Skip to comments.“It’s A Brick” – Tesla Motors’ Devastating Design Problem ($40K battery replacement)
Posted on 02/22/2012 9:59:24 AM PST by fishtank
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He can only out run you for a little while then you will pass him as he sits out of juice on the side of the highway completely silent.
Out of Gas, half charge / No Mo Go left.
You know it Will Happen.
It won’t be an every day occurrence but it will happen.
Not only did I read the text, but my long technical background conditioned me to reject ambiguity in critical processes, and NEVER to rely on inferences.
That Tesla "added" something does not clearly report that it is a feature on just the most recent models sold, or they recalled all previously sold cars. See the problem?
Since the article didn't include anything to the contrary, one must assume that ALL cars sold are prone to the same failure, upgraded or not.
In addition, the "added" feature could well, have been powered by a small additional rechargeable battery, which could monitor anything for weeks if not months. Monitoring would not need to be continuous. Unless the main battery voltage drops like a rock off a cliff, brief ( less than one minute) monitoring every 6 or 12 hours may suffice.
I bought a Sears Diehard Security battery in the late 1990s. Main feature was a remote fob that disables the battery from starting the car. Secondary feature is that if the stored voltage dropped too low, then the battery stopped delivering power until the security fob was pressed. That way, you could still start the car if you ran the radio and accessories too long with the engine off.
Unfortunately, my remote fob died 5 years ago. Meanwhile, Sears had stopped selling the battery. Tried to get instructions on resetting the fob, with no success. I removed the security pack from the battery, and am still using the battery 12 years after buying it.
This old technology is what Tesla needs.
Isn't that about a verbatim repetition of Murphy's Law?
My personal "blond moment" happened within weeks of buying my Prius in 2003. I bought it as my personal hi tech toy, to explore its capabilities and new technology, etc., NOT to save money on gas (gas was around $1.50 at the time.) I was commuting 70 miles round trip daily, unfortunately on a stretch of I5 with widely separated communities with gas stations, and a very heavy count of large trucks; two lanes in each direction.
I wanted to check the mileage possible on a tankful of gas. The Toyota brochure trumpeted 600 miles between full tanks, and I was determined to check reality and compare it to advertising BS.
I ran out of gas a mile and a half from the next gas station. I learned two very important lessons that day.
First, when totally out of gas, regardless of anything else, the speed drops from 60 or 70 to around 45 in a matter of seconds (exciting, when in the faster of the two lanes, and bumper to bumper truck traffic.) Second, the battery powered the car exactly one mile, before shutting down completely. That was a test of the robustness of the main batteries, and the sophistication of the computerized system control software.
A third lesson, learned over the next few months, is that the Prius has a fuel guage system more primitive and less useful than a Model T ford. The bladder system used in the gas tank allows it to read "full" and shutting off the gas pump between 80 and 90% af actual "full." I routinely forced an extra 1 to 2 gallons topping off without spilling. A strange design flaw on the part of Toyota. A Yaris, purchased in 2008, has the identical problem.
Just for information, the Prius regenerative system might work, but it never did for me, because it relies on jackrabbit starts and stops. Not my style. As a result, I NEVER got higher mileage in the city, as advertised. My commuting history settled on around 47 mpg.
As an unexpected bonus, if ODumbo is reelected and we are faced with rationing, I will laugh as I will be assigned more gasoline than I would ever need. All the abuse that I have received from the muscle car and pickup truck crowd will be the source of constant Schandenfreude.
You’re obviously smarter than the Tesla boys and girls, they pay big bucks, and are located in beautiful Palo Alto, Cal.
I nominate you to go save them!
Constant abus? Just because it is an undertired, underbraked, underpowered, overpriced, overweight, auto.
They should have called the the Fantasy, Appeaser, or the Charade (Hyundai had that name first).
Whats funny is when I pass one I look inside the car and see someone who wants to stick their feet through the floorboard to make it go.
I'm astounded at this. ASTOUNDED, I tell you. Really, though, you leave your car at the airport for a few days and come back to a . . . brick? As I frequently say, I would laugh this off as the growing pains of a new technology if I wasn't being forced under pain of losing my house to help pay for it.
It's called the CRUZE ,, it's a decent car , it's less than half the Volts price ... and it gets up to 42mpg hwy ... in real life with extended mileage daily so the 25 miles of electricity doesn't distort the numbers ,,, they would both use equal amounts of gasoline.
“The Tesla Roadster is an intelligent vehicle. It warns the owner when the battery is low. The latest version of the Roadster can even alert Tesla itself if the battery level is too low. But apparently these owners decided to ignore those warnings and park their expensive electric cars for extended periods of time.”
Two time FIA World Touring Car Champ.
One could argue that the IQ test is whether or not to buy one of these expensive toys, and if you answer ‘yes’ - you fail.
With the Chevy Volt, you just use the gas engine to drive wherever you need to go. It’s just a hybrid like a Prius.
It means you cannot do something as simple as parking your electric car at the airport to take a two-week vacation.
You will return with a discharged battery, a dead car and a $40,000 liability.
One of the basic tenants of good engineering is that “No single mistake should warrant the death of the operator, or destruction of the device”.
Any way you cut this, this is sloppy engineering. It can be fixed by simply engaging an automatic cut-off at a low level, oh ... let’s call it “Critically Depleted” - where the battery will require recharging, but the car can not go another foot. Perhaps a nagging “Recharge” voice, repeating over and over “Recharge ... recharge ... recharge ...”.
Bricking a car, requiring the replacement of a $40,000 battery is utterly and completely inexcuseable.
I agree. Any tech that needs tax subsidies is by definition inefficient and not cost effective thus garbage. Any and every electric car is crap.
But even gasoline cars need to be started every so often. People who collect old cars drive them to keep them maintained.
a href=http://jalopnik.com/5887611/judge-throws-out-teslas-top-gear-libel-lawsuit>Judge Throws Out Teslas Top Gear Libel Lawsuit
Amidst the Tesla battery problem, comes news of a judgment from the UK courts again dismissing Tesla Motors' complaints and reiterating that Top Gear did nothing libelous or maliciously false in the program's review of the Tesla Roadster. See test --- HERE
Sometimes, life is all about timing.
This whole issue goes back to December 2008 when Top Gear aired a mixed review of the Tesla Roadster, praising it for its technological advancement and speed but critiquing it for its range and deficient brakes. Specifically, there was video of the crew pushing one of the two Tesla Roadsters they had into a hanger on the Top Gear test track as Jeremy Clarkson said this:
"This car was really shaping up to be something wonderful but then (artificial dying motor sounds and music slowing down and stopping) although Tesla say it was do 200 miles we have worked out that on our track it will run out after just 55 miles and if it does run out it is not a quick job to charge it up again."
Justice Tugendhat also made mention that what Tesla appears to want is a legal ruling saying Top Gear is a bunch of lying liars who lie, but that "rectification of inaccuracies is not a function of the courts unless that can be achieved in the course of proceedings properly brought to enforce a recognized course of action."
On Tuesday March 29 Tesla sued the BBC television programme Top Gear for libel and malicious falsehood.
When Top Gear reviewed the Tesla Roadster, the episode that aired contained lies and misinformation about the Roadsters performance, behaviour and reliability. Tesla reluctantly took legal action after its repeated attempts to contact the BBC, over the course of months, were ignored.
In the episode, Tesla Roadsters are depicted as suffering several critical breakdowns during track driving. Host Jeremy Clarkson concludes the episode by saying that the Roadster doesnt work.
Specifically, Tesla claims Top Gear misrepresented that:
The Roadster ran out of charge and had to be pushed into the Top Gear hangar by 4 men.
The Roadsters true range is only 55 miles per charge (not 211).
One Roadsters motor overheated and was completely immobilized as a result.
The other Roadsters brakes were broken, rendering the car undriveable.
That neither of the two Roadsters provided to Top Gear was available for test driving due to these problems.
On the otherhand we got THIS-—>>
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