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Making Tesla profitable?

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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sun 22 Jan 2017, 18:41:21

I personally believe that the FMVSS is a good thing. I have been in a Jeep pickup that rolled over, after I braked on a wet road and the guy in the 3/4-ton van behind me did not, although he tried to swerve at the last moment. After impact on the left rear corner, the truck spun around 180 degrees then fell on it's side. Likewise I have been in a rental sedan that was hit by a UPS truck when stopped in traffic.

Good situational awareness helps, but it's not nearly enough, because almost every time you venture onto the roads, other drivers are around you, some of them are wearing multi-ton metal enclosures around them, subconsciously understanding that this is a better way to neglect the driving task and survive. IMHO, one needs a vehicle of similar mass so as not to be on the losing side of Newtonian Physics, specifically the conservation of momentum in a collision. So I own a 4500 lb Jeep Wrangler that gets 12 mpg, perhaps 15 mpg on the highway. That hardly matters when one drives less than 1000 miles annually. The wife drives a 4200 lb Grand Cherokee for the same reason, although I have not shared that reason with her, since that was her preference anyway.

Note I also own a Trek Shift 1 bicycle, but I stay off the roads during both rush hours. I might make a grocery run in daylight when traffic is sparse. If I owned an NEV/LSV (I've had the thought) then I would use the same "keep away from distracted drivers" strategy as with my bicycle.

The other reason to own a Wrangler is to do this:
Image
and
Image
This is "rock crawling" in Moab, UT. It is as they say, as much fun as one can have with your clothes on. I require a vehicle that will transport me on highways from here to there, then traverse the trails. I want that same vehicle to perform in snow, mud, and desert sand, while keeping me comfortable and carrying all my camping gear.

Elon Musk hasn't built something that will do that yet.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby baha » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 07:24:28

I notice you used the term 'yet'. All new Tesla's are 4 wheel drive with the absolute best traction control you can buy. An electric motor gives you 100% control of wheel speed at all times. And you can apply full torque to one wheel while the other three coast. I can't wait to see the Tesla pickup :)

You are mostly right about car collisions except for one thing. The energy generated by the collision is a function of the weight of both cars. A lighter car will bounce off without generating as much damage (unless your talking head on collision). And two light cars will not incur as much damage due the reduced energy of the collision. The best answer is a lighter car with crumple zones and a strong cockpit to protect you from crumpling too. Like maybe the carbon fiber cockpit of a Tesla, or the very well designed crumple zones of a VW. I have wrecked many VW's over my lifetime and I am still here...
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 13:38:42

In a collision, the lighter car when there is a large disparity in vehicle weights will always experience much greater forces, that result when it rebounds from the collision and absorbs more of the energy. The heavier car rebounds less, the sudden deceleration is much less, the structure is more intact, and the airbags (mandated by the FMVSS) deploy to spare the driver of the larger car. The driver of the smaller car bears the brunt of impact without an energy-absorbing structure and without airbags.

Last year 17 million vehicles were added to the US fleet which were capable of crushing an Arcimoto. In actual fact, I believe that one could search the area where I live for miles around and not find a vehicle lighter than an Arcimoto, which would say that 99+% of the time, you would be the loser in a collision.

Look, you are an adult, and you are going to do what you wish anyway. But you mentioned that you have totalled a few VWs. Pardon me, but in 65 years I have not totalled a car, although the Jeep pickup I mentioned sustained $2500 bodywork damage after being hit and rolling over. This means that you are not a defensive driver, don't always practice situational awareness, and should not be running around in a lightweight vehicle. Not at least until the majority of vehicles on the road are of the same or lesser mass, anyway. Physics is a real hard pill to swallow, and denial doesn't help.

The reason I say this is a former work acquaintance (he was a software designer and I was a hardware designer) built a 48v electric Karmann Ghia coupe a few years ago. He was enjoying it on a local road when he swerved to avoid a dog. It was a low speed collision with a relatively soft dirt embankment, and would have resulted in little damage had four of the eight heavy golf cart batteries not broke loose and severely injured him. He drives a wheelchair now.

I hope my bluntness has not offended you, but you would be better off with a conventional EV like a Tesla or Nissan Leaf, one fully compliant with the FMVSS. As Galileo is reputed to have said: "There are three kinds of people. Those that see, those that see when told, and those that do not see."

If you are determined to do this, don't forget the organ donor card. This is how our society pays for the few survivors of motorcycle accidents.

Edit: The Teslas are all-wheel drive, not 4WD. The difference is the existence of a "low range" gearset in the transfer case, which is what you need for off-road usage, along with high ground clearance. Nobody aside from one mechanical engineer I read about in one of the 4WD magazines has ever built a true offroad EV. He built an electric 4WD prototype about a decade ago, tested it, and retired it. It is a hard problem to solve - the low range gearset on my Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is 4:1, which means it quadruples the available wheel torque while also reducing speed and gas milage to one fourth of the highway milage. Yet it is the best performing production 4WD ever built in extreme off-road terrain, I have driven it at Moab in places Humvees failed to go, and then driven it home at highway speeds.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby baha » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 14:16:58

Hi KJ,
I had to laugh when you started crushing people :) You are right the heavier vehicle fairs better. But may not be the most responsible choice, two heavy vehicles are the unstoppable force meeting the im-movable object and carnage will ensue :)

I am indeed very attentive when driving because of all the wrecks I've been in...Most of them could have been avoided by paying more attention. And I've avoided many. I was the driver in only two of them but I learned my lesson. One was a slow speed roll-over in my bahabug while climbing a rock in CO. I know all about rock crawling. That is when my baha went from a '72 to a '63. I kept everything but the body and roll-cage and emerged without a scratch :) But the dog was pretty freaked out...

Clearly you don't understand electric motors...There is no need for 'low range gearsets' and locking differentials. Each wheel has it's own motor and can apply full torque at any time. From 0.000001 rpm to highway speeds. Like I said, superior technology. What do you think they used to go 4 wheelin' on the moon?
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 14:28:47

Trump had a meeting with the CEOS of several major US companies today. Tesla's Elon Musk was one of the CEOs invited to be present at the big table with Trump

teslas-elon-musk-meets-trump-in-white-house

Trump probably supports Tesla's commitment to build their gigafactory in the US which will create US manufacturing jobs

Image
Trump and Musk are meeting in the White House today
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby baha » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 14:47:29

Planty...I wasn't going to say I told you so, but I told you so :)

Thank you.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby baha » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 15:36:49

What I love is watching the Tesla Model S 100d running the 1/8 mile drag on youtube. One of the CA employees goes to the local race track and blows the doors off of everyone there. In a factory vehicle. He drives around the water so as not to get the tires wet, so he can apply full torque from the first turn. No need to spin the tires.

I want to see your Toyota do that :)
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The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 15:59:16

baha, you just told a retired electrical engineer with a degree and 36 years of work experience he did not understand electric motors.

The fast Tesla is the P85D Model S with the dual motors, AWD, and the lighter battery. Read all about it:

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2015-tesla-model-s-p85d-first-drive-review

It is an impressive AWD road vehicle. However, it is not for off-road, nor is the upcoming Tesla Model X SUV. These vehicles lack the ground clearance, the torque to turn larger diameter tires (because they lack low range gearing and the torque specs for 33" or larger tires are outside of the electric motor's capability), and the energy storage to carry say 1000 lbs of payload and run for 3+ days in the mountains.

My $25K slightly modified Wrangler Rubicon can do this, when carrying me, a passenger, our gear, and two extra cans of gasoline. It will be a long time before an EV can do so.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby baha » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 16:29:21

Ha, got you going didn't I,
I would never doubt your understanding as long as you understand engineering design limits. What you are talking about are design limitations for a particular application. Telsa has not yet asked me to build the next Baha race vehicle but if they did...your ass is grass :)

Don't try to tell me you spent those 3 days moving at all times. Mostly you drove in, partied, and drove out. I can charge my tank while there, with a simple PV panel...
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The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby baha » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 17:00:12

No, the P100d is the one that blows everyones doors off. It has 4 wheel drive, one motor for each wheel. And lots of instant current with the big battery. And what do you mean 'upcoming Model X' they've been out for a year...they better hope I don't get a test drive. I have a way of testing my limits :)
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The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 18:28:57

Yes, I am talking about a particular application, which is an all-terrain, all weather vehicle. Which is why my Jeep has 33" tires, a hardtop, A/C, solid cast-iron oversized differentials, and an extra set of gears. We wheel for 8-9 hours per day, some in high range, some in low, and I utilize all five gears in the transmission in both high and low range. But when "crawling" I am in low gear (4.02), low range (4:1), and the 4.11 axle gears make the "crawl ratio" 66:1, with the famous 50-year old Jeep I-6 engine (originally in the AMC Rambler) that makes more low RPM torque than many farm tractor engines. The engine is idling, no gas pedal, while the incredibly low gearing and the 66:1 torque increase from the gears allows it to idle over any rocks that can be conquered with 33" tires. When the incline is steeper, you add throttle, and the engine will make 78% of rated torque below 1000 RPM before stalling, which is simply not found in any other engine. The same vehicle has an overdrive 5th gear, a 1:1 high range, and a 2WD option for the highway, where it will cruise comfortably fully loaded at 85 mph, but not economically, because of the boxlike shape.

Elon Musk (or you) would be foolish to attempt to build such an EV, because of the extreme specialized application. Note that EVs are not competing well even for road-only cars. The next market segment Tesla needs to address after the roadster/sedan/SUV segments is a light 2WD pickup truck. Ford is the competition there, the aluminum-body F-150, which is the most popular vehicle sold in the US. His SUV, which is not yet in volume production, looks like this:
Image
....and Consumer Reports justifiably beat them up after testing it:
http://www.consumerreports.org/suvs/2016-tesla-model-x-review/.

However, I subscribe to two 4WD magazines that were far less kind than CR about this "SUV" that forgot that the "U" stands for "utility". He didn't understand his market.

Edit: The AWD Tesla sedans have 2 motors, not four. One for the front wheels, and one for the rear. The P85D which is the 2016 AWD sedan I have actually seen on the road, has the standard Tesla rear motor (463 hp) plus a smaller (271 hp) motor in the front. I don't doubt that the P100D exists, with two of the large motors and a bump from 90 KWh to 100 KWh battery storage, but they are so rare I've never seen one.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby baha » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 19:10:38

Sounds like fun KJ..when are we going 4-wheelin? I notice you didn't mention the gas milage your beast gets...no matter. My Bahabug gets 21 mpg whether you drive like grandma or like me. The engine doesn't really know there is a car attached. It does 0-60 in about 6 seconds on pavement and not much less on sand. Never doubt that I can build the baddest off-road vehicle you've even seen.

Neither Tesla or I are fools. But to tell me I can't do something just makes me more determined and I play the long game.

He knows his customers well. Do you think he is trying to sell SUVs to you or me? No these are spoiled yuppies with money to burn that would turn away from a dirt road, much less a rock :) Even if I could afford one I wouldn't take it 4-wheelin. Like I said I learned my lesson. I can be very destructive, which is why I chose a car I can fix myself.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby baha » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 19:35:53

Excuse me for going off topic but you've twisted my shorts.

My Baha has a highly modified suspension and Fox racing shocks w/remote reservoirs all the way around. It has 16" wheel travel in the rear and 12" in the front. I have had it at least 5 feet off the ground jumping dunes. Let me strap you into the fiberglass buckets with the 4 point seat belts and I will make you pee your pants :)
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 21:38:17

Have you ever been to Moab? Ever tried to climb a steep incline at 45 degrees or more?
Image
...its all about having the center-of-gravity well forward, so at whatever angle you are climbing, the COG is in front of the rear axle. If you give it too much throttle, your front wheels get too light to steer - that's your first clue. One tiny increase in throttle and this happens:
Image
...and the Jeep "endoes", rolling end-over-end backwards. If you have a lot of weight in the rear, such as a spare tire and a rack and spare gas and a jack and your trash bag, it happens all too easy:
Image

No offense, but this is simply the wrong place to bring a rear-engined anything, be it a Baha Bug or a VW powered tube framed buggy. I have seen those vehicles at Pismo, leaping through the air, and it looks like lots of fun - but I would not attempt that leap in a heavy Jeep, either. Most non-jeep vehicles that go to Moab end up broken, a vehicle recovery costs thousands of dollars there. The one notable exception is the older Broncos. Suzukis and Hummers and GM anything and even the FJ cruisers, they all break. I have seen a couple of VW tube-frames, being towed out after endoes.

The VW tube-frames that shine at Moab are all from the water-cooled model lines. Take something like a Rabbit or Golf FWD engine/transaxle, turn it sideways, and hook both FWD driveshafts to conventional center-differential axles, one or both of which can steer, and you have a great lightweight 4WD vehicle. This also works with Hondas or Fiats or even Mini Cooper FWD engines/transaxles.
Image
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby baha » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 22:02:10

I have lifted the front wheels many times climbing hills. And I almost peed my pants. I have never been to moab but I would love to go. Maybe I should ride with you :) Each to their own, I do rock crawling but I'd rather be flying thru the air.

A heavy jeep is not made to fly but is very stable. As you said a lightweight buggy can do the job with the right balance. An electric buggy would give you complete control of weight distribution, simplify the drivetrain, and stay lightweight. I suppose if the world still exists in 10-15 years, I'll build one. Just for fun.

Which brings us back to the point of this thread.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 22:09:46

If you really want to fool around on steep slopes like that you should invest in wheel weights and frame weights that you can easily install and remove to lower your center of gravity.

In a former life I operated an industrial mower on some pretty steep slopes and twice rolled a mower right over back in the days before OSHA required roll bars and seatbelts. I discovered that the one mower with bolt on wheel weights could do slopes none of the other units could safely touch.

For a Jeep I imagine you would probably have to make them yourself but its not actually difficult. You use old fashioned iron barbell weights and set up some sort of system to fasten them to your rims when the time is right. I can vouch for the fact that frame weights on the front of a farm tractor do wonder for avoiding wheelies and flip overs, attaching weights to the brush bar on the front of the jeep accomplishes the same thing and doesn't require the same precision as wheel weights that need to be exactly centered.
I should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write, balance accounts, build a wall, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, cook, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 22:17:05

I'm interested in both a new solar roof and the Tesla Powerwall house batteries. About their Tesla SUV, I will only say that I will await head-to-head comparison offroad test drives when both the 4WD Model X and the Chevy Bolt are available. Ground Clearance and traction control are both important features for snow.

My Jeep will probably get a snowplow attached to it in Wisconsin, since it is a 2003 model with low miles and no rust, and long paid for, but it also depends on how far off a paved road I am living, and how much I have to plow. I want the wife to get a new flex-fuel SUV, on the theory that E85 will be available for a long time in the corn belt.

Tanada, I am familiar with tractor weights. One of the mechanical engineers that worked with me on new computers put some in the bottom of a computer rack, so that when the chassis got extended for service, it would not fall on the service guy and crush him. He defended his design choice by saying that buying such tractor weights from John Deere was much cheaper than having them custom fabricated.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 23 Jan 2017, 22:50:59

KaiserJeep wrote:Tanada, I am familiar with tractor weights. One of the mechanical engineers that worked with me on new computers put some in the bottom of a computer rack, so that when the chassis got extended for service, it would not fall on the service guy and crush him. He defended his design choice by saying that buying such tractor weights from John Deere was much cheaper than having them custom fabricated.


That is the problem with good engineers, they go and use common sense instead of creative accounting to accomplish goals instead of extending deadlines ROFL!
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby phaster » Wed 25 Jan 2017, 00:51:36

KJ

no worries about bluntness, that is why I'm asking

and nope that wasn't me who totaled a few VWs..., well actually I did kind total a 1972 VW bus (which was my first vehicle) and that was because the engine blew (not reckless driving or an accident)

after that I switched to a diesel benz, 25+ years ago when I was an undergrad @ university, still have 40% of that car (pulled the 5 cyl engine and manual transmission out of a euro spec model w/ rust and put that into a rust free car free car that had a blown auto transmission and a smaller 4 cyl that had high mileage)

point taken about mass winning out when vehicles collide, just happens physics is one of my degress

noticed you mention you stay away from traffic on your bike, well that is my same strategy of how I plan to operate the Arcimoto (basically around neighborhood street w/ light tarffic and not during rush hour) I'm kinda fortunate where I live, in that its very close to the city center BUT its a residential neighborhood w/ lots places to grab different types of foods and coffee w/ in a five block radius BUT there are some other places that would take 15 to 20 minutes walk that I use use something like a NEV (but the problem is hills) hence a 3 wheel electric motorcycle would be a better fit than an NEV

I also have an older dog and use to take him to the dog park a mile and a half "one way" so one of the other justifications for the Arcimoto was a "mutt" transport, figure I could remove the rear seat and put in a dog transport box

Right now if I want to take my "old" dog places (farther than a few blocks), I use my 80 series Land Cruiser as a "transport"

As far as investing, figure after looking @ the design its worth it to me to kinda throw some money into the pot because it fits the mission of being a local transport and as an individual who has concerns about using a limited resource like oil and the associated effects of releasing CO2 into the atmosphere, figure its worth the risk for me to "invest" (i.e. hope that the startup "survives")

FWIW because you mentioned past history of 3 wheel vehicle not lasting long in the marketplace, decided to lessen the amout I'm going to wager!

PS FWIW kinda took an unscientific poll of the target demographic that Arcimoto is shooting for, quite a few thought a small electric vehicle at 12k price point would work out nicely in the "san diego" area
I'm 100% sure that unsustainable conspicuous consumption & economic mismanagement will result with a proverbial hell on earth! But the damage can be reversed if we acknowledge the problem, then use the scientific method to fix the problem.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby baha » Wed 25 Jan 2017, 06:54:21

I do like the little three wheeler but where I live I would be crushed by a tractor :(

I like to dream too...what if there were big parking lots on the edge of town with solar canopies and chargers. You park your Tesla there and climb in a person pod to go into town. They are self driving and that's all there is in town. No fear of being crushed. And when your done shopping you go back to the fully charged car and drive to your rural home. Just a possibility...NC State has already installed the first demo system.
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/pl ... commuters/

But ditch the rails and causeways, this needs to be free roaming.
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