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smc
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Seems if you let the batteries fully discharge(ie forget to charge them for a couple weeks[the car has lots of parasitic loss], or just use an extension cord not up to the task), the car turns into a brick. Wheels lock. $40,000 for a new battery, not covered by warranty. Lots of pissed owners.

So to prevent the oncoming PR fiasco, Tesla Motors has been secretly monitoring the vehicles and driving habits without the knowledge of the owners. That's sure to smooth things over.

http://jalopnik.com/5887265/tesla-motors-devastating-design-problem

It takes six weeks for the batteries to irreparably drain from a full charge, but one week if you drive the car hard and park it.

2/22/2012 2:28:04 PM

y0willy0
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imagine that-

you neglect a car and something goes wrong with it.

these are stupid people, and the fine for being stupid is 40k.

kthxbai

2/22/2012 2:34:17 PM

smc
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IC engines don't self-destruct if you leave them parked while you go on vacation.

2/22/2012 2:40:26 PM

sumfoo1
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yeah... you have to go on vacation for months...

it's really rich people that bought it, parked it and didn't use it thinking that they would save money... or make money flipping it.

2/22/2012 2:59:34 PM

dustm
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LiPo batteries used in r/c stuff now will be damaged if they are stored without a full charge, or if they get discharged too low during use.

Of course then there are NiCd, which will lose capacity if you DON'T discharge them all the way before charging.

I don't see why its any surprise that the batteries need to be handled carefully/specifically for best performance (or to not ruin it).

I'm on the 'duh' boat

2/22/2012 3:03:48 PM

CaelNCSU
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If you forget to replace your timing belt or change the oil the wheels lock too

I'm supposed to be renting one this weekend. I don't understand all the hate for both the Tesla and the Volt. It's like the oil companies and aftermarket car parts suppliers are getting together to fuck anyone doing something new and exciting.

2/22/2012 3:04:00 PM

y0willy0
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yes this is essentially in the same category as driving your car without oil or coolant.

fuck these guys-

they bought it as a novelty not giving 2 seconds thought to how it was REALLY different from any other car.

2/22/2012 3:05:52 PM

smc
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The new Tesla X is being called an "overweight DeLorean". Ouch.

Anyway, they'll be out of business in a couple years and none of these cars will be drivable by 2020.

2/22/2012 3:13:40 PM

theDuke866
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^^^

My beef is that they took a perfectly good Elise, then fucked it up and doubled the price.

2/22/2012 5:27:10 PM

DoeoJ
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nice of them to stalk your car too

2/22/2012 6:26:40 PM

e36turbo
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Imagine that - a cutting edge, near first-of-its-kind vehicle has its quirks.

One of which being you are not an idiot.

Advancing technology is haaardd.

2/22/2012 6:43:47 PM

smc
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2/22/2012 8:06:25 PM

arghx
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This is an oversight from their engineers caused by insufficient real-world testing and customer studies. It is a direct result of this being a small company effort. They cut corners because they are on a tight development and testing budget. You should see the kind of studies Toyota and Nissan have undergone while evaluation the Prius Plug-in, the M35 hybrid, and the leaf.

I guarantee you there are ways to address these concerns: some kind of "hibernation" or "travel mode" that could be introduced probably be introduced in software. It costs development hours and would require reflashing one or more control modules--except there is no dealer network and there are PR issues at hand. State-of-charge control logic is under heavy developed by the major electric/hybrid projects. I would be very surprised if a Leaf or Volt has this problem.

Don't blame the owners. They bought the vehicle on the promise that it is a "regular car" that just needs to be plugged in.

2/22/2012 9:05:37 PM

arghx
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Just thinking more about this... mistakes that Tesla made (probably in an effort to save money)

1: did not do sufficient customer studies to see how and when someone would leave the vehicle sitting for 2+ months

2: did not sufficiently educate customers about the issue, possibly to avoid bad PR

3: did not develop any kind of manual switch or control sequence to engage a "hibernation mode"

4: did not develop a viable rationality model to determine whether the batteries were actually being charged (to avoid the extension cord/crappy charging issue).

Normally when you have a critical component you have to build a model inside the control module to make sure that it is actually working. "Regular" vehicles have a bunch of these: catalyst monitor, misfire monitor, fuel system monitor. They are required by California regulations among other things. Clearly Tesla did not develop a state-of-charge rationality model and then implement it in a way that prevents this problem from occuring.

What the model would do is examine how all the other systems should behave when the vehicle is charging properly, then engage a failsafe if it doesn't pass the test. They need to do that in such a way that it doesn't drain the battery by constantly running the model. If they had done a sufficient customer use study they would have planned for the rationality model in their battery management strategy and in the procurement of their control modules. But they didn't.

It's corner cutting. They got away with it because they don't have CARB on their ass, requiring them to submit a diagnostic monitor test report for it like emissions equipment on a regular car. I'm sure they have all sorts of exemptions and other back-room deals in their favor.

[Edited on February 22, 2012 at 9:19 PM. Reason : .]

2/22/2012 9:12:38 PM

sumfoo1
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Sad thing is, even the motor controller on my rc helicopter knows this.

I do think it's being blown out of proportion and a do not think cars should be idiot proofed ( we are seriously damaging our society by doing that) I do think ther should be a warning on it in the owners manual the same way service intervals are listed in it.


I also think it would have been best if they put a battery saver in the cod of the few computers gradually draining the batteries.


My last question is this : WHAT THE FUCK IS STILL RUNNING THAT DRAWS THAT MANY AMPS?

I had a partial short in the radio on my car and with a healthy battery it took 3 days to drain the battery a d mine is only rated for 45 amp-hours the teslas battery pack is FIFTY THREE THOUSAND WATT HOURS. What the hell are they leaving on that can come even close to draining that much power even if used to 10% above damaged battery level that's still 5300 watt hours left what sort of "standby system" can drain that in under a couple months??

2/22/2012 9:38:33 PM

Air
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I cant believe some of the people claiming that this is the customers fault. For that price range and that market, the lack of engineering and testing done by Tesla is unacceptable.

I bet that they have software issues to be drawing that kind of current. I mean, most modern cars draw a ton of current while awake (e70/71 have 13 modules which draw in excess of 80amps when they are all on IIRC)... but without a alternator, this level of current draw is not a good idea. Especially when the Tesla has no need for most of the modules. It has to be a software issue where a basic module does not shut down, or keeps cycling on and off.

I just did a current draw on my 98 trans am, which has a BCM and a PCM that stay awake after the car is off for a period of time. Even with both modules awake, it was drawing less than 1 amp.

derp derp tesla. get your shit and get the fuck out

2/22/2012 10:07:58 PM

CaelNCSU
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Quote :
"I do think it's being blown out of proportion and a do not think cars should be idiot proofed ( we are seriously damaging our society by doing that) I do think ther should be a warning on it in the owners manual the same way service intervals are listed in it."


As someone who at least partly specializes in usability can tell you. The first rule of usability is that no one reads. The second is that it's never the users fault. If your design sucks so bad as to require directions then you failed. The perfect example of this is a door. A door should never ever have to have directions. It can be in only one of 2 states: open or closed.

http://www.amazon.com/Design-Everyday-Things-Donald-Norman/dp/0385267746

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/uibook/chapters/fog0000000062.html

No one would ever design a reactor that had such a catastrophic failure if the batteries ran out

2/22/2012 11:01:39 PM

smc
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Yeah, I think this could have been avoided as well. The computer already monitors battery condition, according to the article. Instead of phoning home status reports to the company the car should just shut down and avoid completely draining the battery.

There should also be a manual override to let the car roll/be pushed instead of having to drag the tires onto rollbacks.

If they've overlooked these simple things there's no way I'd trust them to design the rest of the car. (Thankfully Lotus designed most of the car.)

Maybe Nissan will do better, but the lack of quick recharging will still hamper EV's for years to come. Maybe if they standardized batteries and you could just swap them out at any gas station like propane tanks, haha...

[Edited on February 22, 2012 at 11:23 PM. Reason : .]

2/22/2012 11:18:14 PM

CaelNCSU
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^

Tesla is planning on doing battery swap, and Nissan has a 500V quick charger. I thought Tesla had the quick charge, but could be mistaken.

2/22/2012 11:20:14 PM

smc
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Considering the batteries cost $40 grand and how sensitive they apparently are to proper charging habits, I'm not sure I'd personally be comfortable swapping in some other battery pack that a previous customer might have abused.

^Yeah Tesla probably has a quick charge, but I mean "quick" as in less than 2 hours. Preferably 5 minutes, which is what the competition can do.

[Edited on February 22, 2012 at 11:27 PM. Reason : .]

2/22/2012 11:25:43 PM

Skack
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Quote :
"Maybe if they standardized batteries and you could just swap them out at any gas station like propane tanks, haha..."


That's pretty much what Better Place is working on. You would be able to charge the cars using a normal EV charger at home or at work, but gas stations would have a machine similar to an automatic car wash that you pull into and get a battery swap to enable long distance travel.
http://www.betterplace.com/

[Edited on February 23, 2012 at 9:19 AM. Reason : s]

2/23/2012 9:18:49 AM

jsausley
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This is why stupid people shouldn't buy stupid cars.

2/23/2012 10:24:51 AM

CarZin
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While I am not coming to the rescue of Tesla, I dont see what the fuss is about. If you run your car out of oil, the engine will fail. Keeping a battery charged is part of the maintenance of an electric vehicle. Seems amazingly obvious. I only feel bad for these people if they were not warned ahead of time.

I doubt this is keeping many tesla owners up at night. It is just interesting to the news media that less than 1/2 of 1% of the owners that bought the car didnt follow instructions that were probably outlined very clearly in the owners manual.

[Edited on February 23, 2012 at 10:32 AM. Reason : .]

2/23/2012 10:29:13 AM

s4m
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Why would you compare this to engine oil? The obvious comparison would be a gas powered car that the motor completely failed when the car ran out of gas. Which would be absolutely piss people off and be considered unacceptable.

2/23/2012 11:09:50 AM

CarZin
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The car does not die when the electric range expires or the battery goes dead. It will die if you run it dead and leave it unplugged for long periods of time. So maybe my oil analogy isn't perfect, but this is closer to a maintenance issue (oil changes) than an operational issue (running out of gas).

[Edited on February 23, 2012 at 11:34 AM. Reason : M]

[Edited on February 23, 2012 at 11:34 AM. Reason : M]

2/23/2012 11:28:49 AM

sumfoo1
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Quote :
"As someone who at least partly specializes in usability can tell you. The first rule of usability is that no one reads. The second is that it's never the users fault. If your design sucks so bad as to require directions then you failed. The perfect example of this is a door. A door should never ever have to have directions. It can be in only one of 2 states: open or closed. "


I'm trying to train society to read and properly maintain their purchases.

Volvo laughs when owners blow turbos due to 30,000 mile oil changes i think we should take that stance on all instances of ignorance.

However i do think this is an engineering mistake... i mean i would have thought to protect lipo batteries due to my experience with them in RC cars. It's also listed in EVERY lipo spec (my guess is they bought chinese shit and couldn't read the spec).

2/23/2012 11:29:56 AM

CarZin
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I also agree this is something they could have done better. But I suspect the vast majority of tesla owners would be "duh".

I like how the volt keeps 30% of the battery reserved for state of charge do you never run the battery dead. Don't have much experience with how much parasitic energy would be used sitting uncharged for long periods of time to drain 3 kilowatts of power.

2/23/2012 11:46:55 AM

quagmire02
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whatever, this is poor design on tesla's part...as noted above, the volt manages to keep you from using the bottom 30%, why can't tesla vehicles have an "emergency" charge of 30% - you can drive it down to 10%, all the while some angry red light blinks furiously at you, and then it keeps you from using it past the 10% so you KNOW you have to charge it?

if they already do that, fine...but it would have cost them very little to add SOMETHING that gives the owner a heads up...a red blinking LED in an obvious place would do the trick and it wouldn't use much power at all

seems like a good way to avoid a $40k "oops" moment

2/23/2012 12:48:35 PM

CarZin
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I think the problem, though, is not driving it till empty. You can do that. In fact, they did that a lot on that Top Gear episode. Simply driving it dead won't kill the battery. Obviously, you should avoid this. But the problem was apparently allowing it to start in a discharged state for a long time.

2/23/2012 1:26:46 PM

CaelNCSU
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It appears the story is fake...

http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/12/02/23/0310255/why-tesla-cars-arent-bricked-by-failing-batteries?utm_source=feedburnerGoogle+Reader&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Slashdot%2Fslashdot+%28Slashdot%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Or maybe not:

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/the-tesla-roadster-bricking-story-details-deconstructed/

[Edited on February 23, 2012 at 1:42 PM. Reason : a]

2/23/2012 1:31:22 PM

TKE-Teg
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looks real to me. also doesn't look like the 5 vehicles mentioned had "idiot" owners either.

2/23/2012 1:58:20 PM

CaelNCSU
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Quote :
"My beef is that they took a perfectly good Elise, then fucked it up and doubled the price."


Well arguably the Volt was developed because a fancy pants silicon valley entrepreneur embarrassed the shit out of them. He couldn't have done that if they did everything from scratch. They were pretty resourceful to use a nice looking body to start. That's allowed them to develop the Model-S and Model-X.

2/23/2012 3:32:19 PM

smc
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A hybrid Elise would be far superior to the Tesla.

2/23/2012 5:51:00 PM

CaelNCSU
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http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/plug-it

2/24/2012 2:20:17 PM

TKE-Teg
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Quote :
"Of the many pleasures that Tesla owners have, one of the most appreciated is nearly worry-free maintenance of their vehicles. As an owner, you no longer have to worry about constant oil changes, exhaust checks, or spark plug replacements."


Yeah those 10,000 mile (for oil) and 100,000 mile (for spark plugs) intervals sneak up on you pretty fast!

I get what they're saying, but they should pick other examples.

2/24/2012 4:05:05 PM

smc
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DAMAGE CONTROL DAMAGE CONTROL DAMAGE CONTROL

2/24/2012 5:26:07 PM

arghx
Deucefest '04
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Quote :
"Yeah those 10,000 mile (for oil) and 100,000 mile (for spark plugs) intervals sneak up on you pretty fast!

I get what they're saying, but they should pick other examples."


Yeah most engines require almost 0 maintenance for the first 100k now. Valve adjustments, timing belts, spark plugs, coolant, oil changes, basically every normal wear item has much longer intervals if they need to be changed at all.

2/24/2012 5:34:53 PM

CaelNCSU
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^

But why add the extra complexity. I still change my oil every 5000 miles and had a timing belt come off on a car a long while ago. I like the idea of less to go wrong.

2/24/2012 8:03:10 PM

theDuke866
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Even if you just treated the entire engine as a consumable and didn't do anything but change the oil, say, once per year with full synth, you could buy a lot of 2JZ engines for the cost of a $40k battery pack and the $40k price premium of a Tesla over the price of an Elise.

Oh, and the 2JZ would be fixed/replaced under warranty for a few years, unlike the battery pack.

Oh, and you could go on a trip longer than the borderline useless range of the Tesla.

Oh, and it would still be a flyweight sports car, which is the entire point of the vehicle, instead of a porker.

2/24/2012 8:37:07 PM

CaelNCSU
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I2tUHK2sJ_4

2/24/2012 8:52:24 PM

Skack
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Quote :
"Six months after Mitt Romney called electric auto company Tesla a "loser," Tesla is posting profits, expects to pay back the Dept. of Energy five years ahead of schedule, and won Motor Trend's Car of the Year."


http://www.thedailydolt.com/2013/04/02/romney-called-electric-auto-corp-tesla-a-loser-in-the-2012-presidential-debates-sweet-sweet-irony-ensued/

4/2/2013 12:06:18 PM

TKE-Teg
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Demand is exceeding production. I would say they're doing pretty well. I'm tempted to buy some stock...

4/2/2013 12:28:31 PM

Roflpack
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That sucks

4/3/2013 7:11:16 PM

CaelNCSU
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I see the Model S's daily in LA now. I quite like them and hope they do something about the battery life and cost.

http://www.teslamotors.com/true-cost-of-ownership

The Model S is no where near as cool as this however:

http://www.space.com/20254-spacex-reusable-rocket-grasshopper-test.html

Founding two companies like that of is astounding with no mention of the Solar one.

4/4/2013 6:12:24 PM

H8R
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Quote :
"After 36 months, you have the right, but not the obligation to sell your Model S to Tesla for the same residual value percentage as the iconic Mercedes S Class, one of the finest premium sedans in the world, made by Daimler (also a Tesla partner and investor)."


LOL

Mercedes depreciate like crazy, that's not a bargain

4/4/2013 6:17:56 PM

dtownral
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Quote :
"Demand is exceeding production. I would say they're doing pretty well. I'm tempted to buy some stock..."

they are including payments for future orders to make this report look good, next report will look pretty bad since those orders won't be on them

4/4/2013 9:56:12 PM

1in10^9
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Bought shares 2 days ago.

4/4/2013 10:14:51 PM

TKE-Teg
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^^^hardly any car that costs $90k depreciates well, from a percentage POV.

^^okay I'll rephrase, demand is exceeding their production forecast.

bunch of haters.

4/4/2013 11:35:04 PM

1in10^9
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Quote :
"I see the Model S's daily in LA now. I quite like them and hope they do something about the battery life and cost

"


Same in SF bay area. We have 3 in our company parking lot alone, including one Fisker Karma.

4/5/2013 12:21:02 AM

Igor
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TWW on Tesla:

Quote :
"It's vapor ware. They have a one-off, non-functioning prototype. Unlike the current Tesla, which is just a tweaked Lotus chassis, the Model S is their own platform.... that doesn't exist.

Tesla needs several hundred million dollars of investment (which they are seeking from bailout money) to even have a chance at developing this. In 30 months. From scratch. With no prior experience.

It took GM 7 years to get the Volt platform to a point of a functioning prototype. Just a point of comparison."


Quote :
"If Tesla survives and is able to pay back their loans I will eat a lithium battery."


Quote :
"I maintain that pure electrics are absolutely stupid, save a very small market for very inexpensive electric city cars."


Quote :
"Automotive electric motors are sub par right now because no one has really tried to develop light 100hp motors.
Batteries... The same."


Quote :
"also, Teslas are lame. I guess I'm glad someone is trying, and it's a step in the right direction, but I respect it really only as a test mule or prototype, and can't imagine why in the hell anyone would buy one."


TWW on Chevy Volt:

Quote :
"lmao this thing is so fucking dumb. ahahahahaha

gm is the worst and deserved to die."


Quote :
"Hahahaha

This will be a greater failure than the EV1.

I'm actually a little saddened."


Quote :
"its gonna fail now"


[Edited on April 5, 2013 at 10:55 AM. Reason : bunch of haters]

4/5/2013 10:53:55 AM

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