Story 2014-07-17 3QY Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

in hardware on (#3QY)
story imageTesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has revealed plans for a new electric BMW 3 Series rival, including its name - Tesla Model 3. There were rumours that a new smaller Tesla Gen III model was to be called Model E, but in one of his most candid interviews yet, Musk revealed why he had to have a rethink on the name.

Gizmodo thinks this model will be a game changer. Why? For starters: it's a consumer model, priced at $35,000 (a third the price of previous models), and the range is double previous models at 200 miles. Lastly, now that they're opening up the battery tech there is an overt effort to make sure you can charge one of these things anywhere, anytime. Check out the Gizmodo article for some breathless comparisons to Henry Ford's Model T. But it does look like getting a Tesla is about to become a much more obvious option for the casual consumer.
Reply 6 comments

Use the map, Luke! (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-07-17 11:51 (#2HF)

The most interesting thing about this article is the map showing how currently Tesla owners have to very carefully and strategically map their route 100 miles at a time from charging station to charging station. That is proof positive we've got some more work to do. I have no problem with an electric or hybrid car, but the economics are still not quite there. (Funny anecdote, I've got a friend with a degree in electrical engineering who works on submarines and drives one. He says, 'I'm probably the only guy on earth who knows more about how to repair one of these things than how to repair a car with a gasoline engine!)

I do however look forward to the day we can generate power otherwise and stop our dependence on Middle East oil. Then we can let that whole region just slide back into the obscurity from where it came.

Re: Use the map, Luke! (Score: 1, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-07-17 13:27 (#2HN)

I'm planning for this to be my next car. I don't really understand why the range is a huge problem. Any trip longer than 3-400 miles is more economical to fly, so you would need to charge once, maybe twice along the way. And after 200 miles of driving, I'm ready for a recharge too. I'll appreciate the time to eat and relax for a bit.

Or for the 4 times a year that I take a trip that long, maybe it is better to rent a traditional car.

Nissan Leaf (Score: 3, Informative)

by on 2014-07-17 15:03 (#2HR)

I have a Nissan Leaf that I use as my daily driver. I can go a respectable 70 miles per day around town on my normal 80% charge. Every night when I park it in the garage, I plug it into the standard 110V wall charger. Although I have the faster 220V charger, the charge time is never an issue as it charges overnight.

Because I still own my previous gas powered vehicle, I've never tried going on a road trip where I have to rely on third party charging stations. Living in San Antonio, for example, I would have to stop twice to get to the coast - each stop being several hours.

Re: Nissan Leaf (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-17 22:56 (#2HZ)

Guess it makes a good around-town or city car, but a lousy car for expeditions of any sort. Right tool for the right job then. It occurs to me: it's the Chromebook of cars. I don't mean that in a disrespectful way.

Re: Nissan Leaf (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-07-18 00:20 (#2J1)

I plug it into the standard 110V wall charger. Although I have the faster 220V charger
Is there an advantage to using the smaller charger? It seems odd to use it when you have the more powerful one.

Re: Nissan Leaf (Score: 2, Informative)

by on 2014-07-20 20:58 (#2KF)

Batteries last longer if they are charged slowly. I used to be a fan of radio controlled cars (the enthusiast kind, not the ones you find at Toys'r'Us.) You realize, quite early, that battery packs that you charge with the "quick 15 minute" charger loose potency much faster than the packs that you charge with the "slow overnight" charger. The same applies to the full scale electric vehicle batteries. In fact, the manual even warns that frequently using the extra quick charge ports that you find at 3rd party charging stations will degrade your battery.

Lithium Ion batteries also last longer if you do not constantly bring them to 100% and 0%. Ideally, just like in your cellphone or your laptop, you keep the charge in the nice middle area. The Leaf has a convenient "80%" button that stops the charge before the battery gets too full. The first low range warning beeps occur at around 16 miles remaining mark. Keeping the battery within the 20-70 mile zone limits the range a bit, but increases the life expectancy of the battery.