Tag Archives: batteries

Tesla Feature Story Assignment

*this assignment lost its three column formatting and quotes when posting to WordPress.

It was one of those first winter storms that rolled into the coast, drenching Victoria and surrounding areas in heavy rains that blew at you from all angles, obliterating umbrellas, prompting boil water advisories, and knocking out power. Chris Marks needs to get to an important meeting within an hour and he has nobody scheduled to drive him in his wheelchair van, he can take two buses although he is not sure what number the connecting one should be. So he dons his winter jacket, rain poncho, Southwester rain hat and heads off to the meeting thinking, “I cannot wait until Tesla finally releases the fully autonomous vehicle on the market”.

 

Chris can drive but does not because of a spinal injury 10 years ago that left him quadriplegic. He had taken driving lessons after the spinal injury and determined that the random, severe, muscle spasms that can be associated post injury would be too risky for him to drive himself. He has been closely following the progress of Tesla Motors and their fully electric vehicles; just last month, Tesla wirelessly bestowed an advanced autopilot feature into all their newer model cars in North America, overnight. This is widely viewed as the first step toward fully autonomous vehicles which Google and others are working on although Elon Musk of Tesla Motors predicts it will be getting this technology out to the public by 2017 or 2018; Google predicts 2020.

 

Chris’s decision to not pursue getting his license post injury means he travels by his electric wheelchair at up to 14 km/h, usually in a bicycle lane as sidewalks are too bumpy and unpredictable at that speed for a wheelchair. Being a student gives him a bus pass with good coverage in city limits that is diminished the evenings, Sundays, and at his main campus 8.5 km away from downtown. He has a modified van that accepts his wheelchair but has to schedule somebody with a valid driver’s license for a minimum of two hours, even if he just needs a 15 minute ride. To own an autonomous vehicle that can pull up to him when he calls it, take him safely to his destination, and then return him back home comfortably has seemed like science fiction in the future that is now becoming fact.

After a spinal injury, many people find creative ways to regain independence, with varying levels of success. Just modifying a zipper so that it can be used by somebody without the ability to grip lets someone unzip their coat a bit if they get too hot and zip it up if they are cold. The level of freedom, autonomy, dignity and independence that a self-driving vehicle represents is only a few levels below an actual cure for spinal injury.

 

It is not just Chris who will benefit from this technology, but the elderly, injured, developmentally delayed, and/or physically challenged demographic could see a revolution in their level of autonomy and independence. Families, business people, delivery services, taxis and transportation companies are all in line to be transformed by the introduction of self-driving cars.

The level of freedom this represents cannot be understated for many people. Having constantly different drivers increases Chris’s insurance costs, wear and tear on the vehicle, and stress levels. Some say that the autonomously driving cars being tested by Google for the last five years are already safer than humans, don’t get tired or fatigued or text while driving and will be embraced by the insurance companies. The only dings in his $60,000 wheelchair van were from an ex-girlfriend, not an employee but there were a couple employee related collisions in the past with inanimate objects like a wall in a parkade.

Some people remain skeptical of technology and may not want to trust their lives to a computer system that could possibly be as prone to randomly freezing up as an old version of Windows. Chris has been following leading edge technology in robotics, graphene and quantum computing, and of course, self-driving cars. Chris was excited about Tesla motors before he even heard there were pushing toward autonomous vehicles simply because they are all electric. His electric wheelchair goes pretty slow by bicycle or wheelchair standards but is sleek, fast, and high-performance by walking metrics. Chris likes to point out that the advances in battery construction necessary to power Tesla’s fleet will put high density lithium-ion batteries within reach of people who need them; when the distance you can go that day depends upon battery life, then battery technology can contribute to quality of life.

Victorians are usually smug about their good weather on the coast comparing themselves to Hawaii or Florida versus the rest of Canada that often gets unthinkably cold snaps and snowdrifts that can keep many people shut in for many of the winter months. Many like Chris dream of a safe, all-wheel-drive, self-driving vehicle that can get you where you need to go any time of any day like a cross between a chauffeur and a designated driver that never takes a day off.  For now, regular articles and press releases and news stories documenting the progress of autonomous vehicles to market are read with increasing interest. These are not popular mechanics articles written 20 or 50 years in the future, the technology exists today and is working and undergoing continuous refinement. With winter coming back to the coast in a wet, blustery onslaught of low pressure storms and high pressure freezing periods, Chris continues navigating the bus, covered areas in which to stay dry and scheduling helpers that scare him the least to drive him and his teenager around when necessary. The future may be here, and yet it cannot come soon enough for Chris.

 

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Tesla Fact Sheet

Tesla Motors Canada                                                                                                                                              

Toll free: (888) 51-TESLA or (888) 518-3752

Local: (650) 681-5100

Night: (650) 681-5101

NASales@teslamotors.com

November 03, 2015

Tesla Motors Fact Sheet

As of November 3, 2015, Tesla is trading at $210.70 per share.

Tesla Motors started in 2003 with the goal, “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport” (Tesla Motors, 2015).

  • Tesla launched the Tesla Roadster in 2008.
  • Tesla roadster boasts 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds with 245 miles per charge.
  • Tesla sold more than 2400 roadsters in 30 countries.

 

The Tesla Model S was launched in 2012.

  • The Model S has room for seven passengers and 64 ft.³ of storage space.
  • 0 to 60 mph in about five seconds.
  • The Model S has a Low, stable center of gravity, with 255 miles per charge.

~More~

  • “Model S was named Motor Trend’s 2013 Car of the Year and achieved a 5-star safety rating from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(Tesla Motors, 2015).
  • The Model S was the first electric vehicle to ever receive Motortrend’s Car of the Year Award – one of the most coveted in the automobile industry(Dua, 2015).
  • The Model S currently holds two major titles – the lowest drag coefficient of any production car, and the largest panoramic sunroof of any production car(Dua, 2015).

 

Tesla Motors released much of its patent information into the public domain in order to jumpstart the fully electric vehicle market (Musk, 2014).

In 2014, CEO Elon Musk unveils new configurations of the Model S.

  • The 85D and P85D give the Model S unparalleled handling and control.
  • The P85D accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds and is the, “fastest four-door production car ever made”(Tesla Motors, 2015).

 

Tesla motors has over 50,000 vehicles on the road and in 2015 launched the Model X, a crossover vehicle.

  • Model X has gullwing doors and three rows of seating.

~More ~

Tesla is currently developing the Model 3, a mass-market affordable electric vehicle set to be introduced to market by 2017.

  • Tesla has a network of superchargers across North America and expanding around the world, for longer journeys.
  • Currently there are 536 charger stations with 3053 superchargers.
  • Tesla’s superchargers can produce up to 270 km of range in as little as 30 minutes.

 

Tesla partners with Panasonic and other companies to build a gigafactory in Nevada that will produce the entire planet’s capacity worth of lithium-ion batteries circa 2013.

  • The gigafactory is scheduled to be operational by 2017 with full capacity by 2020.
  • Tesla introduces the PowerWall for home energy storage.
  • Powerwall deliveries are slated to begin late 2015.

#####

 

 

 

Works Cited

Dua, S. (2015, 10 27). What-are-some-mind-blowing-facts-about-Tesla-Motors. Retrieved from Quora: https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-mind-blowing-facts-about-Tesla-Motors

Musk, E. (2014, June 12). all our patent are belong to you. Retrieved from Tesla motors.com: http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/all-our-patent-are-belong-you

Petty, A. (2015, October 3). Tesla-Nissan-Chevy-jumpstart electric vehicle market. Retrieved from The Piedmont Highlander: http://tphnews.com/2013/04/tesla-chevrolet-nissan-jumpstart-electric-vehicle-market

Tesla Motors. (2015, November 3). About. Retrieved from Tesla motors.com: http://www.teslamotors.com/en_CA/about

Tesla Motors. (2015, October 3). Supercharger. Retrieved from Tesla motors.com: http://www.teslamotors.com/en_CA/supercharger

 

*School Assignment

 

 

Tesla Backgrounder

Tesla Motors Canada                                                                                                                                              

Toll free: (888) 51-TESLA or (888) 518-3752

Local: (650) 681-5100

Night: (650) 681-5101

NASales@teslamotors.com

November 3, 2015

 

Tesla Motors was not started by Elon Musk, but it was jumpstarted by him. He is currently a cofounder of Tesla Motors, Chairman of SolarCity, CEO of Space X, and got his start by developing Zip2, a web software company, and co-founded X.com which later became PayPal and was bought by eBay (Contributors, 2015).

Before Tesla Motors, the North American, and global automotive industry seemed stuck in the old paradigm of internal combustion engines using fossil fuels. There was little innovation and hope for an exciting, fossil fuel free future was harder to envision. Tesla Motors has jumpstarted the global electric vehicle industry with all other major manufacturers following suit (Petty, 2015).

Tesla Motors is named after Nikola Tesla’s and the motors using the vehicles are direct descendents of Nikola Tesla’s original 1882 alternating current electric motor design (Contributors, Tesla Motors, 2015).

~More~

 

Tesla Motors was incorporated in July 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning and Elon joined the Board of Directors and led the first round of investment funding in 2004. Elon contributed $70 million of his own money and help secure five rounds of funding to keep the company alive until it announced its first profit in 2009 (Contributors, Tesla Motors, 2015).

 

In 2009 Tesla received 465 million in interest-bearing loans and in 2013 was the first car company to repay the government where Ford and Nissan etc. had not (Contributors, Tesla Motors, 2015).

On June 29, 2010 Tesla made an initial public offering at $17 per share; as of November 3, 2015, Tesla is trading at $210.70 per share.

Tesla Motors has a strong fan base and customers report a 98% satisfaction rate and they would happily buy another Tesla (Edelstein, 2015). Tesla also comes out on top in customer repair satisfaction surveys (DeMorro, 2015), and was given the highest safety rating and may be the safest vehicle ever tested to date and in fact broke the testing equipment (Lavrinc, 2015).

 

~More~

 

Tesla is doing more than just building luxury supercars at a fraction of the price, they are building a network of superchargers, a gigafactory that will nearly double the world’s output of lithium-ion batteries and help lower the price  as well as complement their residential and commercial Powerwall energy storage initiatives (Tesla Motors, 2015). With the success of Space X supplying the international space station and the overall success of Tesla Motors to date, it would be a mistake to underestimate Elon Musk and Tesla.

Other distinguishing features of Tesla Motors is the giant touchscreen that the vehicles use as an interface and the ability for Tesla Motors to push out software upgrades to its fleet all at once, overnight, while you sleep. Recently, Tesla Motors upgraded their Model S and Model X vehicles wirelessly to utilize the pre-existing hardware installed that allows the vehicles to access an advanced cruise control. This is seen as a precursor to fully autonomous vehicles which are predicted to hit the market as early as 2017 according to Elon Musk and 2020 according to Google.

While the future is always uncertain, the enthusiasm of Tesla’s owners and supporters along with the consistent top 10 ratings in customer satisfaction, safety, and performance seem to indicate a bright future (Autoblog, 2015).

 

~End~

 

Works Cited

Autoblog. (2015, October 27). car and driver 10 best lists Tesla. Retrieved from Autoblog: http://www.autoblog.com/2014/11/21/car-and-driver-10best-list-tesla-model-s-bmw-2-series/

Contributors. (2015, October 3). Elon Musk. Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elon_Musk

Contributors. (2015, October 3). Tesla Motors. Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Motors

DeMorro, C. (2015, October 3). Tesla tops Consumer Reports repair satisfaction survey. Retrieved from Gas 2: http://gas2.org/2015/02/05/tesla-top-consumer-reports-repair-satisfaction-survey/

Edelstein, S. (2015, October 3). tesla-model-s-tops-consumer-reports-customer-satisfaction-index-again. Retrieved from Green Car Reports.com: http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1095745_tesla-model-s-tops-consumer-reports-customer-satisfaction-index-again

Lavrinc, D. (2015, October 3). Tesla model S crash test. Retrieved from wired.com: http://www.wired.com/2013/08/tesla-model-s-crash-test/

Petty, A. (2015, October 3). Tesla-Nissan-Chevy-jumpstart electric vehicle market. Retrieved from The Piedmont Highlander: http://tphnews.com/2013/04/tesla-chevrolet-nissan-jumpstart-electric-vehicle-market

Tesla Motors. (2015, November 3). About. Retrieved from Tesla motors.com: http://www.teslamotors.com/en_CA/about

Tesla Motors. (2015, October 3). Supercharger. Retrieved from Tesla motors.com: http://www.teslamotors.com/en_CA/supercharger

 

How to Tesla: Better, faster, greener, farther, and smarter every day.

  • You wake up in the morning and get ready for your day, step outside and get into your Tesla. It is waiting for you where you told it to be, with the temperature where you like it, your favorite music or radio station on, and it drives better today than it did yesterday thanks to the overnight wireless upgrade.

If you are reading this then you have probably already heard of Tesla Motors somewhere and you may know that they are all electric, “may be the safest vehicle ever tested“, can accelerate insanely fast, and they have jumpstarted the electric vehicle market globally.

But it gets better.

Tesla’s blog reveals That their vehicles, improve “while you sleep. When you wake up, added functionality, enhanced performance, and improved user experience make you feel like you are driving a new car“. The vehicle communicates in real time with the growing network of supercharging stations while simultaneously working with trip planning software to figure out the fastest and most convenient route to your destination. Your vehicle automatically calculates the best supercharging station on your route (which are free for life), and while you are sleeping downloads automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, side collision warning, and valet mode to complement its autopilot feature.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says that within two years they will get 1000 km on a single charge and be able to drive fully autonomously, within three years.

Entering the SUV crossover market with its gullwing doors, all-wheel-drive, seating for seven adults, low and stable center of gravity, the newly released Model X  again changes what is thought possible for electric vehicles. Many believe the real game changer will come with the $35,000 electric vehicle set to be able to be order-able in March 2016 and manufactured in 2017 once the gigafactory, and other manufacturing pieces are in place.

Does your vehicle currently improve itself while you are sleeping? Do you wake up with a full tank every morning? Would you like too? What are you waiting for?

You don’t have to wait, this is how to Tesla today.

P85D video.

Wait But Why Weighs In; This Guy Gets It.

Purely a Re-blog, all the things I’ve been trying to say and more in one blog post.

Excerpt:

The battle going on isn’t about gas cars vs. electric cars. That one’s already decided. This is a war about time. Oil companies will try to slow things down, and they may succeed—but they’re not winning this one“.

A long read, and so worth it.

So good.

Oil vs Solar Whitepaper.

Introduction:
Solar vs. Fossil Fuel; how long until solar renders Fossil Fuels obsolete?
When will battery and solar technologies be able to compete with conventional energies?

  • “Solar will account for over 40 percent of new electricity generating capacity in the U.S. [in 2015]… More than 250,000 solar projects will be completed this year” (Kann, 2015).
  •  Battery technology is set to get cheaper (Hiatt, 2015).
  •  Home solar can stabilize the grid (Fairly, Feb).
  •  Hemp based graphene super-capacitors promise to reduce battery costs (Hiatt, 2015).
  •  Despite this, Big oil seems to want to burn it all (COHAN, 2014),

Background:
The price of oil is subject to dramatic variations historically and recently, as anybody who has paid any attention to world news can attest.

  •  Oil impacts our daily life with the cost of gasoline and other products and oil “extracted per day has increased from 66 million barrels in 1990 to around 87 million barrels in 2010” (Ahmad Ahmadian, 2013).
  •  Currently, oil supplies are at their “highest levels in 80 years” with crude down to under $50 a barrel (Morrison, 2015). Despite this, in the local market, gas prices have inched back up from $.96 per liter at the end of January to $1.129/L on February 27, 2015 in Victoria BC, according to Victoriagasprices.com.
  • This price volatility and seeming disconnect between the world price of a barrel of oil and the local price of a liter of gas is a huge source of cognitive dissonance for consumers.
  • According to NASA , atmospheric carbon was higher in 2014 that it has been for the previous 650,000 years and the scientific evidence shows that, “large changes in climate have happened very quickly, geologically-speaking: in tens of years, not in millions or even thousands” (NASA, 2015). This means that the time to act is now, but how?

 

CO2

This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO2 has increased since the Industrial Revolution. (Credit: Vostok ice core data/J.R. Petit et al.; NOAA Mauna Loa CO2 record.) (NASA, 2015).
Looking for a better way, the race worldwide to lessen dependence upon fossil fuels is in full swing with solar power and battery technology developments being reported regularly as any Google search will show.

Solution:
Green energy solutions include wind, tidal, geothermal, and solar, as well as energy storage solutions and power grid stabilization. This white paper will focus primarily on solar and battery storage technology as an increasingly viable solution to the challenges faced by modern society.

  • Solar is feasible today, and will get more so in the future as, “the largest proportion of costs occurs during deployment rather than generation, contrary to coal and natural gas power plants. In other words, the opportunities to achieve economies of scale are greater during the solar PV manufacturing stage than at the generating site itself” (Mahdi Yaqub, 2012).
  • Recent breakthroughs in solar technology promise a grid parity future sooner than later and, “[a] new type of solar cell, made from a material that is dramatically cheaper to obtain and use than silicon, could generate as much power as today’s commodity solar cells (Bullis, news, 2013).
    Presented neutrally, Solar vs. Oil facts seem to lead toward Solar:
Solar Oil
Energy derived directly from the sun Energy derived from fossil fuel
Energy source will never be exhausted in our lifetime Energy source is finite and located in only certain locations in the earth
Energy must be converted into electricity or heat using solar converters such as photovoltaic cells, thermal cells, mirrors, or ovens. Energy must be converted into electricity or heat by the use of converters that use fire to burn the oil, such as: turbines, engines, and fire
Energy can be used directly Energy cannot be used directly
Converters are passive and once commissioned will operate for years without maintenance Converters are active and have several moving parts. These will require extensive maintenance to operate for extended periods
Energy is only directly available during the periods of sunshine Energy is available at all times as long as the fuel is available
Amount of energy decreases as the latitude increases The amount of energy produced is not a function of the location at which it is being used
Zero pollutions is produced by the converters Significant amount of pollution is produced by the use of fossil fuel
Zero health effects from the use of the solar converters The pollutions from the use of oil may cause respiratory and other health hazards
Energy produced by the converters may be stored in batteries, vats and hot water tanks No storage medium needed
Converters for transportation is limited as few electric vehicles are on the market Oil is the primary fuel for transportation
The levelized cost of energy for solar systems is now comparable to that of oil The levelized cost of energy for oil systems is now comparable to that of solar
The cost to install a solar system requires a capital expenditure The cost to install a new oil electric plant is much larger than a solar plant but most oil plants have already been established and operational
Solar electric plants are the only systems that can be developed and installed on any scale, small, medium of large Oil electric plants require extensive capital and are often only used for medium and large scale systems
Solar plants are the simplest to be installed and used the least amount of parts Oil plants are often significantly complicated and requires extensive training to develop

Source: http://www.wcpsolar.com/solar-talk/41-oil-vs-solar
Conclusion:

  • Although not fully functional yet, Tesla’s home storage batteries are set to power your home in the near future and maybe allow you to sell power back to the grid (Fung, 2015).
  • A material that can make solar dirt cheap, perovskites, is gaining traction:
    ““Between 2009 and 2012 there was only one paper. Then in the end of the summer of 2012 it all kicked off,” Snaith says. Efficiencies quickly doubled and then doubled again. And the efficiency is expected to keep growing as researchers apply techniques that have been demonstrated to improve the efficiency of other solar cells” (Bullis, News, 2013).
  • Tesla has released its electric vehicle patents in an effort to jump start the industry (Solomon, 2014) and is building a gigafactory that will single handedly produce more electric vehicle battery packs by 2020 than the entire world supply in 2013, and lower vehicle battery pack wholesale price 30% by 2017 (Tesla, 2013).

Solar is the future; the future is now.


Works Cited

Ahmad Ahmadian, A. H. (2013, December 01). The Impact of Oil Price Fluctuations on the Automobile Industry. International Journal of Business & Economics Perspectives. Access via library:http://libsecure.camosun.bc.ca:2078/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=db1480fa-6402-4d4a-86f3-77065ccfdc5f%40sessionmgr4003&vid=3&hid=4213, p. 02.

Bullis, K. (2013, August 08). news. Retrieved from Technologyreview.com: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/517811/a-material-that-could-make-solar-power-dirt-cheap/

COHAN, W. D. (2014, December 29). BIG OIL WANTS TO BURN IT ALL. THE NATION, pp. Accessed via: http://libsecure.camosun.bc.ca:2078/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=a713838e-fea1-46a0-9ec1-391a0d22881f%40sessionmgr110&vid=4&hid=113.

Fairly, P. (Feb, 2015). How Rooftop Solar Can Stabilize The Grid. North American, http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=7024493.

Fung, B. (2015, Febuary 12). blogs. Retrieved from washingtonpost.com: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2015/02/12/this-new-tesla-battery-will-power-your-home-and-maybe-the-electric-grid-too/

Hiatt, E. (2015, Feb 25). Hemp Supercapacitors — Cleaner, Greener Battery Components. Retrieved from Reset.Me: http://reset.me/story/hemp-supercapacitor/

Kann, S. (2015, Feb 23). shayle-kanns-solar-predictions. Retrieved from greentechmedia.com: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/shayle-kanns-solar-predictions

Mahdi Yaqub, S. S. (2012). Feasibility Analysis of Solar Photovoltaic. Engineering Management Journal. Via Camosun Library: http://libsecure.camosun.bc.ca:2078/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=9e38fdd1-7059-49c5-a33f-f8cd9df96ef2%40sessionmgr4004&vid=6&hid=4213, 12.

Morrison, M. (2015, February 27). Canadian Dollar up amid Rising Oil Prices. Retrieved from Global News.ca: http://globalnews.ca/news/1854513/canadian-dollar-up-amid-rising-oil-prices/

NASA. (2015). Nasa. Retrieved from Causes: http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

Solomon, B. (2014, 12 06). Brian Solomon. Retrieved from Forbes.com: http://www.forbes.com/sites/briansolomon/2014/06/12/tesla-goes-open-source-elon-musk-releases-patents-to-good-faith-use/

Tesla. (2013). Gigafactory.pdf. Retrieved from Teslamotors.com: http://www.teslamotors.com/sites/default/files/blog_attachments/gigafactory.pdf