ miles range ... Stop and start causes loss of efficiency ...

        Right.... so a loss in efficiency causes the range to increase. Not to mention Tesla has consistently exaggerated the range of their vehicles. Not to mention headlights, heater, ac all subtract from range. Even then I really don't see how a $50,000 electric sports car is really the solution to anyone's energy crisis. Sure it will make rich California businessmen feel better about their carbon footprint, and thank god... wouldn't want them to feel guilty or anything. I don't have anything against Tesla spe

    • Re:320 miles (Score:4, Informative)

      by Teancum (67324) <robert_horning@n ... t ['etz' in gap]> on Sunday October 02, 2011 @06:51PM (#37585830) Homepage Journal

      The mileage range is something determined by the U.S. Department of Transportation based upon "typical" driving conditions. Believe it or not, there are standards which apply in this situation which don't come strictly from some marketing executive.

      Your concern is legitimate, but the automotive business in America is so heavily regulated that there isn't much wiggle room for claims like this... especially if you have a production certificate from the D.O.T. for serial production. There is a lot of vaporware in the realm of electric vehicles, but eventually you have to put something out there to actually be tested in the real world. Tesla has done that.

      BTW, driving range also applies to internal combustion engine vehicles as well, although most automotive manufacturers usually don't make that a key selling point.

      • BTW, driving range also applies to internal combustion engine vehicles as well, although most automotive manufacturers usually don't make that a key selling point.

        Depends on the manufacturer and the market they're advertising to... the new VW Golf Diesel, for example, is being advertised quite heavily around here for having a 1100km range. I also remember an episode of Top Gear (the real one) where Jeremy drove over 800 miles on a single tank of gas in a Jaguar diesel. (London to Edinburgh and back. don't kid yourself into thinking the "challenges" they do on Top Gear are anything other than advertising for that particular car)

        Some cars are designed to go really fast

    • Goddammit I just cleaned this laptop and now it's covered in spit!

  • How about a Model T? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tp1024 (2409684) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @05:49PM (#37585436)
    The Ford T cost $240 in 1925. That's $3000 in today's money. If you want a revolution, what you want is low prices.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Poorcku (831174)

      Impossible thanks to regulations:

      1. emission standards (euro V or whatever) 2. safety standards (abs, esp, airbags, etc). you can't even put a car the market without those.

      Try to comply with all on this list http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/fmvss/index.html [nhtsa.gov] and it will cost you a fortune.

      • by Osgeld (1900440) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @06:34PM (#37585716)

        I was looking at a 10,000$ Kia, sure that didnt have AC, power anything or even an AM radio, that car had the highest safety rating of that year, 40MPG. I ended up getting a 15 grand model and that even had a MP3 player.

        Meanwhile at the GM dealership I could get a lower quality car, with less features, less gas mileage, less power and a much lower safety rating for damn near 10 grand more than the IMPORT. So its not impossible to make a low cost car, sure not 3 grand like the OP suggests but the American companies are not even trying.

        Its been over a decade since I bought a domestic car, and now that almost all the imports are being made in the USA, I get to have a quality product for a reasonable price without hearing the "dey took our jobs" horse shit.

        • by Teancum (67324)

          Keep in mind the magic "carbon tax credits" and other ways that the market is being skewed. I know of more than a few automobile manufacturers who sell their vehicles at a slight loss and make up for it with sales of pollution tax credits to luxury auto companies. Still, your point is well taken so far as an arguably better vehicle costing less than an inferior vehicle which is "made in America". It isn't a surprise that foreign auto companies have been making inroads into the America auto market for dec

      • by AK Marc (707885) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @06:45PM (#37585792)
        The regulations are expensive to comply with, but most serve a good purpose. What should have been done (blocked by the Big-3) would be to merge US regulations with EU and Japanese regulations so that a single regulation would apply everywhere. Instead, the US has deliberately invented incompatible regulations as protectionist matters to block good-selling EU cars from landing on US shores. Yay protectionism for failing industries at the expense of the citizens.
      • by zippthorne (748122) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @07:24PM (#37586000) Journal

        You're seriously making the claim that emissions standards are holding back cheap electric cars?

    • by Bobakitoo (1814374) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @06:08PM (#37585568)
      The Ford T has no air conditioner, seat belt, airbags, computer assisted direction and engine or sophisticated electronic gadget. The Ford T was essentially a golf cart, and 3000$ is about right for a modern electric gold cart. If you want a revolution, peoples will have to change what they are expecting from a automobile. We can't no longer afford a 'living room' on wheel. The automobile need to return to its minimalist roots and focus on getting us from point A to point B with the less power possible.
      • by Nethead (1563) <joe@nethead.com> on Sunday October 02, 2011 @06:31PM (#37585702) Homepage Journal

        I already drive a '93 Saturn SL1, how much lower can I go?

      • by frosty_tsm (933163) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @07:05PM (#37585912)

        The Ford T has no air conditioner, seat belt, airbags, computer assisted direction and engine or sophisticated electronic gadget. The Ford T was essentially a golf cart, and 3000$ is about right for a modern electric gold cart. If you want a revolution, peoples will have to change what they are expecting from a automobile. We can't no longer afford a 'living room' on wheel. The automobile need to return to its minimalist roots and focus on getting us from point A to point B with the less power possible.

        Clearly we think we can.

        What I'm tired of seeing are people with big vehicles of their own choosing (not out of necessity) who are weeping about gas prices. We Americans still have some of the cheapest gas in the world even though prices have doubled since 2004 (when I bought my first car and started really paying attention). But we expect to be able to buy a big SUV or minivan as soon as we have our first kids. Or lift our pickups and put mud tires on them. If we have had $5 gasoline, what prevents us from having $6 or $8 gas before it's time to get a new car?

      • by Burning1 (204959)

        We can't no longer afford a 'living room' on wheel. The automobile need to return to its minimalist roots and focus on getting us from point A to point B with the less power possible.

        A 50cc scooter will get you from point A to point B, making 100MPG. Has all the safety features of a Model T, too.

    • by haruchai (17472) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @06:18PM (#37585634)

      You clearly don't understand this is a luxury sedan and not an everyman car.
        How many years or decades was it from the introduction of the auto to the availability of the Model T? The price you quote for the Model T in 1925 is relatively accurate but the car had been in production for SEVENTEEN years by that time and its price of $850 in 1909 would be equivalent to about $22000 today
        Do you seriously think the availability of a low-cost EV will take the same length of time?

      • by tp1024 (2409684) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @06:51PM (#37585828)
        The availability of a low-cost EV has already taken more than its reasonable share of time. Actually, they should have been around for at least a decade.

        The Chinese have them. In fact, Daimler sued a Chinese car maker in 2006 for making a copy-cat Smart car with an electric engine and battery. And the Chinese had already been using electric cars for real since the mid 90ies. - Not that anybody cared or noticed back in the stagnated [wordpress.com] (that is, not developing) countries.

        The key is to understand, that electric cars have no market as luxury items unless and until they have been established as cars for everyday users. Before that, there just won't be the infrastructure it takes to make proper use of them. But in order to get to this point, they need a price point that makes it possible for people to use them as single-purpose vehicles, alongside the traditional ones. (E.g. getting one person and a suitcase to work and back)

        $3000-4000 for a light-weight two-person car with limited range (80km/50miles) and speed (below 80km/h or 50mph) is entirely possible to achieve. Weight, range, acceleration and speed are the main determinants of the size of the battery (and its weight!), which determines the price of the battery and thus the price of an electric car. Such a car could actually have reasonable charging times (One tenth the total capacity means one tenth the time to charge) and such a car could do some 90% of the driving for a lot of people. But because of the limited performance nobody is going to bother buying such a car unless it's really cheap. (Meaning: unless it has a price that makes it reasonable to buy without being an eco-freak.)

        But then again, you don't get to pay gas prices of $8/gal (as in Europe) until you realize that the USA will collapse if it continues to pretend that cheap oil is only a matter of military power.
        • There are two sides to the gas prices argument.

          The question nobody ever asks is this: Why is gas so much cheaper in the United States than everywhere else? The drilling is international. The costs are the same. The refining is the same. (Additives are different. I suspect that blending costs are HIGHER in the US than just about everywhere else, but ignore that for the moment.) Pipelines, storage tanks, gasoline tankers, and gas stations are the same everywhere.

          So why are Europeans paying twice as much

        • by haruchai (17472) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @08:15PM (#37586244)

          Until now, most of the car companies have been blocking the path of a mass-market EV that could compete. Chevron managed to scoop the NiMH patents and their subsidiary Cobasys won't accept any orders for car-sized batteries below 10k units. If you're going to travel above 25 mph, you can't be considered a low-speed vehicle anymore and you suddenly have to meet a lot of additional requirements for safety.

          And, yes, US attitudes against small, odd vehicles that can't do the 1/4 mile in 15 secs and cheap gas is a big factor.

        • by Malc (1751)

          I see quite a few REVAs [wikipedia.org] on the streets of London. It's been panned by the Jeremy Clarkson club, and it has a fairly limited range, but clearly it is selling. The mayor of London has been supporting electric car ideas [guardian.co.uk] for a while, and now he's pushing replacing the city's fleet of 22,000 taxis with zero-emission vehicles by 2020 [guardian.co.uk], which might mean electric vehicles. But as you say, the cost of petrol in the US isn't providing an incentive, and apparently nor is air quality, all compounded by the greater dr

    • by artor3 (1344997)
      So comparable to buying a used compact. Only today's compact gets at least twice as many miles per gallon, five times as much horse power, power steering, power brakes, air conditioning, a radio/cd player, seat belts, air bags, crumble zones, headlights that don't run on burning oil, a top speed above 40 mph, and the ability to start without using a fricken hand crank.

      There's a reason modern cars are more expensive. You are getting a much, much, <i>much</i> better product for your money. Abso
    • Consider this to be like the Peugeot Typ 19 [wikipedia.org], a luxury (for the time) that only a few could afford, and yet something that pushed the technology forward.

      In general it has to be invented before it can be mass produced at a low cost. Tesla is still in the invention stage.
    • I'm not sure we could build a Model T for $3K today, and consumers have higher exceptions than they did in 1925.

    • by Rei (128717)

      The Model T was introduced in late 1908. You're talking about where Tesla would be in nearly 2030.

      Back in 1908, the Model T cost $850, or over $20k today. But remember that the part count in such a vehicle was many orders of magnitude lower than that in a modern car. Here's what a 1908 Model T [hfmgv.org] looked like under the hood. Not much there! Also remember that the Model T was hardly the first gasoline car produced in America.

    • by morari (1080535)

      It worked great for the Volkswagen Beetle as well.

  • I remember all the claims Tesla motors made about the original sports car. Top Gear UK tested it and most of the performance claims turned out ot be less than 1/2. It was utter junk. I would like to see Top Gear (who I trust) test this new Tesla (who I no longer trust).

    • by Dan667 (564390)
      doubt that would happen. Top Gear was sued by tesla for pointing out what is common sense (among other inconsistent claims). Having to wait hours to charge a car defeats the whole purpose of having a car, freedom to go where you want when you want.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by AK Marc (707885)
        Top Gear lied on-air about the charge level, and extrapolated numbers that were provably false. But the lies weren't actionable because the right number of "might" and "would be" weasel words were added in to make it be an opinion presented as fact, and not an incorrect fact presented as fact.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
    • Re:Wait for Top Gear (Score:4, Informative)

      by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @06:09PM (#37585582) Homepage Journal

      You actually trust top gear to make a fair review? They are there to entertain you, not be accurate.

      You really need to get your facts somewhere else before you cast a judgement.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 02, 2011 @06:10PM (#37585592)

      I remember all the claims Tesla motors made about the original sports car. Top Gear UK tested it and most of the performance claims turned out ot be less than 1/2. It was utter junk. I would like to see Top Gear (who I trust) test this new Tesla (who I no longer trust).

      I love Top Gear, but you have to be pretty dumb to believe a review of an electric car done by someone who has on numerous occasions said he doesn't like them.

    • by Timmmm (636430)

      Seriously? The appearance on Top Gear was infamous for being unfairly staged! Top Gear hates electric cars!

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/mar/30/tesla-sue-top-gear [guardian.co.uk]

    • Re:Wait for Top Gear (Score:5, Informative)

      by bagorange (1531625) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @06:22PM (#37585650)

      Top Gear has a record of out and out faking when "reviewing" Tesla cars. As an entertainment show, I am not sure how much credence I would give them for any brand, when it comes to Tesla they are on record as lying.

      http://articles.businessinsider.com/2008-12-29/green_sheet/30080624_1_electric-car-drag-race-lotus-elise [businessinsider.com]

      Robert Llewellyn has pointed out that Top Gear's roadshows are sponsored by Shell (who are invested in hydrogen as the alternative fuel of the future) and that Top Gear has talked up the potential of hydrogen as superior to electric vehicles.

      Robert Llewellyn is of course a very vocal electric car advocate. I recommend his web series Carpool: just as entertaining as Top Gear, but in a different way.

      • by DMoylan (65079)

        he also has a podcast called fully charged that's worth watching. it's about electric/hybrid technology.

        http://www.youtube.com/user/fullychargedshow [youtube.com]

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      Top Gear purposefully devises tests to get a response the opposite of the useful truth. Note they got better mileage from an M3 than a Prius, mainly because of the test they devised. I expect that if the results were "expected" (the other way around with the Prius winning, they would never have aired it and nobody would know. Perhaps they even ran the test 100 times, changing the parameters every time until the more entertaining result was acheived. They don't independently test vehicles (like Car and D
    • Top Gear is full of shit.

      They have been caught staging events to make better (more interesting/sensational) TV.

      It's entertainment, not science.

  • How long will the battery last? It's all great and exciting, but if one has to replace a ridiculously expensive (10,000$+) battery every 5-6 years, this is a nonstarter.

    • by abhi_beckert (785219) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @06:20PM (#37585644)

      The Tesla Roadster has an expected battery life of 7 years, and you can pre-order a new one for $12,000 (it'll be delivered in 7 years).

      No doubt the prices for new batteries will have gone down by 7 years from now, and the Model S has a swappable battery (for those who don't want to wait for it to charge).

      Yes, this is an expensive car. But it's half the price of their previous car, and their next one is supposedly going to be cheaper again.

    • by pbjones (315127)

      battery life depends on use and charge cycle. normal driving/charging will give much more than 5-6 years use. for many drivers the fuel savings over 5-6 years would pay for new batteries twice over. Anyway, it's a premium car with a premium price, the buyer won't care.

      • by swalve (1980968)
        That's not true for Li Ion batteries, I don't think. At least when they are charged and discharged within their specs. They have a limited lifespan that is based mostly on heat and age. They start degrading the moment they are manufactured.
    • by AK Marc (707885)
      The batteries last about as long as a gasoline engine, and cost about the same to replace. The people bitching do so only because the graceful failure of batteries confuse them to thinking it's somehow preventable. In the same time, you'll spend the same on brake pads, oil and filter, and tires, but nobody even notices because the individual costs are lower and we expect those expenses. But a battery, oh no, fear the unknown and make up lies about the unknown!
      • The batteries last about as long as a gasoline engine

        I've never driven a car whose gasoline engine crapped out after only seven years.

        I don't even own a car that is less than 12 years old now, and all of them have engines that are in fine shape.

    • by Rei (128717) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @07:15PM (#37585958) Homepage

      Well, the Volt's pack is going to be *warrantied* for ten years, soo.... Plus, A) EV battery packs can often have parts of them replaced individually, and B) evne a reduced-capacity pack still has value (say, on grid load balancing)

      Battery life is always going to be limited by *design*. You can have any sort of lifespan you want out of a battery, from nanoseconds to tens of thousands of years. It's all about tradeoffs. The better the chemistry, the better the temperature regulation. the gentler the charge/discharge curve, the better the charge management, and the lower the depth of discharge range, the longer the lifespan, by orders of magnitude. As for Tesla's design approach:

        * Chemistry: nothing special -- same as in laptops
        * Temperature regulation: top notch -- a far cry from an unregulated battery pack sitting right next to your CPU.
        * Charge management: very good -- detailed computer monitoring and balancing of hundreds of individual subcomponents.
        * Charge curve: The most common case (~3.5 hours per full charge) is a little gentler than an average laptop charge. The mild case (a 120V socket) is exceedingly gentle. The rare case (fast charging on a long trip, ~1 hour) is worse than for most laptops.
        * Discharge curve: Unless the vehicle is being put through track duty, gentler than a laptop.
        * Depth of discharge: It's hard to generalize between laptops. Telsa does not charge to 100%, nor allow down to 0%, and the most common discharge case usually only uses a few tens of percents charge before recharging. So in general, well gentler than for a laptop.

      Different vehicles vary. The Leaf uses a better chemistry, but poorer temperature regulation. The Volt uses both a better chemistry and good temperature regulation.

  • Automation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by oberhaus (1004585) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @08:21PM (#37586274) Homepage
    Another big part of the Tesla story is automation. Check out today's post by Robert Scoble [google.com]:

    This is the future of American manufacturing. They can make anything. It's almost 100% vertically integrated, which means everything from plastics and metals to batteries, electronics, motors and component assembly is done here, with flexible multi-purpose robots. Every car can be different, with no retooling, because the robots can do anything. It's just software.

...when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. - Fred Brooks, Jr.

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