Skip to comments.Interstate Tesla Service Stations: Business Idea?
Posted on 10/27/2009 6:26:23 AM PDT by dangus
I'm not in the position for making any huge investments, and this might be in the category of just plain ignorant, but I figure this proposal might at least prompt some interesting discussion, and if its plausible, someone should do it:
The Tesla gets about 220 miles per charge. Great... if you're going somewhere less than four hours away. But if the S-class (a $50,000 "family car") is going to be someone's main car, they're certainly going to want to take longer trips with it. The problem is the car takes 8 hours to charge with 110 volts. By doubling the voltage (220 volts), it can be charged in 4 hours. But that still means it's useless for driving the kids to see Gramma.
Question: Could an 880-volt super-charger be built that could charge the Tesla in an hour... roughly the time it takes to get a good highway meal. A network of electric-vehicle charging stations at interstate rest stations would be exactly what it would take to make Tesla competitive... and such a network could probably put a profitable surcharge on the electricity delivered.
What simple calculations are you referring to? Lithium batteries take 1 hour to charge. The Tesla simply uses a large array of lithium batteries. If one charge worth’s of electricity flows at 110V in 8 hours, the same amount should flow at 880V in 1 hour... providing you can safely transfer the electricity. My question, and I worded it as a question, (even adding “and this might be in the category of just plain ignorant”) was whether that could be done.
>> Over 220v, electricity becomes an extreme safety issue. You dont just double voltage in a family setting. Ditto for increasing current (an issue with fast-charging capacitors). <<
So maybe Tesla needs to design a compartmentalized battery? Sorry if this is really silly, but:
If this is 110 volts,
why can’t you do this?
and get 440 volts?
So could you have, say, four seperate power cables plugging into the Tesla?
440 volts is not four 110 volts in parallel. You’re confusing current with voltage.
Let’s put my concern this way:
Would you rather be dropped on your head onto concrete from 110 inches, or from 440 inches?
For safety, let’s add a mattress in the landing zone. The 110 inches now looks survivable. That 440 inches looking any better?
Now, in this context your suggestion is like being dropped 110 inches four times.
Put another way, you’re mixing up the difference between X*4 vs. X^4. (Being a bit-pusher, my electrical equations are rusty so I won’t go further.)
At 880V you would exceed the insulation rating of the energized equipment and destroy it with arcing faults.
Most electrical equipment is designed to a standard 600V (rms) rating.
Screw your ewlectric tonka toys!
If it doesn’t run on gasoline crush it!!!
Actually, the useful range of a gas Lotus is about the same as the Tesla. The Tesla runs out of battery charge and the Lotus needs a trip to the repair shop (usually with an electrical problem) after about the same number of miles.
There's a reason why homeowners ahouldn't try to tie in their houses to the utility lines and they're "only" 120V each. Short out one of those lines with a screwdriver and you'll have a stubby left (if you're lucky).
We would suggest that folks in California are already too busy driving along those hydrogen highways with their hydrogen stations that the Governator fell in love with rather than develop California boundless untouched oil reserves and allow innovation in oil on a level tax playing field with boondoggles.
I meant the calculations of cost to create these 880V charging stations for a new and extremely minor part of the market
There is an outfit called ZIP Cars that does just that- my son in D.C. has used them a number of times. You log on with your request and the response tells you where to pick up the vehicle. One time I drove him to the location, and there was the car sitting on a vacant lot on a side street.
So then what I’m proposing is entirely possible, since there are already 480V charging devices which Tesla has already conformed its engine to. All that needs happening is the concept of a charging station.
>> I meant the calculations of cost to create these 880V charging stations for a new and extremely minor part of the market <<
There wouldn’t have to be a lot. Just a station every hundred miles or so along the major (2-digit) interstates. And if there’s little demand, the stations could consist of a relatively small number of outlets.
Turns out the only thing wrong with my notion is I didn’t know what to query for before wondering if its already being done. With the responses of some of the more helpful people (I hadn’t recalled that voltage is logarithmic) I have found out the idea is already planned for by Tesla. All that remains is to build the stations, and the demand for them.
“The Model S takes three to four hours to charge using a 240-volt outlet, or as few as 45 minutes using a 480-volt outlet.”
So you can drive about 4 hours, grab lunch (45 minutes) at 1:00, drive 4 more, grab dinner at just before 6:00, drive 4 more and drive from Washington to Chicago in one day at 60 mph.
The stations need only be on major (numbered with 2 digits) interstates, and the size of the stations could be very highly scalable.
My guess is the electric car will make most of its impact as a commuter vehicle, not as a cruiser.
And this presumes that the price of electricity under
Crap N Tax will be reasonable relative to petroleum fuels.
Issues like this are why business in the US is so bad.
Nobody can plan what economics will be like after the Baraqqi surge is completed.
I agree the primary use of such a car is for commuting. But the truth is that regular folks don’t distinguish so sharply between cruisers and commuter vehicles. Any vehicle which is strictly one or the other would flop in the market, especially one that costs so much and relies on heavy usage to be cost effective.
Yes, and that’s why I only mentionned Tesla. But my guess is that given the fuel savings, when people stop at the internet rest stops for meals, they’ll probably want to juice up their Fisker, too.
The Volt is increasingly facing long odds.
So, you want to build infrastructure for a company that has sold to date what? Maybe 1000 cars total? A service station owner could buy one of these super chargers if they could be built and live his entire life on a busy interstate and never ever even see a tesla pull into his station, let alone need a charge.
Good luck with that.